With the major league debut of Brad Bergesen on Tuesday night it is clear the Orioles are stockpiling young arms. Bergesen is considered to be in the middle of the pack in terms of the talent the Orioles have in the minors yet his 5 2/3 inning were looked upon as the beginning o something very special. Many of the young arms should develop pretty quickly allowing the Orioles to win the AL East Cold War by unleashing their stockpile of arms over the next few years.
David Hernandez Starting Pitcher AAA Norfolk
The Orioles 16th round selection in the 2005 MLB First Year Players Draft Hernandez is looking solid so far in Norfolk and may follow his former Norfolk teammate Brad Bergesen to the big league soon. So far in his two starts in 2009 Hernandez has yet to earn a decision but has been dominant. In 8.2 innings pitched he has struck out fifteen while only walking four and accumulated an ERA of 2.08. The 6’3” 215lbs. Hernandez was equally dominant at AA Bowie in 2008 going 10-4 with a 2.68ERA in 27 starts. In 141 innings Hernandez struck out an astronomical 161 hitters while walking 71 and holding opposing hitters to a .217 average against. The 23 year old has three pitches which include a plus fastball that sits in the 90-93MPH range; he also has a plus slider with good break, and a developing fastball. An EAS mid-season All Star in 2008 should be in the big leagues sometime during the 2009 season.
Nolan Reimold Outfield AAA Norfolk
Reimold continued his torrid 2009 season at the plate last week being named the International League hitter of the Week. Reimold continues to feast on International League pitching hitting .404 with three home runs and fifteen RBI’s in twelve games this season. Reimold will find it tough to break into the majors especially with the call up of former Norfolk teammate Lou Montanez on Monday but with a slugging percentage of .617 and an OPS of 1.080 it is going to be tough to keep him down for the entire 2009 season.
Jake Arrieta Starting Pitcher AA Bowie
In his third start of the season Arrieta allowed his first earned runs of 2009 in a 4-3 win against Detroit affiliate Erie on Tuesday night. In three innings the 23 year old Arrieta was touched up for three earned runs on three hits while striking out four and walking just one. On the season the power throwing right hander is 1-0 with a 3.00ERA and has struck out sixteen and walked just six in twelve innings. Arrieta continues to be the most interesting prospect in the Orioles system in my eyes with his electrifying fastball that touches 97 and developing curve and slider.
Troy Patton Starting Pitcher AA Bowie
After missing all of the 2008 season with a left labrum tear Patton has come back this season with a sense of purpose and has looked great. One of the major pieces in the Miguel Tejada trade Patton has been sensational for Bowie in 2009; in two starts he is 2-0 an has yet to allow an earned run. In his eleven innings this season Patton has struck out eleven hitters and walked three while allowing only six hits. A 6’1” left hander Patton is holding opposing batters to a ridiculous .162 average against. At 23 with a taste of major league experience with the Astros Patton should move through the system quickly and could be a solid middle of the rotation pitcher in the future.
Brian Matusz Starting Pitcher A Fredrick
After earning his fist professional victory last week Matusz earned his first professional loss on Sunday in a 9-3 loss against Red Sox affiliate Salem. While Matusz was saddle with the loss he pitched his best game of his young career striking out eight while walking two and allowing one earned run in ix strong innings. The fourth overall selection in the 2008 MLB First Year Players Draft Matusz is having a solid start to his career; in three starts he has s 1-1 with a 3.45 ERA. In his 15.2 innings this season Matusz has allowed sixteen hits while striking out eighteen and walking seven and allowing .250 average against opposing hitters.
Birdland held their collective breath as word spread The Chosen One had hurt his hamstring beating out an infield single in the first inning of the Tides game Friday night. Wieters has yet to be placed back into Norfolk’s lineup but the injury isn’t considered serious and he is expected back sometime later in the week. In positive news Wieters did get three first at the Triple-A level as Wieters got his first extra base hit, home run, and RBI on a solo shot to left field in the first inning of Thursdays game.