Down on The Farm 4/9-4/14

April 15, 2009 | Tom Clayton

.Each week I will take a look at some of the Orioles top prospects in the minor league and give you an idea how they are progressing.

Chris Tillman                 Starting Pitcher                   AAA Norfolk
With his first start in AAA on Monday night 20 year old right hander Chris Tillman pitched four innings of no hit baseball. The 16th ranked prospect also struck out five, walked three and hit a batter in his impressive debut at the AAA level. Tillman labored a bit and his control was shaky as he threw seventy-one pitches but he did allow a hit just two days shy of his 21st birthday.

Nolan Reimold                       Outfielder                 AAA Norfolk
In his first five games of the 2009 season Reimold is hitting .429 with 2 homers and 5 RBI’s. The right handed hitting 25 year old outfield prospect is also slugging .762 with an OBP .455. It is going to be tough for Reimold to crack the Orioles crowded outfield at the big league level but at 25 this seems to be the make or break year for Reimold.

Brandon Snyder                First Base                   AA Bowie
First baseman Brandon Snyder seems to have finally hit his stride offensively just six games into the season. Snyder is hitting .462 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI’s on the young season. The 22 year old First Base prospect has driven in at least one run in five of his firs six games and as two multi RBI games. Snyder looks like he may be final reaching the potential the Orioles saw in him when they made him the 13th overall pick in the 2005 First Year Players Draft.

Jake Arrieta                    Starting Pitcher                  AA Bowie
In his first start of the season on last Thursday Arrieta pitched four innings of shutout baseball. The 36th ranked prospect in all of baseball also struck out eight and walked two while only allowing one hit. A Baseball America High Class A All-Star lat year Arrieta is a prospect who is primed to rise quickly to the big leagues.

Brian Matusz                   Starting Pitcher                  A Fredrick
The Orioles top pick from last year got his first professional victory Tuesday night in a 10-5 win over Myrtle Beach. In two starts this season the 22 year old Matusz has a 4.66era with 10 strikeouts and 5 walks in 9.2 innings pitched. The 20th ranked prospect has allowed 9 hits and 5 earned runs with an opposing batting average .231 against. While Matusz may not have the eye popping numbers some would expect from the fourth overall pick; Matusz is learning on the job and once acclimated to pro ball the lefty from San Diego should become one of the most dominating pitchers in all of Class A ball.

Wieters Watch
In his first five games with AAA Norfolk Wieters has seemed almost human; he has yet to hit a home run or drive in a run. In 18 at bats Wieters has more strike outs than hits
7-4, and has yet to get an extra base hit. The top prospect in all of baseball has walked 4 times and has an OBP .364. Wieters is only 22 and has moved through the minor league system at a break neck pace; expect his bat to heat up as the weather does and I still see a call up to the big leagues no later than June.15th.

*All prospect ranking are taken from