February 2011

Part II – 2011 Keys Season Preview

By Tim Murray
 
This is the second of a six-part series looking at the players who could possibly comprise the 2011 Frederick Keys.  (Pictured Above – 1B/OF Jacob Julius)

Jesse Beal – RHP

Selected by the Orioles in the 14th round of the 2008 draft, Beal had his best professional season last year in Delmarva. He finished the year with seven victories, which tied Kenny Moreland for the team-lead. Selected as a South Atlantic League All-Star, Beal walked just 23 batters in his 114.1 innings pitched. His 1.81 walk-to-innings pitched ratio was tied for fourth best in the South Atlantic League.

The Lorton, VA native originally committed to play collegiately at the University of Maryland before signing with the Orioles in the summer of 2008. Beal played his high school baseball at South County Secondary School and as a junior he went 8-4 with a 3.07 ERA. In one of his final games in high school career, he struck out 12 batters in a complete game against Madison High School in the first round of the AAA Northern Region Tournament.

Did You Know?

The Orioles gave Beal a signing bonus of $275,000, well above slot for a 14th round pick. The $275,000 signing bonus was the second-highest bonus any 14th round pick in 2008 received (Tyler Massey signed with Colorado for $525,000).

Matt Bywater – LHP

A native of Thousand Oaks, Calif., Bywater played his college baseball at Pepperdine University. Over his three years in Malibu, Bywater had a standout career with the Waves. As a freshman, he was selected to the All-West Coast Conference Freshman team. In his sophomore campaign, Bywater had the top ERA on the Waves’ staff and was a First Team All-WCC selection. Last year, he was a unanimous First Team All-WCC selection as he led Pepperdine in ERA and led the NCAA with four complete games. In his first start of the 2010 season, Bywater tossed a complete game shutout against the fourth-ranked team in the nation, Cal State Fullerton. He was named NCBWA National Pitcher of the Week following that start.

The Orioles drafted the Pepperdine product in the seventh round of the 2010 draft. Bywater inked a signing bonus with Orioles of $195,000 but he will make his professional debut in the 2011 season. Bywater was the 124th player out Pepperdine to be drafted and was the third Wave to be selected by the Orioles.

Did You Know?

Bywater graduated from Thousand Oaks High School in 2007. Actors Kurt Russell and Michael Richards both attended Thousand Oaks High School.

Oliver Drake – RHP

Drake was drafted by the Orioles in the 43rd round of the 2008 draft out of the Naval Academy. He became just the fourth player in school history to be drafted in the MLB First-Year player draft. In his two seasons with the Midshipmen, he amassed a record of 9-6 with an ERA of 3.48. In his sophomore season, Drake led the Mids with six wins, 80.1 innings pitched, and three complete games. He also led the Patriot League with 78 strikeouts. Drake was named to the Patriot League All-Tournament Team in 2008.

The Gardner, Mass. native spent the entire 2010 season in Frederick. Drake finished second on the club with a 128 innings pitched and had the top strikeout-to-walk ratio (100-37) on the team. Following the 2010 campaign, Drake was selected to play in the Arizona Fall League where he made six starts for the Scottsdale Scorpions.

Did You Know?

Drake attended the prestigious prep school, Northfield Mount Hermon, for high school. In addition to lettering four times in baseball, he also lettered three times in hockey while at Northfield Mount Hermon.

Garabez Rosa – SS

The Orioles signed Rosa in November of 2006 as a 16-year-old out of Cotui, Dominican Republic. In his first professional season in the United States, Rosa finished third in the Gulf Coast League with a batting average of .330. In his final 19 games with the GCL Orioles, Rosa hit .370 with six doubles and 15 RBI.

Last season, Rosa spent the year in the South Atlantic League with the Delmarva Shorebirds. He was one of three players that represented the Shorebirds at South Atlantic League All-Star game (Brian Conley & Jesse Beal). Rosa tied Kieron Pope for the second-most RBI (44) on the team and was finished second on the team with 114 hits. Rosa did have his struggles in the field, however, as he finished with the most errors (46) in the Sally League.

Did You Know?

In 2008, Rosa combined to hit .322 with the Aberdeen IronBirds and the GCL Orioles. His .322 batting average was third best in the Orioles minor league system that year only behind Matt Wieters (.355) and Lou Montanez (.335).

Jacob Julius – 1B/OF

Selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 33rd round of the 2007 draft out of the University of Arkansas, Julius had a breakout season with Frederick in 2010. In his fourth professional season, the New Albany, IN native set new career highs in almost every offensive category including batting average, doubles, RBI, and home runs. He finished the season hitting .285 with 15 doubles, 12 home runs and 50 RBIs.

Julius started his college career at Spalding University before finishing up with Arkansas. In his freshman season at Spalding, Julius helped guide the Golden Eagles to an appearance in the NAIA World Series. In his lone season at Arkansas, Julius hit .309 with five homers and 21 RBI for the Razorbacks.

Did You Know?

Julius was honored with three awards in 2010 for his extensive community service while with the Keys: the Elrod Hendricks Prize (outstanding community service in the Orioles system), the Steve Bechler Memorial Spirit Award (Frederick Keys community service award), and the Matt Minker Community Service Award (the community service award for the Carolina League).

Steven Bumbry – OF

A native of Cockeysville, MD, Bumbry played collegiately at Virginia Tech. He played three seasons with the Hokies and had a career batting average of .275 while in Blacksburg. In his junior season, Bumbry led Virginia Tech with 10 homeruns and was second on the team with nine stolen bases. He also tied for the team-lead in triples with three.

Bumbry was drafted by the Orioles in the 12th round of the 2009 draft and spent his first professional season with the Aberdeen IronBirds. Last season, Bumbry spent the year with Delmarva in the South Atlantic League. He led the Shorebirds with nine triples and finished tied for second in the Sally League in triples. In addition, he finished second on the team in batting average and third in doubles.

Did You Know?

Steve is the son of former Oriole, Al Bumbry. Al played 13 of his 14 Major League seasons with the Orioles and was apart of the 1979 team that lost to Pittsburgh in the World Series and the 1983 World Series Champions, the last Baltimore club to win the World Series. Al was an all-star in 1980 and was named the American League Rookie of the Year in 1973.

Part I – 2011 Keys Season Preview

 By Tim Murray
 
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This is the first of a six-part series looking at the players who could possibly comprise the 2011 Frederick Keys. (Picture Above – LHP Cole McCurry)

Brian Conley – OF

Drafted by the Orioles in the 17th round of the 2008 draft, Conley made his professional debut with the Bluefield Orioles in the Appalachian League. In his second game with the “baby birds,” Conley belted his first career home run against the Elizabethton Twins. Last year, he began the season in the South Atlantic League with the Delmarva Shorebirds. Conley was named the starting right fielder for the Sally League All-Star game and led Delmarva in walks (70) despite playing in just 95 games. On August 14, Conley was promoted to Frederick where he finished out the season playing in 16 games for the Keys. He is rated as having the best eye at the plate in the Orioles system by Baseball America.

A native of Gaithersburg, MD, Conley grew up less than 25 miles away from Harry Grove Stadium. He went to Quince Orchard High School where he was named Montgomery County Player of the Year in his senior season. Following high school, Conley was a four-year starter at Towson University. In his final season at Towson, he was named second-team All-Colonial Athletic Association. He was tops on the Tigers in batting average (.352), runs batted in (65), and hits (76). Conley is currently third in Towson history in career home runs (36) and games played (208).

Did You Know?

When Baltimore drafted Conley in 2008, he was just the 12th player to be drafted out of Towson and the first since 2005.

Matt Hobgood – RHP

The Norco, California native was drafted as the fifth overall pick by the Orioles in the 2009 draft. Hobgood had an unbelievable high school career while at Norco High School. Over his junior and senior seasons, he compiled a record of 21-1 while hitting 40 homers. In his senior season, Hobgood joined an elite group that includes the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Zach Grienke, and Gary Sheffield, when he was named the 2009 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year. As a senior, he went 11-1 with a 0.92 ERA with 101 strikeouts to 26 walks over 68.1 innings pitched.

After signing with the Orioles for $2.42 million, Hobgood made eight starts in 2009 with the Bluefield Orioles. On August 13, he notched his first professional win after he tossed five scoreless innings against the Princeton Rays. Last season, Hobgood started 21 games with Delmarva and compiled a 3.25 ERA at Arthur H. Perdue Stadium. In his final start of the 2010 campaign, he threw five shutout innings against the Augusta GreenJackets. Riddled by injuries in his young career, Hobgood may not start the season on time due to a strained rotator cuff.

Did You Know?

While at Norco High School, Hobgood was a teammate with Minnesota Vikings RB Toby Gerhart, on both the baseball and football teams.

Cole McCurry – LHP

A native of Asheville, North Carolina, McCurry was drafted by the Orioles in the 43rd round of the 2007 draft. McCurry spent two seasons with Surry (NC) Community College before playing a season with Tennessee Wesleyan College. Following his final year with Surry CC, he was drafted to the Atlanta Braves in the 31st round of the 2005 draft. At Tennessee Wesleyan, he went 13-0 with a 3.59 ERA in 2007. McCurry was named honorable mention NAIA All-American and first team All Appalachian Athletic Conference.

McCurry spent all of the 2009 season in the South Atlantic League with the Delmarva Shorebirds. Despite having a losing record (6-9), he finished fifth in the league in ERA (2.71) and strikeouts (145). Last year, McCurry started the season in the Keys rotation. He moved to the bullpen on May 23 and dominated the Kinston Indians in first relief appearance of the year. Over six innings, McCurry struck out a season-high eight batters and allowed just one hit and no runs to score. In 18 relief appearances, he went 3-3 with two saves and an ERA of 3.40. As a starter, McCurry was 2-3 with a 4.89 ERA.

Did You Know?

Despite pitching just 95.2 innings in 2010, McCurry finished only four strikeouts behind Ryan O’Shea for the team-lead in strikeouts for the year. O’Shea tossed a team-high 140.2 innings with Frederick last season.

Dale Mollenhauer – INF

Originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 17th round of the 2007 draft, Mollenhauer was selected by the Orioles in the AAA phase of the Rule 5 draft this past offseason. He spent parts of two seasons in the Carolina League with Winston-Salem but spent the entire 2010 campaign in the Southern League with the Birmingham Barons. While with the Barons, Mollenhauer led the team with 17 stolen bases.

The Gibsonia, PA native, played his collegiate baseball at East Carolina University. Prior to playing for the Pirates, Mollenhauer was drafted in the 24th round by the Orioles out of Pine-Richland High School. In his first season at ECU, he was named to the Conference USA All-freshman team. As a sophomore, he was one of just two Pirates to start all 59 games and in his final year at East Carolina, Mollenhauer was named second-team All C-USA while leading the Pirates with a .329 batting average.

Did You Know?

In 22 career games against the Keys, Mollenhauer batted .304. He hit .311 in 13 games played at Harry Grove Stadium.

Brian Ward – C

From Huntington Beach, CA, Ward finished his college career at NAIA powerhouse Lewis-Clark State in Idaho. In his first season at Lewis-Clark State, Ward helped guide the Warriors to their 16th NAIA National Championship and was named MVP of the 2008 NAIA World Series. In five games, he went 12-for-27 with three home runs and eight runs batted in. In his two seasons at Lewis-Clark State, the Warriors went a combinded 98-22 including a mark of 58-7 in their 2008 National Championship season. Prior to LCSC, Ward played at Eastern Oklahoma and Golden West Junior College.

Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Orioles in 2009, Ward began his professional career with the Aberdeen Ironbirds. As the 2009 campaign progressed, Ward’s bat came to life. In his first 20 games with Aberdeen, Ward hit .206 while in his final 16 games, he hit .318 for the Ironbirds. Last season, he was the starting catcher in Frederick making 82 starts behind the plate. Ward struggled at the plate in the regular season but flourished in the postseason. In just three playoff games, he had six runs batted in and belted a grand slam in game one of the North Division Championship Series against the Potomac Nationals. The Keys lone playoff win in 2010 was a 10-9 victory in game one of the NDCS.

Did You Know?

In Ward’s two seasons at Lewis Clark State, the Warriors were 5-1 against Division I opponents (Gonzaga University: 3-0, University of Washington: 2-1).

Tyler Townsend – 1B

The Florida International product was drafted in the third round by the Orioles in 2009 and was the first collegiate player taken by Baltimore in that draft. Townsend’s third round selection is the second highest in school history to Josh Banks, who was drafted in the second round of the 2003 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. Townsend was one of the top collegiate players in the nation in 2009 as he batted .426 with 24 home runs, 77 RBIs, and 182 total bases. The 77 RBIs and 182 total bases were both FIU single-season records. His 24 HRs and .426 batting average were second best in school history. Townsend also set the career record for RBIs with 164. Townsend was a First Team All-American by Louisville Slugger, First Team All-Sun Belt, and First Team South Central All-Region in 2009.

After his first professional season was hampered by injuries, the Lewes, DE native began to hit his stride in 2010. In 30 games with Delmarva, Townsend hit .342 with three homers, 12 doubles, and 26 RBI. Prior to his promotion to Frederick on July 24, he drove in 10 runs in his final three games with the Shorebirds. Upon his arrival in Frederick, Townsend quickly was placed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. Once off the DL, he had a very strong finish to the 2010 regular season. Townsend was named Carolina League Player of the Week in consecutive weeks (August 23-29, August 30-September 5). He was one of just three players in 2010 to be named CL Player of the Week in consecutive weeks.

Did You Know?

In 2006-07, Townsend was a member of the Sun Belt Commissioner’s List for maintaining a GPA above 3.5 for the entire school year.

This Is Our Home

 

An Open Letter to Our Keys Family

 

Hello Keys Fans,

 

This letter is written to inform you of our current lease for Harry Grove Stadium with the City of Frederick.

 

Over the last ten months through current lease negotiations, the Frederick Keys have wanted nothing more than to make a long-term commitment to the City of Frederick in the way of a long-term lease. We have pushed for this in each of our last three negotiations with the City of Frederick (2007, 2009 and 2011) but the City of Frederick has pushed for a short-term lease. In fact twice during the fall we believed we had reached an understanding on the terms of a long-term lease with the City of Frederick only to have the City take a step back.

 

In the past few weeks the Keys have signed a lease to keep the team in Frederick through the end of the 2011 season. The City of Frederick has decided however to issue a Request for Proposal that will open the stadium lease up for bids for future occupancy.

 

We are an affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles meaning that all of our players are scouted, drafted and signed by the Orioles with Frederick a step in the ladder towards their big league dream. Since this is our territory, we are the only affiliated baseball team that may apply. The only other baseball teams that can submit an RFP would be that of an independent league which would not be affiliated with a major league organization.

 

This is our home.

 

The Frederick Keys have been a local passion as an Orioles affiliate here since 1989. In that time more than 100 players have gone from the Keys into the major leagues. We want nothing more than to see 100 more come through the ranks over the next two decades.

 

Below are some facts about our lease with the City of Frederick for Harry Grove Stadium and the impact Keys baseball makes on our area.

 

  • In the eight-team Carolina League the City of Frederick currently has a very favorable lease for a landlord.  The Frederick Keys currently pay the second highest rent in the league. The Frederick Keys are one of just two teams in the league who pay a ten percent admission tax. The Frederick Keys are one of four teams in our league that pays all of our stadium’s utilities.

 

  • The Frederick Keys have taken on over $1.6 million in stadium expenses from The City of Frederick in the last four years. These include the expenses of stadium maintenance and repairs, field expenses, utilities, relating operational staff expenses, and our own lease-holder improvements.

 

  • The Frederick Keys generate over $10 million in annual economic impact to Frederick which includes out-of-county attendee spending, team and players spending, facility spending, concessionaire spending, and non-baseball events.

 

  • The Frederick Keys pay nearly $500,000 annually in combined City/County/State taxes to include admission & amusement, sales & use, and withholding taxes.

 

  • The Frederick Keys community involvement is valued at nearly $400,000 annually which includes donations, appearances, ticket fundraisers, marketing opportunities, and various other programs and events.

 

  • The Frederick Keys are the highest drawing minor league baseball team in the State of Maryland drawing nearly 300,000 fans a year to Harry Grove Stadium. The Keys have never finished lower than third in league attendance in the 22-year history of the franchise.

 

At this time we ask our Keys family to reach out and contact our local officials to let them know you want Keys baseball to stay for future generations.

 

Mayor

Randy McClement      rmcclement@cityoffrederick.com      301-600-1380

 

Board of Aldermen

Shelley Aloi                saloi@cityoffrederick.com                 301-600-1632

Carol Krimm               ckrimm@cityoffrederick.com             301-600-1863

Michael O’Connor      moconnor@cityoffrederick.com         301-600-1386

Kelly Russell               krussell@cityoffrederick.com             301-600-2966

Karen Young              kyoung@cityoffrederick.com             301-600-1382

 

We promise to make the 2011 season a special one. Our ticket prices have stayed the same for a decade, our promotional schedule will be fresh and we will be debuting many new programs to make an evening at Harry Grove Stadium even more enjoyable for this upcoming summer. We look forward to 2011 and the many years beyond that we will share together here in our home- Frederick.

 

Dave Ziedelis

Frederick Keys General Manager

 

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