Part V – 2011 Keys Season Preview
By Tim Murray
This is the fifth of a six-part series looking at the players who could possibly comprise the 2011 Frederick Keys. (Pictured Above – OF Kyle Hudson)
Dan Klein – P
A two-sport standout at Servite (CA) High School, Klein turned down multiple football scholarship offers to focus on baseball at UCLA. After a tough freshman campaign with the Bruins, he missed the entire 2009 season due to shoulder surgery. In 2010, he emerged as one of the most dominant closers in the nation. Klein went 6-1 with a 1.90 ERA in 39 appearances. He notched 10 saves on the year as he helped guide the Bruins to their third College World Series appearance in school history. An All Pac-10 selection in 2010, Klein struck out 55 batters and walked just 11 in 52 innings of work.
The Orioles drafted Klein in the 24th round of the 2007 draft following his senior year of high school but he opted to attend UCLA instead. Baltimore selected the Los Alamitos, CA native once again in the 2010 draft, this time in the third round. He signed for $499,600 and made his professional debut on August 23rd for the Aberdeen IronBirds. Klein was stellar in his five appearances within the New York-Penn League. He allowed just one hit and no runs over 6.1 innings of work while striking out 10 batters.
Did You Know?
Entering 2011, Klein is rated as the fifth-best prospect in the Orioles organization according to Baseball America. His curveball and changeup are also considered tops in the O’s minor league system.
Kipp Schutz – OF
After spending his rookie season in the Appalachian League with the Bluefield Orioles, Schutz had a strong second season in the Orioles farm system. In Aberdeen, he finished ninth in the New York-Penn League with his team-leading .313 batting average. His 83 hits placed in a tie for third-place in the league for hits over the season.
Schutz had more success hitting in Ripken Stadium than on the road last year. In 36 home games, he hit .360 (50-139) while driving in 28 runs. Away from Aberdeen, Schutz hit .262 (33-126) with 14 RBI.
The Orioles selected the Evansville, IN native in the 19th round of the 2009 draft and in the 26th round of the 2006 draft out of high school. Schutz missed his freshman year on the diamond at Indiana University due to a shoulder injury but as a redshirt freshman he hit .317 with six home runs. His six homers were tops among Big Ten freshman. As a redshirt sophomore, Schutz was a First Team All-Big Ten selection. He finished the year third in the conference hitting a team-high .392.
Did You Know?
In 2008-09, Schutz walked-on to the Indiana basketball team. He appeared in six games and scored six points in 26 minutes of action for the Hoosiers.
Luis Bernardo – C
The San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic native got his first taste of professional baseball in the Dominican Summer League with the DSL Orioles in 2006. Bernardo hit a team-best .304 with 20 RBI, which was second-best on the club. In 2007, he was with the GCL Orioles and struggled with the bat, only hitting .225, but made up for it with his arm. He had the fourth-best throw out percentage in the Gulf Coast League at 48.1% (26 out of 54). After spending a season with Bluefield, Bernardo saw the most action in 2009 when he started 81 games at catcher for the Shorebirds. Despite hitting just .213 in Delmarva, Bernardo established new career high’s in RBI and doubles.
In 2010, Bernardo split time in Frederick and Delmarva. In all, he appeared in 69 games last season (39 with Frederick and 32 with Delmarva). While with Frederick, Bernardo drove in nine runs and belted a career-high two home runs.
Did You Know?
Due to injuries in the Keys lineup on August 10, 2010, Bernardo made his first professional start at first base against the Pelicans while in Myrtle Beach.
Kyle Hudson – OF
A two-sport standout at the University of Illinois, Hudson was drafted by the Orioles in the fourth round of the 2008 draft. On the gridiron, he led the Illini in receptions his freshman and sophomore years and finished his career with 1,002 receiving yards and five touchdowns. On the diamond, Hudson had a very impressive career hitting .376 over his three seasons with the Illini, which is second-best in school history. His 66 career stolen bases are also second-best in school history. In his junior year, Hudson led Illinois with a .398 batting average. In addition, he was tops in the Big Ten with 25 stolen bases and 40 runs scored in league play. Hudson was named First Team All-Big Ten in 2008.
After finishing out 2009 in Frederick, Hudson spent the entire 2010 campaign with the Keys. Along with making incredible plays in the outfield, the Mattoon, IL was a menace on the base paths. Hudson led the Carolina League and the Orioles organization with 40 steals on the year.
Did You Know?
Hudson appeared in a Carolina League best 136 games in 2010. His 136 appearances last year also placed him third in Keys history for games played in a season behind Curtis Goodwin (138 games played in ’93) and Alex Ochoa (137 games played in ’93).
Jacob Pettit – P
Selected as the 1,258th overall pick in last year’s draft, Pettit had a strong start to his professional career while with the Bluefield Orioles in the Appalachian League. In his 57 innings pitched, the 42nd round pick struck out 50 and walked just four. Pettit had more success on the road in the Appy League than at home. In five road starts, he went 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA while he went 0-5 in six home starts with an ERA of 2.79. Pettit was promoted to Aberdeen on September 1st and allowed one run over five innings in his lone start with the IronBirds.
Pettit started the first two years of his college career at Green River (WA) Community College before finishing up at Western Oregon University. In his senior season with the Wolves, Pettit went 7-1 with an ERA of 1.80 en route to being named Great Northwest Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year.
Did You Know?
In 2010, Pettit’s 1.80 ERA with Western Oregon set a Great Northwest Athletic Conference single-season record for lowest ERA. In addition, Pettit set a GNAC record for fewest wild pitches per nine innings in a career (1 WP in 147.1 IP).
Tyler Kolodny – UTL
After spending the entire 2009 season in Delmarva, Kolodny started 2010 on a tear with the Shorebirds. In his first 11 games of the year, he hit .375 with six homers and 11 RBI and was named South Atlantic League Batter-of-the-Week for the opening week of the season (April 8-19). Kolodny only ended up playing a total of 51 games between Delmarva and Aberdeen in 2010 and the last game he played in 2010 came on June 30th.
Kolodny was drafted in the 16th round by the Orioles in the 2007 draft out of El Camino Real High School in Woodlands Hills, California. Kolodny’s high school has produced seven major leaguers including current Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf, Oakland Athletics first baseman Conor Jackson, and former Orioles pitcher Kurt Birkins. Birkins (2003-04, 2006) and Woody Cliffords (2003-04) both played for the Keys out of El Camino.
Did You Know?
Including designated hitter, Kolondy made starts at six different positions in 2010 (LF, RF, CF, 3B, 1B, DH).
Casey Lambert – P
Originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 6th round of the 2007 draft, Lambert finished his college career as one of the top pitchers in the University of Virginia’s history. In his four years with the Cavaliers, the Harrisonburg, VA native set school records for appearances with 110 and saves with 43. In his freshman year, Lambert helped guide Virginia to their first NCAA tournament berth since 1996. Over his four years in Charlottesville, the Cavaliers went to the NCAA tournament every year.
In Lambert’s first two years in the Cubs organization, he made 77 appearances out of the bullpen and had an ERA of 2.73 in 108.2 innings pitched. Lambert had 12 combined saves in 2008 with Daytona and Tennessee, which ranked him second in saves in the Cubs farm system. After starting 2009 as a starter, Lambert returned to the Smokies bullpen and was eventually promoted to Triple-A Iowa. He notched a win in his Triple-A debut on August 8, 2009 against Reno but his season was cut short when he had to receive Tommy John Surgery. Lambert returned to action in June of 2010 and finished out the year in the Florida State League with the Daytona Cubs.
Did You Know?
Along with Dale Mollenhauer, Lambert was selected by the Orioles in the Triple-A phase of the 2010 Rule 5 Draft.