Part VI – 2011 Keys Season Preview

By Tim Murray

This is the sixth and final edition of the six-part series looking at the players who could possibly comprise the 2011 Frederick Keys. (Pictured Above – RHP Ryan O’Shea)

Manny Machado – SS

Entering the 2011 season, Machado is rated as the top prospect in the Orioles organization by Baseball America and is considered to be the best hitter for average and top defensive infielder in Baltimore’s farm system as well. As a senior at Brito Miami Private High School, Machado hit an incredible .639 with 12 home runs and 68 RBI in just 29 games. If he had not signed with Baltimore, Machado committed to play his college baseball at Florida International University.

Selected as the third overall pick in last year’s draft (behind Bryce Harper and Jameson Taillon), Machado inked the second largest signing bonus in franchise history. His $5.25 million bonus is only behind Matt Wieters’ $6 million bonus from 2007. The Hialeah, FL native made his pro debut on August 27, 2010 and played a total of nine games in his first professional season.

Did You Know?

Machado is the first shortstop Baltimore has selected in the first round since Rich Dauer was picked by the Orioles out of USC in the 1974 draft.

Scott Copeland – P

A native of White Oak, Texas, Copeland had an incredible start to his professional career. After signing with the Orioles, he made 12 starts with Aberdeen before making one start with Delmarva to close out the 2011 campaign. With the Ironbirds, the 21st round pick compiled a 2-5 record with an ERA of 2.91. In his last two starts in Aberdeen, Copeland allowed just one run over 12 innings of work while striking out 13. On September 1st, Copeland’s only start with Delmarva, he tossed six scoreless innings and picked up the victory in the Shorebirds 1-0 win over the Kannapolis Intimadators.

Copeland finished out his career at Southern Mississippi on quite a high note. In his senior campaign, he led the Golden Eagles to the C-USA tournament championship and a berth to the NCAA Tournament. In the process, he went 11-1 with a 3.75 ERA in 2010 and led the C-USA in victories. In addition, Copeland was named the C-USA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player as well as First-Team Conference USA and Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball Magazine Third-Team All-American.

Did You Know?

Prior to playing at Southern Mississippi, Copeland spent two years at Panola (TX) Community College. He had a combined 12-9 record in his two seasons with the Ponies and earned all-conference honors in his sophomore campaign.

Ryan O’Shea – P

The University of New Orleans product was drafted by the O’s in the 27th round of the 2008 draft. While at UNO, O’Shea was used mainly out of the bullpen and in three years he appeared in 84 games, which tied him with Justin Garcia for most appearances in school history. He flourished as a closer in his junior season, leading the Sun Belt Conference in saves (13).

After a strong 2009 season in which he led Delmarva in games started, O’Shea was the most reliable and consistent pitcher in the Keys rotation in 2010. The Mandeville, LA native tied Nathan Jones of Winston-Salem for the most games started (28) in the Carolina League and finished seventh in the CL in ERA (3.84). O’Shea ended the 2010 campaign as the Keys leader in strikeouts (105) and innings pitched (140.2) along with games started. He did struggle with his command at times last season. O’Shea walked 64 batters in his 28 starts, most in the Carolina League.

Did You Know?

O’Shea is the University of New Orleans’ all-time saves leader with 18.

Billy Rowell – 3B

Rowell was the Baltimore Orioles first pick in the 2006 draft (9th overall). He played his high school baseball at Bishop Eustance Prep in Pennsauken, New Jersey. Originally drafted as a third baseman, he moved to the outfield in 2009 before returning back to the infield for the 2010 season. Entering the 2011 campaign, Rowell is considered to have the best infield arm in the Orioles minor league system.

The 2010 season was Rowell’s third season in Frederick and most successful. He set new career-highs in almost every offensive category including home runs (11), RBI (61), doubles (25), and hits (120).

On July 11, 2010, Rowell capped off a magically night at Harry Grove Stadium when he blasted a walk-off home run down the rightfield line as the Keys defeated the Kinston Indians, 5-4, in 11 innings.

Did You Know?

Rowell is the Keys franchise record holder for games played (348) and at bats (1,234). He also currently sits in third place in Frederick history in hits (308) and doubles (69).

David Walters – P

After spending two years at Spartanburg Methodist (SC) College, Walters transferred to Francis Marion (SC) University, where he finished out his college career. In two seasons at FMU, he had a combined record of 16-7 and led the Patriots in games started both years. Walters was a First Team All-Peach Belt selection his senior season as he helped guide the Patriots to the Peach Belt Tournament Championship and their fourth Division II NCAA Tournament appearance in seven years.

Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2009, Walters was lights out in Aberdeen in 2010. Over his nine appearances, he allowed no runs and just three hits in his 10 innings of work with the IronBirds.

Did You Know?

Walters was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 47th round of the 2008 draft but opted to go back to Francis Marion for his senior year.

Jacob Rasner – P

Originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 7th round of the 2005 draft, Rasner spent two years in the Rangers organization before being traded to the Chicago White Sox on December 23, 2006. Along with Rasner, the Rangers sent pitchers John Danks and Nick Masset to Chicago in exchange for outfielder David Paisano and pitcher Brandon McCarthy.

Rasner spent four seasons in the White Sox farm system before the Orioles selected him in the Double-A phase of the 2010 Rule 5 draft. He spent parts of three seasons in the Carolina League with the Winston-Salem Dash. In all, Rasner made 11 appearances against the Keys compiling a 4.11 ERA in 35 innings pitched.

Did You Know?

Jacob Rasner’s twin brother, Jesse, pitched in the Orioles organization last season with Aberdeen, Delmarva, and the GCL Orioles. Jesse signed with the Traverse City Beach Bums in the Frontier League for the 2011 season.

Trent Mummey – OF

Rated as the #16 prospect in Orioles organization entering the 2010 season, Mummey had a strong final season at Auburn despite missing 28 games due to an injury. In 36 games with the Tigers in 2010, he hit .366 with 15 doubles, 17 home runs, and 54 RBI. Mummey was a First Team All-SEC selection and helped guide Auburn to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2005. Selected twice to the SEC All-Defensive team, Mummey committed just two errors in his collegiate career. 

Drafted by the Orioles in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, the Pinson, AL native began his professional career with Aberdeen on June 26. Promoted to Delmarva on August 22, Mummey finished his 62-game rookie campaign with 16 doubles, five triples, three homers, and 29 RBI.  His 16 doubles were tops of any Aberdeen player in 2010.

Did You Know?

In his 14th career game, Mummey had a night to remember. Facing the Auburn Doubledays on July 11, 2010, he went 3-for-4 with a double, triple, and finished the evening with a walk-off grand slam.

LJ Hoes – 2B

A native of Bowie, Maryland, Hoes was drafted by the Orioles in the third round of the 2008 draft out of St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C. He was a First Team All-Met selection by the Washington Post three years in a row (2006-08). Originally, Hoes signed to play his college ball at the University of North Carolina but opted to sign with the Orioles following his third round selection by his hometown team. He also played for the USA Junior National Team while in high school.

After spending his first professional season in the Gulf Coast League, Hoes was in Delmarva for the entire 2009 campaign. Over 119 games, the Bowie, MD native hit .260 with 19 doubles and 47 RBI. Last year, Hoes spent the majority of the season in Frederick. Despite missing over a month of the season due to mononucleosis, Hoes set new career highs in batting average (.290), home runs (4), RBI (50), and doubles (24). Hoes finished fifth in the Carolina League with a .375 on-base percentage.

Hoes is rated as the fourth-best prospect in the Orioles organization entering the 2011 season according to Baseball America. He was considered as the #21 prospect in the system prior to 2010.

Did You Know?

Hoes was called up to the Bowie Baysox to play in a three-game series in Akron, Ohio last year. From July 26-28, he went 2-for-9 with a RBI with the Baysox.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: