Hot Keys Down Under
While big-league spring training is just getting under away and minor-league camp is right around the corner, three Orioles prospects just finished a championship-series run on the other side of the world.
Former Keys Allan de San Miguel and Brenden Webb and 2012 Delmarva Shorebird Michael Ohlman played in last weekend’s Australian Baseball League Championship Series as members of the Perth Heat. The Heat lost in the ABL’s world series two games to none, falling to the Canberra Calvary 6-4 on Friday and 7-6 on Saturday.
Ohlman, who will likely don a Keys uniform this season, had the best campaign down under of the three Baltimore farmhands who had hoped to lead Perth to its third-straight ABLCS crown. In 43 regular season games, Ohlman, 22, hit .317 with six home runs and 27 RBI. In the postseason, he hit .467.
Ohlman’s name was in the news for all the wrong reasons just under a year ago. He injured his shoulder in a car accident during spring training and soon after received a 50-game suspension for violating the minor league drug policy. But Ohlman rebounded nicely after those setbacks, hitting .304 in 51 games with Delmarva, doubling 16 times, homering twice and driving in 28 runs while serving as the Shorebirds catcher. He and San Miguel split time at first base and behind the plate with Perth.
Webb, A 6-3, left-handed outfielder with good speed, played in Frederick at the end of 2012. He hit .270 in 23 games with the Keys after hitting .251 in Delmarva before being called up. Webb also stole a career-high 19 bases in 2012 and had a personal-best on-base percentage over .400 despite striking out 138 times in 124 games.
Webb joined Perth in early January and hit .190 with five home runs in 18 games during the regular season. He struggled in the playoffs as well, hitting just .091. The 27th-best prospect in the Orioles’ system according to Baseball America, Webb will likely start 2013 with the Keys.
San Miguel, a native of Bentley, Australia, has played for the Heat in the last three ABL seasons and played 30 games for Frederick in 2012. The right-handed Aussie hit .294 during the ABL regular season, slugging five homers and driving in 30 runs, and hit .286 in the playoffs. Barring a setback, odds are San Miguel has already played his final game as a Key.
Steve Bumbry, a Key in ’11 and ’12, started the ABL season with Perth but left the team in early December.
In other news:
*Webb and Ohlman will report early to spring training for a minor league mini-camp on Monday (Feb. 18). Minor league pitchers and catchers don’t report until March 2 and position players don’t report until March 7. A full list of the 29 O’s farmhands heading to Sarasota for the mini-camp can be found here on Orioles beat writer Britt Ghiroli’s blog.
*The Keys annual job fair will be held Feb. 26-27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The team will be interviewing for its gameday positions at the event, which will be held in the Mattress Warehouse Club on the suite level in Harry Grove Stadium. The full release on the job fair is here on the Keys’ website.
*We’re 51 days away from opening night at the Grove. Single-game tickets will go on sale March 30 at KeysFest (click to see release). Ticket plans, however, are on sale right now. All the info regarding Keys ticket plans, which range from a 10-ticket flex-pack that can be used when and however the buyer chooses to a full-season package, is at this link on FrederickKeys.com.
Shake your Keys.