Guess Your Keys: Monday, March 10

Hello Keys Fans!

Hope you’ve made it through Monday in one piece, and that you managed to catch some of the Orioles game against the Pirates. After four decisive wins where the O’s mounted 44 combined runs, today’s contest was a bit of a white-knuckler.

Up by a run in the bottom of the ninth, Chase d’Arnaud singled for the Buccos to put the tying run on base. However, former Key “Steady Eddie” Gamboa picked off d’Arnaud at first, struck out Robert Andino and got Junior Sosa to fly out to help Baltimore hang on for a 7-6 triumph.

courtesy: Baltimore Sun

courtesy: Baltimore Sun

An outing like that is a huge confidence-boost for someone like Gamboa. A career minor leaguer, the 29-year-old wants to make a good impression in front of Buck Showalter and pitching coach Dave Wallace. But it also serves as validation. Last season, Gamboa made the decision to experiment with  baseball’s most temperamental pitch: the knuckleball. Now fully committed to it, he is closer to the major leagues than ever. No question he’s a guy that you root for.

Speaking of guys to root for, you’re all probably wondering what Keys will I be cheering on in 2014? Well, today marks the return of Maryland’s favorite parlor game. After more than a week-long hiatus, we’re happy to bring you episode 2 of…. GUESS…. YOUR…. KEYS!!!!! (insert thunderous applause and tacky “Price is Right” type music in the background).

For those of you new to the game, here’s how it works. Over the next three weeks, we’ll be handicapping the Keys roster, picking out 40 players who are most likely to be wearing a Frederick uniform this year. Then when the club is announced, we’ll see how we did.

I’ll also repeat my earlier disclaimer: no wiretaps have been ordered, no bugs installed, and no hostages have been taken from Orioles management. Instead, the highly trained baseball minds at the Unlocking the Keys blog are spearheading the effort.

I also want to clarify that this list is NOT ORDERED. While Jesse Beal and Hunter Harvey were the first two names thrown out, those two individuals are not seen as “most likely” or “least likely” to spend time with the Keys. It’s simply where we started.

So keeping that in mind, it’s time to roll out two more names:

Matt Taylor

courtesy: milb.com

courtesy: milb.com

Vitals

Position: LHP

Age: 22

Height: 6-2

Weight: 185

2013 club: Delmarva

More on Taylor:

Despite finishing with 13 losses (fourth-most in the SAL), Taylor put together a solid season in the Shorebirds starting rotation. He finished with the league’s 12th best ERA (3.77) and finished fourth in innings pitched (138.1). Brutal against left-handed hitters, he held opponents from the left-side to a .193 batting average. Armed with a two-seam fastball between 90-94 mph and a sharp slider, the lefty was selected by Baltimore in the fifth round of the 2011 draft out of Middle Georgia College. Transferring from the University of Alabama, Taylor went 7-5 with a 3.21 ERA and struck out 128 while walking only 29.

Greg Lorenzo

courtesy: monoblogue.us

courtesy: monoblogue.us

Vitals

Position: OF

Age: 22

Height: 5-10

Weight: 159

2013 club: Delmarva

More on Lorenzo:

Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2009, Lorenzo played his first full-season of pro ball in 2013. With Low-A Delmarva, he hit .241 with 2 HR 41 RBI to go along with 18 doubles. When he got on base, Lorenzo used his speed to create chaos. In 140 games, he stole a career-best 40 bags. It was the most by a member of the Shorebirds since 1999. Rated the #29 prospect in the O’s system by Baseball America in 2013, Lorenzo’s main bugaboo was strikeouts last season. In 489 at-bats he went down 152 times via the K. Those numbers plus his on-base percentage (.281) need to improve as he climbs the ladder.

That’s all for tonight folks. But make sure and stay tuned for episode 3!

shake your keys!

Geoff

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