Guess Your Keys: Wednesday, March 12
Good Evening Keys Fans!!
Today has already been a terrific sports day. One of my favorite events, the ACC Tournament officially kicked off in Greensboro, N.C., while my rooting interest, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons successfully advanced out of the opening round (scoring an 81-69 victory over Notre Dame). Although I did not go to school there, I developed a passion for the Deacs after working three years on the team’s radio broadcast. As an added bonus, I can now gloat in the face of my broadcast partner Doug Raftery (who supports the Golden Domers) for at least the next 18 hours or so.
The other big event (at least in the minds of us minor league baseball junkies) was the start of minor league spring training games. I know it was a welcome respite for many of the players, who’ve been playing intrasquad games and participating in drills since the start of camp. We’ll pass along any updates we get, especially in regards to potential/former Keys.
While we are on the topic of spring training, one injury note out of big league camp. Former Key, Matt Wieters, will sit out the next few games due to a right ankle sprain, after rounding third base awkwardly during Tuesday’s Grapefruit League contest. Wieters says it’s nothing major, and ought to return in a few days.
So who can the Keys expect to be behind the plate this season? Well, we’ve got a couple of guesses:
2013 club: Delmarva
More on Sawyer:
Sawyer has spent each of the last two seasons at Delmarva. With the Shorebirds, he was predominantly a catcher, but also saw some time at first base. At the plate, Sawyer hit .238, but posted a career-high 18 doubles, and showed good plate discipline drawing a personal-best 42 walks. Behind the plate, he committed four errors in 80 games and threw out 28% of all would-be basestealers. Originally committed to play college baseball at UC-Riverside, Sawyer elected to go pro after being selected by Baltimore in the eighth round of the 2010 draft.
William “Steel” Russell
2013 club: Delmarva
More on Russell:
The son of former Pirates manager and current Orioles bench coach John Russell, Steel hit .236 over 42 games with Low-A Delmarva in 2013. While he excelled offensively at the onset (.306 batting average during his first month) infrequent use in the second-half caused him to hit just .136 over his final 23 games. Defensively, he made six errors and threw out 25% of runners who tried to steal off him. Russell’s draft day story is a memorable one. Taken by Baltimore in the 32nd round of the 2012 draft, Russell was in the visiting clubhouse at Fenway Park when he got the call he had been taken by the Orioles. There, he was congratulated by his dad, as well as O’s manager Buck Showalter. Not a bad way to celebrate.
We’ll unveil the name of one other possible backstop later on in our countdown.
Talk soon and shake your keys!!