Guess Your Keys: Thursday, March 20

Happy Thursday Keys Fans!

And happy bracketing. Mine has already taken a turn for the worse after Ohio State’s last second loss to Dayton. When the Flyers scored with three seconds left, I scared the daylights out of our office manager who feared I had suffered a heart attack. Searching for my dignity, I informed her it was just the  March Madness monster.

My guess is there will be  more of these moments over the next day or so, with the bulk of the office participating in a pool (and props to group sales manager Matt Miller for putting it together).

On the diamond, the madness has already started. It’s that time when big league rosters start to take shape, rotations get locked in, and guys on the bubble search for their…..

Thanks Luther Vandross.

Although it’s not as visible, the same thing is true in the minor leagues, as players anxiously await their opening day assignments.

And for that matter, all of us at the Keys want to know too! Well, today’s picks feature a couple of familiar faces in the outfield, a Texan who was tough to hit last year, and a first baseman who might have a little luck of the Irish in him.

Brenden Webb 

courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

Vitals

Position: OF

Age: 24

Height: 6-1

Weight: 185

More on Webb:

2013 was a challenging season for Webb, who hit .201 over 84 games. His main bugaboo was strikeouts. Over 293 at-bats, he went down on strikes 107 times. Webb also went into the offseason with a sour taste in his mouth, as he missed all of August due to a back injury.

Fortunately, there have been some encouraging signs this spring. On Wednesday, he hit a pair of home runs in an Advanced-A Spring Training game to lead Frederick to a 3-0 win.

Defensively, Webb has great athleticism and a strong arm, which allows him to play any outfield position (though he was primarily in right last year). He was selected by Baltimore after one season at Palomar Junior College in 2009.

Glynn Davis 

courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

Vitals

Position: OF

Age: 22

Height: 6-3

Weight: 170

More on Davis:

When Davis and Webb were roaming the outfield (with Davis in center and Webb in right) not many balls would hit the ground. However like his corner outfield mate, Davis was also bit by the injury bug last season. Out for a month with a hamstring injury, the bum wheel impacted the outfielder’s stolen base numbers. In 97 games, he swiped just 19 bags, a far cry from a career-best 37 the year prior. At the plate, it was also a trying year for Davis, who hit .234 and grounded into 13 twin-killings. With a winter to rest, he’ll look to get things back on track this year.

Zach Fowler

Courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

Courtesy: Tim Jacobsen

Vitals

Position: LHP

Age: 22

Height: 6-4

Weight: 205

More on Fowler:

Fowler flew beneath the radar, but quietly put together an excellent season. Over 37 appearances out of the bullpen, the Texarkana, TX native registered a 2.57 ERA while leading all relievers with 73.2 innings pitched. One of the few Keys from last season with experience at the Triple-A level, Fowler made a cameo with the Norfolk Tides in 2012. He was drafted by Baltimore out of Texas Tech in 2011.

Trey Mancini 

courtesy: Orioles-Nation.com

courtesy: Orioles-Nation.com

Vitals

Position: OF

Age: 22

Height: 6-4

Weight: 215

More on Mancini:

The future looks bright for Mancini, after an impressive display at Short-Season Aberdeen in 2013. Named the New York Penn’s League’s Topps/Minor League Player of the Year, the 22-year-old set franchise records in batting average (.328) and hits (84). He also finished fourth in the league in runs scored (43) and on-base percentage (.382).

Rated the No. 25 prospect in the Baltimore system according to Baseball America, Mancini’s season began at the University of Notre Dame. With the Golden Domers, he hit .389 and led the Big East in hitting. Only three hits more, and he would have batted .400.

That’s all for tonight. It’s hard to believe, but we’re almost halfway done with our countdown! Stay tuned tommorrow when we discuss a player with excellent baseball bloodlines and another who was cut from his high school baseball team EVERY YEAR, before turning heads in college. You won’t want to miss his incredible story.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

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