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Keys celebrate 25 seasons tonight vs. Dash

Let us begin with this sweet video:

That’s a little preview of tonight, but before we get to tonight’s happenings, let’s talk about last night and this afternoon.

*The Keys picked up a series split yesterday with a 4-3 win at Carolina. Tim Berry delivered 6.2 innings and allowed no earned runs as Frederick won its second game in a row. Read about it here.

Miguel Chalas came relieved Berry and picked up his first Carolina League save. The final out of the game:

Eduardo Rodriguez starts for the Keys tonight after his team lost in a walk-off last night.

Eduardo Rodriguez was promoted to Double-A Bowie today.

*The Keys’ 20-year-old ace Eduardo Rodriguez was promoted to Double-A Bowie today, a move that was well deserved. Rodriguez, a southpaw, went 6-4 with a 2.85 ERA, the fourth-best ERA in the Carolina League. He’s also third in the league with 85.1 innings pitched. He represented the Keys in the California-Carolina League All-Star Game in San Jose and was named to the All-Star Futures Game earlier this week.

*All-time winningest Keys mamanger Orlando Gomez picked up his 1,000th career win with the Gulf Coast League Orioles yesterday. An article from MASN’s Steve Melewski on both Rodriguez and Gomez:

*Tonight the Keys play Winston-Salem at 7 p.m. and will celebrate their 25th season of baseball. Brady Wager starts for the Keys against Myles Jaye, a rematch of an April 9 South Atlantic League game. More in the game notes:

Tonight’s lineup:

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*As for our 25th season festivities, we’ll have an on-field presentation with a number of former Keys employees and players, we’re giving away 1,000 25th season card sets that feature Manny Machado, Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis and 22 others thanks to Keeney and Basford Funeral Home, the players will wear special 25th season hats that will be sigend and sold during a silent auction during the game to benefit Heartly House and we’ll be looking back at Frederick’s championship seasons.

The hats look like this: photoShake your Keys.

Rodriguez to Futures game, Keys go for split in Zebulon

Wednesday was a good day for the Keys — they snapped a 3-game losing streak and beat Carolina and just over a half an hour after their 6-2 win, starter Eduardo Rodriguez was selected to play in Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game.

More on the Keys’ victory a little later. First, let’s talk about Rodriguez.

Keys southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez was selected to the All-Star Futures game yesterday.

Keys southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez was selected to the All-Star Futures game yesterday.

*One of the Keys’ two Carolina League All-Stars, Rodriguez is 6-4 with a 2.85 ERA in 14 starts and was named Baltimore Orioles Minor League Pitcher of the Month for May, when he went 5-0 with a 2.23 ERA in six starts. He is tied for fourth in the Carolina League in ERA and is tied for second in innings pitched, having thrown 85.1. He threw a scoreless inning at the California-Carolina League All-Star Game, and more on his experience in San Jose can be viewed in this blog post from last week. He’ll join Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia as the two O’s prospects at the game. Rodriguez is the only player from Venezuela selected to this year’s game.

Some reaction for Eduardo on being named pitcher of the month and his selection to the Futures game:

And from others:

*Read more about Rodriguez and his upcoming trip to the Big Apple here. Both the U.S. and World rosters are here. And here’s a video of MLB.com analyst Jonathan Mayo breaking down the World roster, though Eddy didn’t get any extra love.

*As for yesterday’s win, fueled by Glynn Davis and Michael Ohlman, read about it on FrederickKeys.com here or in the Frederick News-Post here. The highlight of the game came on defense, when Johnny Ruettiger robbed Carolina of a possible two-run double in the bottom of the eighth, protecting the Keys’ one-run lead.

Keys starter Tim Berry is 5-4 with a 4.30 ERA. The Keys are 10-4 when he stars and he's 3-1 with a 3.24 ERA in June.

Tim Berry

*Tonight, the Keys go for a series split in Zebulon, N.C. Tim Berry, who’s 3-1 with a 3.24 ERA in June,  starts against Michael Peoples. First pitch is at 7:15 with coverage beginning at 6:45 on wthu.org. Listen here or on 1450 AM The Source. All you need to know regarding tonight’s game is below, in the game notes:

*The seemingly inevitable bad news about former Key and top prospect Dylan Bundy finally came yesterday — he needs Tommy John surgery. More on Bundy below:

*Now, to cheer you up, read this story from Tim Kurkjian about 2011 Key Manny Machado chasing the all-time doubles record, set all the way back in 1931.

*The Keys return home Friday at 7 p.m. to play Winston-Salem. Buy your tickets here and get your 25th season card set at Friday’s game.

*And I’ll end today’s post with a public service announcement. Watch out for bears in downtown Frederick.

Shake your Keys.

Breakfast and baseball, anyone?

Trent Howard starts this morning for the Keys, looking to stop their three-game losing streak.

Trent Howard starts this morning for the Keys, looking to stop their three-game losing streak.

The Keys’ recent slide continue last night, falling 5-0 to Carolina, their third loss in a row and 13th in their last 16 games. Frederick gets right back at it this morning, taking on the Mudcats in an 11 a.m. game. Coverage starts at 10:30 a.m. on 1450 AM The Source and whtu.org. Feel free to listen in while you work.

*Eduardo Rodriguez was great again for the Keys last night, tossing seven innings and allowing just three hits and one run. Unfortunately, his offense did not support him, picking up a total of three hits against four Mudcats pitchers. For more on last night, read the recap on FrederickKeys.com.

*Trent Howard will start today’s game for the Keys, taking the rotation spot of Zach Petersime. Howard has been lights out as a reliever (3-0, 0.69 ERA) and has started four games this season, going 0-0 with a 2.87 ERA. Opposing Howard and the Keys is Shawn Morimando, owner of the seventh-best ERA in the Carolina League. More on today’s starting southpaws in the game notes:

*Dylan Bundy news seems to be getting worse. From the people who get paid to report these things:

Shake your keys.

Keys turn to Rodriguez after walk-off loss

Eduardo Rodriguez starts for the Keys tonight after his team lost in a walk-off last night.

Eduardo Rodriguez starts for the Keys tonight after his team lost in a walk-off last night.

Zach Davies threw a seven-inning scoreless gem last night and was in line for his fifth win of the season when Nicky Delmonico hit a two-run homer in the eighth, breaking a scoreless tie in Zebulon, N.C.  But the Carolina Mudcats rallied against reliever Miguel Chalas to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth and won it 3-2 on a walk-off single in the ninth.

*Read the game recap on FrederickKeys.com here.

The good news for the Keys is that they’re stopper, Eduardo Rodriguez starts tonight. Frederick’s 20-year-old ace makes his first start since pitching a scoreless inning at the California-Carolina All-Star Game a week ago in San Jose. More on Rodriguez and tonight’s 7:15 p.m. game against the Mudcats is below. in today’s game notes:

*Not good news for former Key and top prospect Dylan Bundy, who experienced some discomfort while throwing from 120 feet, Bundy hasn’t pitched this season and was shut down this spring after experiencing tightness in his forearm. Read all about Bundy’s set back from the O’s writer of your choice:

*Here’s a story about Keys manager Ryan Minor, written by Shane Mettlen for The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City. An excerpt:

Ryan Minor looks a bit cramped in the Frederick Keys manager’s office, a tiny room in the corner of the clubhouse. Perhaps he’s too big for the Carolina League, but he’s comfortable here. He’s once again a rising star, moving up in the organization that in the 1990s drafted him twice as a player.

“I really am very fortunate to be a part of this organization,” he said.

*Here’s former Key Matt Wieters’ walk-off grand slam against Tampa Bay in April,  just because:

The Keys come back home Friday. Keep shaking those keys.

Keys are gone fishin’, Ohlman wins POTW

Ohlman (2)

Keys catcher Michael Ohlman was named Carolina League Player of the Week this morning. He and the Keys start a four-game series at Carolina tonight.

Before we get started, take a listen to this:

That was one of Michael Ohlman’s two triples Friday night, part of a weekend that saw him go 5-for-10 with four extra-base hits and earned him the Keys’ first Carolina League Player of the Week nod this season.

Ohlman has been the Keys’ most productive offensive player since returning from the disabled list on May 23, batting .340 with five home runs, four triples, five doubles and 12 RBIs. His average now sits at .300 for the year. Read more about Ohlman and his league honor here.

Ohlman’s been getting some twitter love today, as word of his POTW honor spread quickly through the Baltimore media.

*As for last night, the Keys lost 6-5 to Myrtle Beach and are just 11-18 in one-run games this year. Read Adam Vencill’s game story in the Frederick News-Post here. It was an ugly game and here’s a little of what Ryan Minor said in today’s paper.

“A poor game all around. We can’t have nine walks. We can’t have runners not score with less than two outs two or three times,” Minor said. “It’s a tough loss, but we’ll bounce back tomorrow and go back at it.”

Zach Davies starts tonight for the Keys against Carolina.

Zach Davies starts tonight for the Keys against Carolina.

*Tonight the Keys head to Carolina to open a four-game set with the 22-51 Mudcats. Zach Davies starts for Frederick against all-star Cody Anderson, who has the second lowest ERA in the league at 2.63. Davies won his only start against the Mudcats this season, despite allowing five runs. More on tonight’s 7:15 p.m. game is below, in the game notes. You can listen to the Keys on 1450 AM The Source in Frederick or online at wthu.org. The broadcast is also available on smartphones through the  TuneIn Radio app.

*Offense hasn’t been an issue for the Keys lately as they’re averaging nearly eight runs per game over their last six. Keys play-by-play man Adam Pohl sat down with Keys hitting coach Torre Tyson before last series:

*The Keys are back in town Friday and stay home through July 3rd. Get your tickets online.

*Saturday is Disney Night presented by Cruise Holidays of Frederick, who will be giving away a Disney trip at Saturday’s game. We’re placing beach balls around Frederick this week that can be redeemed at Cruise Holidays for a free ticket to Saturday’s game and an entry in the giveaway. Keep your ear to the ground and your eyes on our Facebook page for clues.

*We’ll have fireworks all weekend and on July 3rd, which will also feature a beer tasting special called “Taste of History Night.” Brewer’s Alley will be unveiling their newest Civil War era beer, Gettysburg Wheat, along with five other tasty brews. More info on the beer special is in flyer below. Call 301-815-9000 for more info or to purchase.

 

Until next time, Shake your Keys.

Scout Night at The Grove feat. Berry and the Keys

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Tim Berry looks to right the Keys’ course tonight against the Pelicans at 6 p.m.

Myrtle Beach continued its dominance of the Keys last night, winning its ninth game in the 12 that the two teams have played this season. The Pelicans won 7-3 last night to open the second half, but in baseball there’s almost always tomorrow, and that’s the case today.

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Ryan Minor’s lineup for tonight’s game

The Keys host the Pelicans at 6 p.m. for the annual Scout Night at The Grove. Hopefully the 1,000 or so campers spending the night at the stadium will be happy after tonight’s contest. More on tonight’s game in a bit. First, let’s look back at last night, Fredrick’s 10th loss in its last 12 games.

*Read Bill Cauley’s game story from last night’s loss here on the Frederick News-Post’s website. He spoke with Keys manager Ryan Minor post-game. Here’s a bit of their conversation:

“They just seem to have our number, we can’t quite figure them out,” Keys’ manager Ryan Minor said. “You want to get off to a good start in the second half, this is not the way to do it.”

*Tim Berry starts for the Keys tonight, a winner in his only start against Myrtle Beach this season, against fellow left-hander Victor Payano, owner of the third lowest batting average against in the Carolina League. All your info for today’s game is in the game notes:

*A few Keys have been slumping lately, including the team leader in home runs, Nicky Delmonico, who went 0-2 with the bases loaded last night. He’s got just six hits in his last 38 at-bats, but attempted to remedy his slump with what he calls “vacuum therapy.”

Read more about vacuum therapy, a technique Michael Ohlman has also picked up, in this FNP story by Adam Vencill.

*Tickets are still available for tonight’s game. Buy them here.

Shake your Keys.

O’s draft review, part three

The Carolina League all-star break ends tomorrow and for Keys players, their break ended this afternoon. The team is back at Harry Grove Stadium for a late afternoon workout as they prepare for the start of the second half of the season.

The Keys’ second half begins tomorrow at 7 p.m. against Myrtle Beach at Harry Grove Stadium. But before we get back to focusing on this year’s team, let’s continue to look at likely future Keys with part three (picks 21-30) of our Orioles draft review. (Click for parts one and two.)

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*Orioles draft review, part three

  • Nicky Cunningham, RHP (Rd. 20, 609th Overall)- This 6-foot-2 righty from Arizona has a fastball that is consistent in the high 80s. He compliments it with a very nice slider has well and a decent change-up.  His freshman year he posted a 4.29 ERA in 35 appearances but only made 29 appearances in the following three seasons. He had a 5.72 ERA in 28 innings his senior year.
  • Levi Scott, 1B (Rd. 21, 639th Overall)- This past season at Howard College, Scott posted a .359 average, hit four homers, drove in 27 runs and scored 27 runs as well. The 6-foot-3 first baseman also did some pitching in high school and college, but his stuff is not good enough for the majors so the Orioles are looking to mold him into an infielder.
  • Jon Keller, RHP (Rd. 22, 669th Overall)- Keller helped the Tampa Spartans reach the D-II College World Series his junior season. That year he went 4-3 with a 4.19 ERA.  He did not give up a home run in 54 innings.  His 6-foot-5 stature allows him to create heat off of the mound pitching consistently between 90-94 MPH.  His secondary stuff needs work. He was ranked 295th in Baseball America’s Top 500.
  • Stefan Crichton, RHP (Rd. 23, 699th Overall)- In 2012, Crichton pitched 95 innings for Texas Christian and finished 9-2, struck out 53 and only gave up 36 earned runs. In his three years at TCU, he finished 19-8 with a 3.73 ERA. His fastball sits in the high eighties topping out at 89 MPH.
  • Jared Breen, SS (Rd. 24, 729th Overall)- He started in 63 of 64 games at Belmont his sophomore year. Breen hit .280 with 35 runs scored and 32 RBIs.  In 63 games he had 15 multi-hit games and nine multi RB games.  He the perfect leadoff guy and always finding a way to get on base.
  • Danny Ayers, LHP (Rd. 25, 759th Overall)- Ranked 177th in Baseball America’s Top 500, Ayers has a fast ball that consistently hits 94 MPH and it is paired with an excellent curveball that is in the upper 70s. His fastball has slowed down a little since the scouts first saw him play because he is working on his control and feel for the mound. He is committed to Western Michigan.
  • Layne Bruner, LHP (Rd. 26, 789th Overall)- His fast sits in the mid-80s but scouts are hoping his 6-foot-2, 170 pound build allows some run for growing and strength as he gets older and improves.  This Washington State commit like his composure on the mound and his above average curveball.
  • Donnie Hart, LHP (Rd. 27, 819th Overall)- In 2012, he appeared in 14 games, all out of the bullpen. He had scoreless outings in his first five appearances and eight of his first nine. He finished the year allowing batters to hit only .138 against him. His fastball sits around 86 MPH and throws a very good slider.
  • Robert Tyler, RHP (Rd. 28, 849th Overall)- He consistently throws between 90-93 MPH topping out at 95 MPH from time to time.  His curveball is not the best but he is still a raw player and needs a lot of improvement. Standing at 6-foot-5, he weighs in just under 200 pounds so there is room for improvement. The Georgia commit  has been one called one of the best pitchers in Georgia this past season leading his high school to their deepest playoff run in fifty years.
  • Conor Bierfeldt, OF (Rd. 29, 879th Overall)- Senior Co Captain Conor Biereldt was named 3rd Team All American while playing at Western Connecticut State University.  He batted .396 that season with 16 doubles, 9 home runs and 54 RBIs.

*In other Orioles draft news, the Birds have come to agreements with some of their top picks. First rounder Josh Hart has been signed, according to reports, including MASN’s Steve Melewski.

Our report on Hart, from part one of the draft review:

  • Josh Hart, OF (Rd. 1, 36th Overall)- Ranked 57th according to Baseball America’s Top 500, Hart is known for his ability to find the gaps in the field.  Not much of a power hitter, many scouts do not agree with his lack of lower body in his swing but nonetheless, he could be an excellent leadoff hitter.  The Georgia Tech signee’s speed not only helps on the bases but also defensively in the outfield as well.

The Orioles announced the signing of second-round pick Chance Sisco today. From part one of the draft review:

  • Chance Sisco, C (Rd. 2, 61st Overall)- This former shortstop is new to catching but seems like it could be the right fit for him.  Sisco has shown a sub-2.0-second pop time though his accuracy was not the best. He was ranked 151st according to Baseball America’s Top 500. His sheer athleticism is shown in his soft hands behind the plate and ability to play in the field as well. This left-handed hitter has power but has a slight tendency to drift at the plate.

And Jim Callis, executive editor of Baseball America, on Sisco, in 140 characters or less:

For more on the O’s second-round selection, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun spoke with Sisco about his signing.

The O’s first pick, Hunter Harvey is close to a deal as well, according to Melewski.

*Sgt. Slaughter will be at The Grove tomorrow for Fredneck night. Get your tickets here. A taste of tomorrow night’s festivities:

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Shake your Keys.

Eduardo Rodriguez’s experience at the California-Carolina League All-Star Game

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Courtesy of @eduardorod5

If there was any doubt about which league was superior this season, that was settled last night.

The Carolina League All-Stars pounded the California League All-Stars 12-2 in San Jose, Keys all-star Eduardo Rodriguez pitching a scoreless second inning, walking one and striking out one. Keys catcher Zane Chavez was in uniform representing Frederick, but couldn’t play due to an oblique strain.

A look at Rodriguez’s all-star experience, from his own twitter account:

*The game story from last night’s Carolina League beatdown.

*And an MiLB photo gallery from the festivities in San Jose.

*The Keys are back in town this weekend, opening up a three-game series with Myrtle Beach at 7 p.m. on Friday. Wrestling legend Sgt. Slaughter will be leading our annual Fredneck Games and there’s a good chance this will happen to one lucky/unlucky person at The Grove:

Get your tickets here and Shake your Keys.

All-Star Break Blog: Rodriguez and Chavez and more O’s draft review

Tonight in San Jose, Keys Zane Chavez and Eduardo Rodriguez will don the Carolina League All-Stars uniform as they take on the California League All-Stars. The oldest and youngest members of the Keys have both posted impressive first halves and were voted to the game by Carolina managers, front offices and members of the media.

The game starts at 10:35 Eastern Time. All your ASG info is here and if you have the MiLB.tv package, you can watch the game here.

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*A closer look at the Eduardo Rodriguez:

  • Tied for second in the Carolina League in wins (6), is third in innings pitched (78.1) and seventh in ERA (2.99). Has induced 10 groundball double plays this season.
  • Rated by Baseball America as the fifth-best prospect in Orioles organization and third-best pitching prospect behind 2012 Keys Dylan Bundy & Kevin Gausman.
  • Potentially could be the first Venezuelan player signed, developed and promoted to the majors by Baltimore. At age 20, Rodriguez is the youngest member of the Keys.
  • Has pitched at least six innings in 10 of his 13 starts.
  • Went 5-0 with a 2.23 ERA in May, holding batters to a .208 batting average. He was named Orioles Minor League Pitcher of the Month.
  • He carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning on May 1 against Myrtle Beach, a game he won after allowing just three hits. Ashley Marshall talked to him after the game. An excerpt:

“This was the best outing of my career,” Rodriguez said. “I felt good today, awesome. I was throwing inside with my fastball and then on the outside corner, and I was working ahead.”

  • Watch Rodriguez fan Myrtle Beach’s Rougned Odor here.

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*A closer look at Zane Chavez:

  • In his first season of affiliated baseball, Chavez, 26, leads all Carolina League catchers in homers (4), RBIs (27), and is second in batting average (.268).
  • He took over as the everyday catcher for the Keys in mid-April, when Michael Ohlman went to the disabled list. In May, he hit .305 in 24 games, driving in 18 runs, walking 20 times and posting an OPS of .889.
  • A slow start to June (1-for-21) got worse when he strained his oblique last week and was placed on the DL. As a result, Chavez won’t play in the all-star game tonight, but he will be in the dugout in uniform.
  • That one hit was a big one, though, a walk-off homer on June 4 to beat Lynchburg in the 10th inning.

On Feb. 1, Chavez finally received what, it seemed, he had been working his entire life for. The Orioles purchased his contract and invited him to spring training in Sarasota, Fla. At last, he was going to get the chance to play for an affiliated team.

“If I was younger, I would have been bouncing off the walls. I got my shot!,” he said. “But I have been playing ball for so long and I’m a little bit older now. So, getting the call was really just the next step in my career.”

The first person Chavez called to share the news was his mother.

“She was ecstatic,” he said. “She took it way better than me. She was at work. I was like, ‘Mom, your

son is an Oriole now.’ She cried. She expressed more emotion than I did.”

  • Listen to a May 18 interview with Chavez below:
  • Watch Chavez go deep in Winston-Salem here and with a mustache here.

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*Orioles draft overview, part two

The O’s picked 41 players in this year’s first-year player draft, 14 high schoolers and 27 college players, a lot of whom will don the Keys jersey in the next several seasons. Jeff Kurkjian looks at Baltimore’s second 10 picks:

  • Austin Wynns, C (Rd. 10, 309th Overall)- He has been known as a blocking machine behind the plate and keeps the runners in check with his arm.  He is a below average hitter but solidly built at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds.
  • Steven Brault, LHP (Rd. 11, 339th Overall)- Ranked 419th in Baseball America’s Top 500, Brault went 8-3, 2.63 with 103 strikeouts and 18 walks in just 79 innings while playing at Division II, Regis in Colorado.  His fastball sits around 88-90 MPH topping around 92. He also has a nice slider but needs to work on his change-up. Little known fact, Brault is also a vocal performance major so he can not only start a professional baseball game but he can sing the National Anthem before it.
  • Jake Bray, RHP (Rd. 12, 369th Overall)- At Feather River JC, Bray was the first baseman and closer for the team but the scouts see him more as a pitcher. His fastball sits around 92-94 MPH, topping out around 96 MPH. He also has a good change-up and a decent slider. He has always been a bullpen boy but the Orioles system will most likely get him a starting position and see how he does. Bray was ranked 288th in Baseball America’s Top 500.
  • Jimmy Yacabonis, RHP (Rd. 13, 399th Overall)- A junior from St. Joseph’s University, this 6-foot-3 relief pitcher originally from New Jersey broke the school record for saves with ten in one season.  He posted a 1-2 record with a 2.02 ERA in 35.2 innings and 26 appearances.
  • Mike Yastrzemski, OF (Rd. 14, 429th Overall)- Ranked 251st in Baseball America’s Top 500, the grandson of Hall of Famer, Carl Yastrzemski, Mike batted .402 in his senior year at Vanderbilt.  Yastrzemski  is one of the SEC’s top base runners and a very skilled an outfielder.
  • Tyler Walsh, SS (Rd. 15, 459th Overall)- The shortstop from Mater Dei HS in Evansville, Indiana is the first middle infielder the Orioles selected. He has committed to Belmont University in Nashville in November. The 6-foot-5 infielder had played all positions on the diamond and is very versatile.
  • Randolph Gassaway, 1B (Rd.16, 489th Overall)- The 6-foot-four first baseman just graduated from Riverwood High School in Atlanta, Georgia. He was chosen for the Rawlings All Americans and All Regions 2013 Southeast All Region 1st Team. He is a born power hitter and compliments it with his 6.65 time in the sixty.
  • Caleb Kellogg, RHP (Rd. 17, 519th Overall)- This Kentucky native standing at six-feet tall, both pitched and played in the outfield in high school. He then attended University of Louisiana in Lafayette and served as the team’s closers for two years. Opposing batters hit only .202 against him his sophomore year. He pitched 35.2 innings, struck out 41 batters and posted a 2.52 ERA.
  • Reed Reilly, RHP (Rd. 18, 549th Overall)- Ranked 191st in Baseball America’s Top 500, scouts have reported Reilly throwing as high as 95 MPH however he usually throws around 89-93 MPH. His secondary stuff is not that great according to scouts but his size and durability should allow him to learn and improve.
  • Dylan Rheault, RHP (Rd. 19, 579th Overall)- The Central Michigan sophomore broke out after his redshirt freshman year finishing with a 2-2 record with 44 strikeouts.  The 6-foot-9, 245-pound right-hander appeared in 15 games in 2013, starting in four, and was 1-4 with a 6.07 ERA in 40 innings of work.

*When the Keys start the second half of the season Friday night at The Grove against Myrtle Beach, Sgt. Slaughter will be here for our annual Fredneck Night. Get your tickets and get excited. Saturday is Scout Night and Sunday is pajama night.

But back to Sgt. Slaughter (I recommend turning the sound down):

*Shake your Keys.

All-Star Break blog: An overview of Baltimore’s 2013 draft, part one

Happy Carolina League All-Star break, everyone. The Keys start the second half of their season Friday night at home against Myrtle Beach. Over the next four days we’ll get into several different things on the blog — MLB draft overlook, Keys first-half wrap up, best moments of the first-half, maybe some first-half awards — including our intern Jeff Kurkjian’s overview of the Orioles draft picks. (And, yes, he is the son of that baseball-famous Kurkjian.)

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*Orioles draft overview, part one

The O’s picked 41 players in this year’s first-year player draft, 14 high schoolers and 27 college players, a lot of whom will don the Keys jersey in the next several seasons. A look at Baltimore’s first 10 picks:

  • Hunter Harvey, RHP (Rd. 1, 22nd Overall)- The first pick chosen by the Orioles was ranked 33rd according to Baseball America’s Top 500 draft prospects.  The son of former major league closer, Bryan Harvey, this six-foot-three pitcher from Catawba, NC, has a quick fastball (90-94 mph) but a breaking ball that needs improving.
  • Josh Hart, OF (Rd. 1, 36th Overall)- Ranked 57th according to Baseball America’s Top 500, Hart is known for his ability to find the gaps in the field.  Not much of a power hitter, many scouts do not agree with his lack of lower body in his swing but nonetheless, he could be an excellent leadoff hitter.  The Georgia Tech signee’s speed not only helps on the bases but also defensively in the outfield as well.
  • Chance Sisco, C (Rd. 2, 61st Overall)- This former shortstop is new to catching but seems like it could be the right fit for him.  Sisco has shown a sub-2.0-second pop time though his accuracy was not the best. He was ranked 151st according to Baseball America’s Top 500. His sheer athleticism is shown in his soft hands behind the plate and ability to play in the field as well. This left-handed hitter has power but has a slight tendency to drift at the plate.
  • Stephen Tapley, LHP (Rd. 3, 98th Overall)- Ranked 123rd in Baseball America’s Top 500, Tarpley was drafted in the eighth round by the Cleveland Indians last year but decided to attend Southern Carolina instead.  This lefty has a fastball that tops at 92 mph (usually 88-90 mph) and also throws a curveball, slider and changeup.
  • Jonah Heim, C (Rd. 4, 129th Overall)- Ranked 170th in Baseball America’s Top 500, this six-foot-five catcher Amherst Central High School in New York is a switch hitting power hitter.  He has to work on the quickness of his feet and his approach from the right side of the plate.  He is currently committed to Michigan State.
  • Travis Seabrooke, LHP (Rd. 5, 159th Overall)- This six-foot-five lefty is one of the youngest players in the draft this year; he will be eighteen in September.  His fastball is in the high eighties but needs to work on his secondary pitches. He is committed to Boston College.
  • Alex Murphy, C (Rd. 6, 189th Overall)- Murphy graduated from Calvert Hall College High School in Towson, Maryland this year and is committed to Wake Forest. He was born in Monrovia, MD and has grown up a Baltimore Orioles fan. Murphy was drafted as a catcher, but it does not seem like he will stay there for long. He is an experienced third baseman and his speed allows to play anywhere in the outfield as well.
  • Drew Dosch, 3B (Rd. 7, 219th Overall)- Ranked 131st in Baseball America’s Top 500, Dosch played for Youngstown State but shined in the Cape Cod League batting .326 with 21 extra-base hits in 44 games.  He does not seem fit to be able to play third base in majors because he is unable throw from multiple angles. If he moves to LF or 1B, he will need to produce more power from those positions.
  • Trey Mancini, 1B (Rd. 8, 249th Overall)- He simply has raw power in the batter’s box. Mancini, a left-handed first baseman but right-handed batter, has improved his strike zone discipline at Notre Dame but still has below-average speed.  The Orioles are really investing in his bat but and his size, standing set six-foot-five inches and weighing in at 205 pounds. He was ranked 230th in Baseball America’s Top 500.
  • Mitch Horacek, LHP (Rd. 9, 279th Overall)- Unranked in Baseball America’s Top 500, this Dartmouth starter went 6-2, 2.20 with 42 strikeouts and only ten walks in 45 innings. He has a fastball in the low 90’s topping out at 92 with pretty good secondary pitches and has a lot of durability on the mound.

*Believe it or not, we’re halfway through the Carolina League season. The Keys wrapped up their first half with an 9-8 loss to Potomac Sunday afternoon in front a big Father’s day crowd of 7,618 The Grove.

Read what happened here and listen to our highlight of the game below:

Jerome Pena gets his sixth straight hit dating back to Saturday, a 2-run homer

The weekend didn’t treat the Keys particularly well, losing three of four, but it was a great weekend for attendance. The Grove hosted 25,165 folks Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the biggest weekend for the Keys in nine years. Saturday’s crowd of 9,294 was the biggest of the year. The view from center field:

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*It was certainly a crazy weekend at the stadium. You could say things have calmed down today. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look of The Grove on day one of the break in six seconds:

*2008 Key Jake Arrieta’s getting another look with the O’s tonight, starting their game against the Tigers. Here’s a look at Arrieta from the Baltimore Sun.

*When the Keys start the second half of the season Friday night at The Grove against Myrtle Beach, Sgt. Slaughter will be here for our annual Fredneck Night. Get your tickets and get excited.

How does a Slaughter Cannon sound to you?!?!:

Shake your Keys.

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