Results tagged ‘ Frederick Keys ’

Keys release break camp roster

The Keys have their initial roster for the 2013 season. Players and coaches will be arriving today, with media day tomorrow and a few days of practice before Friday’s night’s 7 p.m. home opener against Salem.

The roster release and the roster is below:

Frederick Keys News Release

For Immediate Release: April 1, 2013

KEYS RELEASE INITIAL ROSTER FOR 2013 SEASON

Frederick’s break camp roster includes several highly-rated prospects, 16 Keys from 2012

FREDERICK, Md. –  The Frederick Keys have released their initial roster for the 2013 season, which includes 16 returning players from the 2012 team that nearly made the postseason with a late-season surge. Led by new manager Ryan Minor, The Keys’ break camp roster also features two of Baltimore’s top-five prospects and eight of the Orioles’ top-30, as rated by Baseball America.

Nick Delmonico and Eduardo Rodriguez, rated fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Orioles’ system, highlight a roster laden with young, talented players. The Keys open their 25th season Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m. at Harry Grove Stadium against the Salem Red Sox.

A left-handed pitcher from Venezuela, Rodriguez, who will turn 20 on April 7, started 22 games for class-A Delmarva last season, going 5-7 with a 3.70 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 107 innings pitched. Delmonico, 20, also spent 2012 with the Shorebirds, hitting .249 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs in 95 games as a first and second baseman.

Returning Keys Devin Jones, Tyler Wilson and Tim Berry join Rodriguez, Zach Davies and Zach Petersime in Frederick’s starting rotation. Baltimore’s No. 18 prospect Jones, a 22-year-old right-hander, proved dominant in the Carolina League after joining the Keys last July, going 7-1 with a 2.80 ERA in nine starts and throwing two complete games. He’ll be the Keys’ opening-night starter.

The Orioles’ 26th-ranked prospect, Wilson, 23, struck out 114 batters and walked just 19 in 111 innings with the Keys last season, recording a 7-7 record and a 3.49 ERA, and Berry, a 22-year-old southpaw rated as the 11th-best O’s prospect, went 5-5 with a 4.32 ERA for Frederick. Davies, rated as Baltimore’s 20th-best prospect, started his professional career as a 19-year-old with the Shorebirds, going 5-7 with a 3.86 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 114.1 innings, and Petersime, 24, was promoted from Delmarva to triple-A Norfolk for three starts in August after posting a 2.78 ERA in the Shorebirds’ bullpen. Davies and Petersime are both right-handed.

All five outfielders on the Keys’ roster are returning players from last season. Orioles’ No. 14 prospect and Baltimore native Glynn Davis (22 games, .256 batting average, 8 stolen bases with 2012 Keys), No. 27 prospect Brenden Webb (23 games, .270, three homers, 13 RBIs) and John Ruettiger (64 games, .274, 16 SB, .373 on-base percentage) were all important pieces in August and September, when Frederick posted a 19-14 record. Mike Planeta started the season with the Keys but was sent to Delmarva in May where he would hit .272. Injuries limited Trent Mummey in 2012, but he hit four home runs, drove in 22 RBIs and stole fifteen bases in 72 games with the Keys last season.

In the bullpen, lefties Zach Fowler and Trent Howard – all Keys in 2012 – join right-handers Eric Beaulac, Gene Escat, Marcel Prado, Jesse Beal and Matt Bischoff, who posted a 2.89 ERA in 16 games as a 2012 Key. Howard (4-10, with a 4.83 ERA with the Keys in 2012) moves from the rotation to the bullpen this season while Beal (4.70 ERA, 6.8 strikeouts per-nine-innings in 2012) and Escat (3.58 ERA) are slated to make their advanced class-A ball debuts.

Prado, a 25-year-old righty, is one of two independent league players, both of whom played for the El Paso Diablos, to make Frederick’s break camp roster. Prado, a former Dodgers farmhand, saved 15 games for the Diablos, throwing to catcher Zane Chavez, who joins him in Frederick this season. A four-year independent player, Chavez, 26, hit .339 with four homers and 51 RBIs between El Paso and Grand Prairie.

Michael Ohlman, 22, hit .304 in 51 games as a catcher and first baseman with Delmarva in 2012 and Allan de San Miguel, 25, spent the final month of the year with Keys and hit .260 while guiding Frederick’s pitching staff to their most successful stretch of the season.

Joining Delmonico in the infield are 2012 Keys Travis Adair, Jerome Pena and Sammie Starr and former Shorebirds Connor Narron and Jason Esposito. Adair hit .285 playing primarily third and second base while second baseman Pena, who was promoted twice in 2012 to reach Frederick, finished the season with the Keys and hit .308 in 20 games. Starr, a middle infielder, played just two games with the Keys last season and hit .238 in 106 games in Delmarva. Esposito drove in 51 runs as the Shorebirds’ everyday third baseman in his first professional season and Narron, son of the Keys’ first manager Jerry Narron, slugged 10 homers and drove in 55 runs while serving as Delmarva’s utility player.

Keys players and coaches will be made available to the media for interviews and photographs during the Keys’ Media Day on Tuesday, April 2, from 4-5:30 p.m.at Harry Grove Stadium. All credentialed media are invited to attend. To obtain a press pass, please contact Mike Mueller at mmueller@frederickkeys.com.

-http://www.frederickkeys.com-

The Frederick Keys, advanced-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, open their 2013 season against the Salem Red Sox Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m. at Harry Grove Stadium. Ticket plans and single-game tickets are on sale now at the Keys’ box office and can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 301-815-9939 or online at FrederickKeys.com.

Contact: Mike Mueller, 301-815-9915

Break Camp Roster

Five for Friday: KeysFest, potential Keys, 25th season gear and more

We’re seven days away from opening the 2013 season at Harry Grove Stadium, four days from the first Keys player and coach arrivals and less than a day from KeysFest and single-game tickets going on sale.

Here are five things you should know heading into the weekend.

1. KeysFest

The Keys’ annual fanfest event takes place tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Harry Grove Stadium. The event is free and will also include the fourth annual Tots2Tweens.com Egg Hunt. There will be free food samples, free games and activities for kids, including a baseball card station and the chance to play catch in right field. Tours will also be available at no cost, along with other activities to get you primed for Keys baseball in 2013.

Single-game tickets will go on sale at frederickkeys.com at 12:01 a.m. tonight and at the stadium box office  at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Be sure to secure your seats for opening weekend.

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Tim Berry started 13 games for the Keys last season and may be back for more in 2013.

2. The Fredrick 40 Countdown: Parts VII and VIII

Check out the final 10 players on our list of potential Keys for the 2013 season here. That group includes:

Tim Berry – He’s ranked the 11th-best prospect in the Orioles system by Baseball America and the 12th-best O’s farmhand by MLB.com. A slender southpaw, look for him in Frederick’s rotation this season.

Jesse Beal – This right-hander missed all of 2011 after having shoulder surgery, but began his comeback in the bullpen with Delmarva in 2012. In 2013, he could be an important piece of the ‘pen in Frederick.

Jason Esposito – He struggled in Delmarva last season, but hit .340 with 22 doubles, nine homers and 59 RBIs in 66 games in college the year prior. Steve Melewski of MASN wrote that the Shorebirds’ third baseman might be moving across the diamond to first this season.

Connor Narron – His father Jerry managed the Keys in the team’s first season and 25 years later, Connor might wear a Keys uniform. A player with the ability to play multiple positions, Narron’s more likely to be promoted to Frederick than start the season here.

Read about those four and the rest of the final 10 here.

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Jeremy Nowak led the Keys in batting average in 2012. He was released by the Orioles on Friday.

3. More roster cuts from spring training

At one point, the Orioles had about 200 minor league players in camp this spring. As a result, the paring down of that bunch to fit regular season rosters has been in full effect over the last week or so. Since March 22, The O’s have released 21 players, according to this Steve Melewski tweet, which came before word of two more releases today.

Among those that have been released are several former Keys and several players that could have landed in Frederick this season, including:

Jeremy Nowak – He led the Keys in batting average and hits last year and was a Carolina League All-Star. Odds are he’ll be picked up by another team.

Joe Oliveira – A Key in 2011 and 2012, Frederick’s catcher hit .209 in 72 games last season.

Buddy Sosnoskie – He has the best name on our list of potential Keys for 2013, but, sadly, it looks as if it name won’t be crammed on the back of a Keys jersey this season. Despite being released, the independent league outfielder was very gracious with his tweets following the bad news.

Other cuts include independent SS Chris Wade, former Keys first baseman Tyler Townsend (retired), former Keys reliever Matt Bywater and independent pitchers Kyle Mertins and Mike Recchia.

4. Keys 25th season gear

2013 marks Frederick’s 25th season of baseball since the Keys inception in 1989. With that silver anniversary comes lots of commemorative swag. A sneak peak of throwback jerseys to be worn on Thursday home games and a 25th season pin is below:

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5. A few links

*I blogged about it in Wednesday’s post and Steve Melewski wrote about it today — a six-man rotation in Frederick. Read Melewski’s story here.

*Some notes from Melewski on potential Keys Jesse Beal and Connor Narron.

*It looks as if 2000 Key Brian Roberts will move from the top of the O’s lineup to the bottom to start the season, according to Roch Kubatko’s story.

*ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian has love for 2011 Key Manny Machado.

*Watch 2012 Key Johnny Ruettiger lay out and make a nice grab against the Phillies.

Shake your Keys.

Townsend retires, Urrutia and projecting the Keys’ rotation

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Tyler Townsend, a Key in 2010, ’11 and ’12, retired yesterday.

A Key for the last three seasons, Tyler Townsend retired yesterday. A third-round pick by the Orioles in 2009, the left-handed hitting first baseman produced well when he was on the field, hitting .295 with 19 homers and 82 RBIs in his Keys career.

Injuries, however, plagued Townsend, 24, and his career lasted just four seasons. Townsend’s best season came in 2011, when he  played 67 games for Frederick, batting .317, slugging 24 doubles and 13 homers while driving in 50 RBIs. For his career, he hit .272 with 36 home runs, 64 doubles and 158 RBIs.

MASN’s Steve Melewski wrote a short story about Townsend retiring, which you can read here.

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Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia could start the 2013 season in Frederick.

*The plan when the Orioles signed Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia was to have him start the season in double-A Bowie and then quickly make his way to the majors. But visa issues delayed his arrival at spring training, which came on Feb. 28, and reports are that he may start his American baseball career at a lower level — Frederick or low-A Delmarva.

Urrutia, 26, defected from Cuba to the Dominican Republic in 2011, but hasn’t been able to play since 2010, when Cuba suspended him from baseball for attempting to defect. This Baltimore Sun article written by Dan Connolly gives some good background on Urrutia and how he ended up with the O’s.

O’s director of player development Brian Graham told Melewski that Urrutia could start with the Keys or the Shorebirds in this story.

*In another Melewski story, Graham said the O’s could employ six-man rotations with some of their minor league clubs. Given that possibility, let’s try and project the Keys 2013 rotation come opening night.

Potential Keys starters include Eduardo Rodriguez, Branden Kline, Tim Berry, Parker Bridwell, Zach Davies, Tyler Wilson, Miguel Chalas, Trent Howard and Devin Jones.

2012 Delmarva Shorebirds Rodriguez and Bridwell, though both young, seem fairly certain to move up to Frederick this season. Kline, a Frederick native, pitched briefly for short-season-A Aberdeen last season after being drafted out of Virginia and seems like a prime candidate to start the season in his hometown, though he could start the year as a Shorebird.

Berry, Wilson, Howard and Jones all pitched for Frederick last season and all could move up to Bowie. Davies is just 20 years old, but pitched in Delmarva all of last season, his first as a professional, and performed pretty well. Chalas has a little more professional baseball experience, but is also just 20 years old.

My guess for the Keys’ rotation on opening day, in no particular order:

  • Rodriguez
  • Kline
  • Berry
  • Bridwell
  • Howard
  • Davies

Who do you think will wind up in the rotation this season?

*KeysFest is Saturday at 11 a.m. Single-game tickets go on sale at the event at Harry Grove Stadium, which is free. The Tots2Tweens.com Egg Hunt will be held during the event and there will also be free food samples. More info here.

Shake your Keys.

Remembering Welty’s 2010 season

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A Key in 2010 and 2012, Ronnie Welty was traded to Philadelphia over the weekend.

In 2010, Keys outfielder Ronnie Welty finished among Carolina League leaders in home runs, RBIs, hits, extra-base hits, slugging percentage, runs and total bases. His 32 doubles, 86 runs and 142 hits that year all rank in the top six in Keys single-season records.

Sunday, word came down that Welty, who spent the majority of 2012 in double-A Bowie, had been traded to the Phillies for minor league pitcher Julio Rodriguez. To give Welty a proper send-off, let’s briefly revisit his 2010 season.

In 130 games, Welty hit .282, homered 18 times, drove in 82 runs, stole 11 bases and struck out a whopping 159 times. He led the Keys in hits, runs, doubles, triples (3), extra-base hits (53), homers, RBIs, total bases (234), strikeouts, slugging (.814) and OPS (.814). The Keys’ everyday right fielder finished fifth in the Carolina League in hits, extra-base hits, total bases, slugging percentage and games played (130), fourth in homers, third in RBI and second in runs. He also dubiously led the league in strikeouts.

From June 24 to July 9, Welty put together a 14-game hit streak, during which he batted .410, racked up 25 hits and drove in 12 runs. He also had a streak of 15 consecutive away games in which he reached base, hitting .385 over that span. Welty was named a mid-season and postseason Carolina League All-Star.

Welty played 13 games in Frederick last season and hit .415 with three home runs and 17 RBIs. For his Keys career, Welty hit .294 with 21 home runs, 99 RBIs, 98 runs scored and 169 strikeouts in 143 games.

Rodriguez, who has been optioned to Bowie, went 7-7 with a 4.29 ERA last season for double-A Reading

*Welty’s not the only former Key whose baseball career will not be continuing with the Orioles organization. Among the minor league cuts made at spring training this season are 2012 Key Matt Bywater and independent players Kyle Mertins and Mike Recchia, all three of whom have been or were to be featured in our countdown of potential Keys for 2013.

Here’s Bywater in Part II of the countdown, and Mertins in Part IV. Recchia has been removed from the countdown. Farewell, friends.

*MASN’s Steve Melewski sat down with O’s Director of Player Development Brian Graham. There are some interesting bits of information in here, including how the Orioles will handle their minor league pitchers.

*KeysFest is Saturday. Buy your single-game tickets when the gates open at 11 a.m. More info here.

* The Grove’s looking frosty this morning:

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*11 days until the season starts. Opening Day is almost here.

Shake Your Keys.

O’s Minor League spring training schedule starts today

Orioles minor league players start their spring training games this afternoon at 1 p.m. against Tampa Bay and Atlanta. Our man in Florida sent us a picture of the schedule, Sundays, however, did not make the photo.

So until we get a new one, here’s the minor league schedule, Monday-Saturday:

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*Believe it or not, the Keys’ opening day is just 23 days away. And Keyote is getting restless.

*For those of you who like numbers, equations, advanced statistics and things of that nature, it’s worth taking a look at this milb.com article on Minor League park factors and run environments written by Ashley Marshall. Essentially, the article takes a look at how conducive each Minor League park and league is to offense.

Based on Marshall’s findings, Harry Grove Stadium is the most neutral ballpark in the fairly low-scoring Carolina League. Since 2008, the Carolina League has averaged 4.5 runs per game, which ranks 15th among 21 leagues. Using the equation listed in the story — ((Runs scored at home + runs allowed at home)/(Home games)) / ((Runs scored on the road + runs allowed on the road)/(Road games)) — Harry Grove Stadium’s park factor based on runs scored is 1.002. A neutral park factor is 1.000, representing “an equal number of runs/homers/hits at home as on the road,” according to the story. Factors over 1.000 favor hitters and factors under 1.000 favor pitchers.

While the Grove is neutral when it comes to runs scored, its home run factor is the highest in the Carolina League at 1.689. Winston-Salem is second at 1.189. While the Grove is favorable to dingers, its overall hit rate is just .967. Read the full article here.

*The Orioles held an intrasquad game at spring training yesterday and filled out the lineups with some minor leaguers. Here’s Roch Kubatko’s notes from the game.

*In case you missed it, we released our 2013 promotional schedule yesterday. A taste: Cowboy Monkeys, Peter Bondra, Tim Kurkjian bobblehead, Man on Fire, 50-cent hot dog night. View the schedule on the Keys’ website.

*KeysFest is March 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Single game tickets go on sale at Keys Fest, which is just 17 days from now. All the info on the fan event, which will host the Tots2Tweens egg hunt and national anthem auditions, is here.

Shake your Keys.

Mahoney mashing for Marlins

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Currently in Miami Marlins spring training, Joe Mahoney played in parts of three season for the Keys.

In a perfect world, every Frederick Key that makes it to the major leagues would make it as an Oriole. Homegrown talent, from Harry Grove Stadium to Camden Yards.

But, an imperfect game by nature, baseball does not work that way.

A former Key now outside the organization, Joe Mahoney is making his case for an everyday job with the Marlins.

Mahoney, a Key for parts of three seasons, was claimed off waivers by Miami in November, and the former sixth-round pick of the O’s is already justifying that move. In five spring training games, Mahoney is 5-for-14 — that’s a .357 batting average — with two homers, a double and 5 RBIs.

Mahoney did most of his damage Saturday against the Mets, going deep twice and driving in four runs. Here’s video of his second home run, a three-run dinger:

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=25649891

Mahoney spent parts of three seasons with the Keys, playing 72 of his 82 games with Frederick in 2010. He hit nine home runs with the Keys that season, batted .299 and drove in 49 runs. Add his numbers with Double-A Bowie that season to those with the Keys and Mahoney slugged 18 homers, batted .307 and drove in 82 runs in 124 games.

That’s the type of power the Marlins hope Mahoney can rediscover after hitting just 21 home runs over the last two seasons with double-A Bowie and triple-A Norfolk. With Miami’s few options at first base, Mahoney could win himself a big-league job if he shows enough pop.

In fact, here’s a Miami Herald story saying just that. From the story by Manny Navarro:

Now 26, Mahoney feels like he’s starting to mature as a hitter. He said he learned a lot from former Orioles teammates Derrek Lee, Nick Johnson and Chris Davis in his three previous springs with Baltimore and has learned quite a bit now working with new Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez.

“I’ve always kind of had it,” Mahoney said of the power. “But now is when I’m really starting to learn pitch selection and letting it translate into games. I’m trying to be an all-around player, be a good hitter who hits for average, drive runners in.”

A 2007 draft pick, Mahoney was called up to the Orioles briefly in 2012, going 0-for-4 in two games. Whether he gets a chance to improve on his major-league numbers to start this season will likely depend on how he finishes spring training following his hot start.

A sign that Mahoney’s opportunity is real — the fantasy baseball community is talking about him.

*2010 and 2011 Key Jonathan Schoop has one hit in the World Baseball Classic — a line-drive home run that almost ended the life of a woman knitting in the left-field stands. He recorded it yesterday against Australia. Watch:

*That bomb helped eliminate Australia and former Key Allan de San Miguel from the WBC in a 4-1 Netherlands victory.

*Richard Salazar, a four-season former Key, will start for Spain in tomorrow’s exhibition against the Orioles, according to MASN’s Roch Kubatko.

*Read about all of the former Keys in the WBC in yesterday’s blog post.

*Some notes from Roch Kubatko on O’s minor laegue camp.

*A nice gesture to the troops by the BayBears.

*Looks like we’re going to get snowquestered tonight and tomorrow.

*Just one month before opening night at the Grove.

Shake your Keys.

Five for Monday: Keys in the World Baseball Classic (Updated)

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Former Key Jonathan Schoop is one of six former Frederick players currently playing in the World Baseball Classic.

For those who check this space regularly, you probably noticed I didn’t end last week with the usual Five for Friday post. So, let’s do it now, leading off with what was posted Friday, the day the 2013 World Baseball Classic began.

1. Bumbry’s British baseball experience

Steve Bumbry, a Key in 2011 and 2012, spent the end of last September in Germany playing with Great Britain the World Baseball Classic qualifying round. I talked to Bumbry and his mother, who was born in Wales, about a week and a half ago about their experiences overseas. An excerpt from the story is below:

Steve Bumbry had never even been to Europe before.

But there he was last September in Regensburg, Germany, he and a few others on the steps of the Bavarian town’s historic cathedral, belting out Britain’s national anthem “God Save the Queen.”

“Oh, God. Yeah, that happened,” said Bumbry, recalling his rookie initiation with Great Britain’s World Baseball Classic team the night before the Brits’ first WBC qualifier. “We were in the Cathedral square, and we’re (singing) on the steps of this cathedral and people are sitting outside cafes eating, drinking and whatever.”

A Frederick Key in 2011 and 2012, Bumbry batted third and played right field for Great Britain in its three qualifying games at Regensburg’s Armin-Wolf Stadium. The Brits blew out the Czech Republic in their second game, but fell to Canada and Germany and were eliminated from the tournament.

While Bumbry’s on-field performance – he tallied just one hit in nine at-bats ­– wasn’t very memorable, he said his entire experience overseas, from playing baseball on that stage to connecting with a part of his heritage, was unforgettable.

If you want to keep reading, the full story is here.

2. Former Keys in the WBC

(Correction: An earlier version of this post stated there were six former Keys in the WBC. My apologies to Richard Salazar and Danny Figueroa.)

By my count and that of a few more veteran Keys employees, there are right former Frederick Keys playing in the World Baseball Classic this month, representing the Netherlands, Australia, Spain, Italy, Canada and the United States. They are:

Jonathan Schoop, 2B (NED) – The Orioles’ top positional prospect is a native of Curacao and batted second while playing second base for the Dutch (1-1) in their first two games. Schoop played 83 games for the Keys in 2010 and 2011 and is hitless with one walk in WBC play. He hit .271 with 37 RBIs in 77 games with the Keys in 2011.

*Here’s an MiLB article on Schoop and the Netherlands.

Allan de San Miguel, C (AUS) – This 2012 Key is a native of Bentley, Australia. He caught the Aussies’ (0-2) second game against Korea (a 6-0 loss), batted ninth and went 0-for-3. As a Key, San Miguel hit .260 with two home runs and 17 RBIs in 30 games.

*Schoop and San Miguel’s countries square off at 11:30 this morning.

Paco Figueroa, 2B (ESP) – Now in the Philadelphia organization, Figueroa played 90 games in Frederick in 2006, hitting .284 and stealing 20 bases (though he was caught stealing 13 times). Figueroa’s twin brother, Danny, played center field for the Keys in 2008. Spain’s first game is Friday against Puerto Rico.

Danny Figueroa, OF (ESP) – The other Figueroa brother patrolled center field for the Keys in 2008, stealing 33 bases in 104 games while batting .239. Selected by the Orioles in the 2005 MLB draft, he was released in 2011 after two seasons in double-A Bowie.

Richard Salazar, P (ESP) – A member of the Keys for parts of four seasons, Salazar has been playing independent baseball since 2008. He pitched in 100 games with the Keys over the 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons, finishing with a 7-6 record and a 4.09 ERA. He threw 171.2 innings and struck out 141 batters in his Keys career.

John Mariotti, P (ITA) – No longer in affiliated baseball, Mariotti played for the Keys briefly in 2008 and for all of the 2010 season. In 2010, his last season in the Orioles’ organization, he finished with a 3-6 record, three saves and a 4.08 ERA in 21 games. He played for independent team Les Capitales de Quebec the last two seasons. Italy’s first game is Thursday against Mexico.

*For those of you who read French, here’s an article from Les Capitales announcing Mariotti making the Italian roster.

Adam Loewen, OF (CAN) – A left-handed pitcher drafted by the Orioles with the fourth overall pick of the 2002 MLB draft, Loewen spent all of 2005 with the Keys. He started 27 games and made one relief appearance that year, finishing 10-8 with a 4.12 ERA and 146 strikeouts in 142 innings. The following March, Loewen started Canada’s 8-6 victory over the U.S. in the first World Baseball Classic. A stress fracture in his left elbow ended his pitching career in 2008 after reaching the majors the prior two seasons and Loewen made the transition to the outfield. He made his major league debut as an outfielder in 2011 with Toronto. Canada’s first game is Friday against Italy.

*I wrote about Loewen’s recent encounter with O’s prospect and former Key Kevin Gausman a week ago.

David Hernandez, P (USA) – Originally on the Mexican roster before he was ruled a generation too far removed from a native-born ancestor to play for Mexico, the 2007 Frederick Key was added to the American roster to replace Cleveland Indians reliever Chris Perez. Now a key cog in the back-end of Arizona’s bullpen, Hernandez started 27 games and made one relief appearance for the Keys, going 7-11 with a 4.95 ERA while striking out 168 batters in 145.1 innings pitched. The U.S. plays its first game Friday against Mexico.

3. Shaking past 1,000 views

Are you tired of Harlem Shake videos? Good, I didn’t think so.

In honor of passing 1,000 views on YouTube, here is our Harlem Shake video once again. Harlem Shake your Keys.

4. Newsletter

Last week’s Keys newsletter is here.

5. On the links

*2012 Key and baseball’s top-pitching prospect Dylan Bundy was scheduled to pitch Sunday, but was held back because of groin spasms, according to Britt Ghiroli.

*2000 Key Brian Roberts is on fire. Another big spring training game Sunday for the O’s second baseman.

*Steve Melewski has 10 questions for O’s fans, three of which directly involve former Keys.

*Also, here are Melewski’s top 10 current O’s. How many do you think are former Keys?

*Just like at Harry Grove Stadium, no smoking at Camden Yards.

*31 days until opening night at the Grove.

Shake your Keys.

Bundy to pitch against Yankees (updated)

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After being rained out of his scheduled appearance yesterday, Dylan Bundy is slated to pitch for the O’s this afternoon against the Yankees. The 2012 Key is slated to pitch after starter Jake Arrieta (another former Key), according to MASN’s Roch Kubatko. First pitch for the O’s split-squad contest was scheduled for 1:05 p.m.

*Follow Bundy and the O’s live with MLB.com Gameday here.

**Update: Through one inning, Bundy has allowed a walk to Dan Johnson and struck out Juan Rivera. Bundy came in the game to start the bottom of the third inning. He also got Robinson Cano to groundout and Zoilo Almonte to fly out.

**Another update: Bundy gave up a single to start the fourth, but then retired three in a row – two on grounders, the other on a fly ball. Last batter Bundy retired was Yankees speedster Brett Gardner.

**Final update: Bundy has been pulled after two innings. His final line:  2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO

*Yesterday’s post “The Bundy Effect,” which took a look at Carolina League attendance during his starts, was mentioned in today’s bird droppings at O’s blog camdenchat.com. In case you missed it yesterday, here’s the link to the post.

*The final day of the Keys Job Fair is tonight from 6-8 p.m. at Harry Grove Stadium. Stop by and apply and interview for a gameday position with the Keys. More info on that here.

*MASN’s Steve Melewski takes on the critics of the oft-injured Brian Roberts, shortstop extraordinaire for the 2000 Frederick Keys. Read his story here.

*Another O’s blog, Camden Depot, looks at 2011 Key Manny Machado’s rookie season in Baltimore. Check it out here.

Shake your Keys.

The Bundy Effect: putting meat in Carolina League seats

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The ace of Frederick’s 2012 staff was slated to pitch for the Orioles this afternoon against the Pirates at their park in Bradenton, Fla., but rain prevented him from taking the mound. Had the game been played, based on the attendance spikes Bundy caused during his starts in the Carolina League, one would have expected a larger than usual crowd, even on a soggy Tuesday afternoon.

The top-rated pitching prospect in baseball, Bundy, one of four Orioles pitchers set to take the mound against Pittsburgh this afternoon, went 6-3 with a 2.84 ERA with the Keys last season, striking out 66 batters in 57 innings.

Average paid attendance for Bundy’s five starts at Harry Grove Stadium was 7,148. His first start in Fredrick, Thursday, May 26, drew 9,833 people to the Grove, the Keys’ season high. Nearly a month later, on Saturday, June 23, 9,477 came to see the Orioles’ 2011 first-round draft pick. On superhero night (Saturday, July 14), 7,583 came to the ballpark, the first 1,000 receiving a Bundy t-shirt, including this Bundy fanatic:

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Joe Cassitto, otherwise known as Bundy Man

Bundy’s lowest attended home start was his last on Thursday, Aug. 8, when 4,113 came to the Grove. That was his only home start in which attendance dipped below the Keys’ Carolina-League-leading average of 4,724 per contest.

In the five road starts Bundy made in the Carolina League in which attendance was reported (Wilmington and Lynchburg failed to do so in his first starts away from home), teams averaged 5,028 spectators per game.

On July 4 in Potomac, 7,442 fans packed the P-Nats’ park to watch the hard-throwing righty. On July 20 (a Friday), 5,843 fans bought tickets in Winston-Salem. Bundy pitched at Potomac, Winston-Salem, Lynchburg and Wilmington last season.

Of the five games with reported attendance, only once did Bundy fail to exceed a team’s average attendance for the 2012 season — Thusday, June 28 at Winston-Salem. Still, 3,857 fans came to that contest, less than 600 fewer than the Dash’s average of 4,428, which ranked second in the league.

Bundy’s effect on Carolina League crowds was obvious — he made them larger. His effect in the South Atlantic League during his eight starts with Delmarva and in the Eastern league in his three starts with Bowie is less clear, though he likely caused an uptick in weekday attendance at those stops.

Bundy averaged 2,116 fans in all of his starts with Delmarva, all but two of which were weekday games, which typically don’t draw as well as weekend contests (Friday, Saturday or Sunday games).  Five of Bundy’s 10 starts in which paid attendance was reported in the Carolina League came on weekends.

In the SAL, Bundy only exceeded attendance averages twice, both times on the road — at Asheville on opening day and at Hagerstown on Sunday, May 20.

His biggest crowd in Delmarva was 3,056 on Monday, May 14, which is still shy of the Shorebirds average of 3,303 last season. Delmarva’s location on the Eastern Shore may have also kept some Orioles fans away. Portions of that group likely came to Frederick to see the O’s prospect.

In the two starts Bundy made with Bowie in which attendance was reported, he drew crowds of 4,847 on a Monday in Richmond and 2,747 on a Tuesday in Bowie.  Both those numbers are shy of the average figures for those clubs.

Regardless, Bundy’s season in the Carolina League brought fans in big numbers to its minor league ballparks.

Attendance during Bundy’s 2012 starts at Harry Grove Stadium:

5/26 – 9833, 6/14 – 4736, 6/23 – 9477, 7/14 – 7583, 8/8 – 4113

Road attendance in Bundy’s 2012 Carolina League starts:

6/2 @WIL – NA, 6/8 @LYN – NA, 6/28 @WS – 3857, 7/4 @POT – 7442, 7/20 @WS – 5843, 7/26 @WIL – 5289,  8/1 @LYN – 2710

Carolina League 2012 average attendance:

Frederick Keys 4,724
Winston-Salem Dash 4,428
Wilmington Blue Rocks 4,235
Carolina Mudcats 3,418
Myrtle Beach Pelicans 3,273
Potomac Nationals 2,953
Salem Red Sox 2,628
Lynchburg Hillcats 2,426

*A Frederick Keys Bundy bobblehead comes free with an ticket plan at Harry Grove Stadium. Ticket plans are on sale now. Machado bobbles are available, too, if you prefer Manny over Dylan. One bobblehead per ticket plan seat.

* Read Bundy Man’s account of his day at the Grove here.

*All the minor league Harlem Shake videos you could ever ask for. Notice that the Keys video is first.

*A man named Hamburger has been suspended 50 games. Where’s the beef?

*The Keys Job Fair is tonight and tomorrow. Come by the stadium from 6-8 p.m., apply and interview for a gameday position with the Keys.

Shake your Keys.

Former Frederick Friday Feature — Matt Achilles

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A tall, skinny right-hander, last week’s Former Frederick Friday player Matt Achilles spent two fairly successful years in the Keys’ starting rotation in 1999 and 2000.

A 23rd round pick of the Orioles in the 1995 MLB draft out of Black Hawk Junior College in Moline, Ill., Achilles arrived in Frederick after a year in Delmarva and two seasons of rookie ball. He made 15 starts and one appearance out of the bullpen for the Keys in 1999, going 5-8 with a 4.31 ERA and striking out 77 batters in 94 innings. His wins and strikeouts nearly doubled the next season as a 23-year-old, when he finished 8-11 with a 3.42 ERA and  tied for the team lead in strikeouts with 137 in 150 innings.

Achilles moved on to the Cubs’ farm system in 2001 and reached their double-A club, the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx, where he spent the entire 2002 season, his last in the minors. Over his seven-year career, Achilles went 46-50 with a 3.69 ERA, starting 119 of the 169 games in which he pitched. Over his 778 innings pitched, he struck out 612 batters and walked 314.

His best minor league season was probably his last with the Keys, the second of three times he would win eight games in his career. A complete listing of Achilles’ stats are here and his 1998 Delmarva baseball card is selling for $2.50 on Amazon.

This is the 2nd annual Former Frederick Friday contest. Throughout the offseason, a picture of a former Key is posted on our Facebook page on Fridays. The first person to correctly guess who the former Key is will have his or her name placed the running for a Keys Luxury Suite during a game in 2013. We are currently in our 15th week of the contest. Congratulations to Hannah Brook for correctly guessing Achilles on Friday.

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