Results tagged ‘ Matt Bywater ’
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.
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.
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.
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:
5. A few links
*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.
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.
*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:
*11 days until the season starts. Opening Day is almost here.
Shake Your Keys.
Buried beneath yesterday’s bosom-filled blog broadcast was a link to the second installment of The Frederick 40 Countdown, a series that takes look at 40 prospects who have the potential to wear a Keys uniform this season.
If you missed it, I understand, given the distracting photo directly above it.
The good news is part two of our countdown is the first of this week’s Five for Friday, a quintuplet of Keys-related information to carry you through the weekend.
1. Frederick 40 Countdown: Part II – Nowak back for more hacks in 2013?
Among this week’s five potential Keys is Frederick’s 2012 leader in batting average and doubles, Jeremy Nowak (pictured above). Among the highlights of Nowak’s baseball career is his one season at Mount Olive College in North Carolina. Nowak was a one-year D-II monster, hitting .446, racking up 99 hits — including 17 homers — and driving in 81 runs for the Trojans. He started the season with a 35-game hitting streak and left his mark on the Mount Olive record book.
As for the rest of the bunch in part two:
Matt Bywater – A lefty who led the NCAA in complete games in 2010. Also had a strong mustache on picture day last season.
Devin Jones - One of two Mississippi State athletes with his name during his time in Starkville. The potential 2013 Key played baseball, the other football. The baseball Jones was probably the better Bulldog as far as on-field performance goes.
Joe Oliveira – Named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch list three years while at the University of the Pacific.
By the way, part one of the countdown is here.
2. Some Keys-related reading
*MASN’s Steve Melewski has been all over the former-Keys beat in the last week. Three links to his stories are below, two on Kevin Gausman — O’s first-round pick last year and major pitching prospect — and one on Bobby Bundy — also a pitcher. Gausman had a brief stint with the Keys late in the season. He also came to the O’s Caravan event in Frederick in January. Here are the two Melewski stories on Gausman:
Bundy, the brother of top-pitching prospect and 2012 Key Dylan Bundy, spent a large chunk of 2011 dominating hitters with the Keys. He’s coming off elbow surgery after a disappointing 2012. Here’s Melewski’s story:
3. Meet Frank Key all over again
4. Newsletter time
The newest Keys newsletter has been published. It is here.
5. Former Frederick Friday Contest
Head over to the Keys Facebook page this afternoon for another edition of our weekly Former Frederick Friday Contest. We post the picture, you guess who it is, if you’re the first to name that Key, your name will be entered into a drawing to win skybox tickets at Harry Grove Stadium this season. We’ll post a brief feature on the this week’s former Key on the blog on Monday.
As always, shake your Keys.
Pictured above is former Key Randy Berlin, about to receive a wet one from Morganna the Kissing Bandit.
Morganna Roberts, described in a 2003 Sports Illustrated article as a woman with “measurements like a first-place hockey record, 60-24-39,” is from Louisville, Ky., and by all accounts now — or lackthereof — lives a normal life. But for three decades, the busty Kentuckian became famous for running onto fields, courts and rinks to smooch lucky athletes.
Her first on-field caper came in 1971 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, when she went for a jaunt across the infield to plant a kiss on all-time hits leader Pete Rose. She became a traveling sideshow at major league parks across the country, soon expanding her repertoire to include NBA and NHL arenas and minor league venues. In doing so, she compiled an impressive list of smooch-ees that includes George Brett (1979 All-Star game at the Kingdome in Seattle) Cal Ripken, Jr. (1988 at Camden Yards) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1989 before a Lakers-Rockets game).
So, 20 years after Morganna made her debut with Pete Rose, Sr., she came to Frederick to add Pete Rose, Jr. to her list. She got him, and Berlin’s kiss was just a bonus cherry on top of that romantic evening at the Grove.
The Kissing Bandit, who worked as an exotic dancer when she wasn’t storming fields and rushing athletes lips-first, hung up her kissing lipstick in 2000, according to this Seattle Post-Intelligencer article.
Here’s a Morganna highlight video, which opens with her Baltimore encounter with The Iron Man. A signed Morganna photo dug out of the Keys archives is below. Happy Valentines Day.
In non-kissing news:
*Part two of our Frederick 40 Countdown is up on FrederickKeys.com. This week’s five include the 2012 Keys’ leader in batting average and doubles and two highly-touted pitching prospects. Check it out by clicking here or on the link above.
*We’re going to start counting down the top 10 promotions of the upcoming season shortly. Stay tuned for that. What would you like to see at the Grove?
Shake your Keys.
Jesse Beal – RHP
Selected by the Orioles in the 14th round of the 2008 draft, Beal had his best professional season last year in Delmarva. He finished the year with seven victories, which tied Kenny Moreland for the team-lead. Selected as a South Atlantic League All-Star, Beal walked just 23 batters in his 114.1 innings pitched. His 1.81 walk-to-innings pitched ratio was tied for fourth best in the South Atlantic League.
The Lorton, VA native originally committed to play collegiately at the University of Maryland before signing with the Orioles in the summer of 2008. Beal played his high school baseball at South County Secondary School and as a junior he went 8-4 with a 3.07 ERA. In one of his final games in high school career, he struck out 12 batters in a complete game against Madison High School in the first round of the AAA Northern Region Tournament.
Did You Know?
The Orioles gave Beal a signing bonus of $275,000, well above slot for a 14th round pick. The $275,000 signing bonus was the second-highest bonus any 14th round pick in 2008 received (Tyler Massey signed with Colorado for $525,000).
Matt Bywater – LHP
A native of Thousand Oaks, Calif., Bywater played his college baseball at Pepperdine University. Over his three years in Malibu, Bywater had a standout career with the Waves. As a freshman, he was selected to the All-West Coast Conference Freshman team. In his sophomore campaign, Bywater had the top ERA on the Waves’ staff and was a First Team All-WCC selection. Last year, he was a unanimous First Team All-WCC selection as he led Pepperdine in ERA and led the NCAA with four complete games. In his first start of the 2010 season, Bywater tossed a complete game shutout against the fourth-ranked team in the nation, Cal State Fullerton. He was named NCBWA National Pitcher of the Week following that start.
The Orioles drafted the Pepperdine product in the seventh round of the 2010 draft. Bywater inked a signing bonus with Orioles of $195,000 but he will make his professional debut in the 2011 season. Bywater was the 124th player out Pepperdine to be drafted and was the third Wave to be selected by the Orioles.
Did You Know?
Bywater graduated from Thousand Oaks High School in 2007. Actors Kurt Russell and Michael Richards both attended Thousand Oaks High School.
Oliver Drake – RHP
Drake was drafted by the Orioles in the 43rd round of the 2008 draft out of the Naval Academy. He became just the fourth player in school history to be drafted in the MLB First-Year player draft. In his two seasons with the Midshipmen, he amassed a record of 9-6 with an ERA of 3.48. In his sophomore season, Drake led the Mids with six wins, 80.1 innings pitched, and three complete games. He also led the Patriot League with 78 strikeouts. Drake was named to the Patriot League All-Tournament Team in 2008.
The Gardner, Mass. native spent the entire 2010 season in Frederick. Drake finished second on the club with a 128 innings pitched and had the top strikeout-to-walk ratio (100-37) on the team. Following the 2010 campaign, Drake was selected to play in the Arizona Fall League where he made six starts for the Scottsdale Scorpions.
Did You Know?
Drake attended the prestigious prep school, Northfield Mount Hermon, for high school. In addition to lettering four times in baseball, he also lettered three times in hockey while at Northfield Mount Hermon.
Garabez Rosa – SS
The Orioles signed Rosa in November of 2006 as a 16-year-old out of Cotui, Dominican Republic. In his first professional season in the United States, Rosa finished third in the Gulf Coast League with a batting average of .330. In his final 19 games with the GCL Orioles, Rosa hit .370 with six doubles and 15 RBI.
Last season, Rosa spent the year in the South Atlantic League with the Delmarva Shorebirds. He was one of three players that represented the Shorebirds at South Atlantic League All-Star game (Brian Conley & Jesse Beal). Rosa tied Kieron Pope for the second-most RBI (44) on the team and was finished second on the team with 114 hits. Rosa did have his struggles in the field, however, as he finished with the most errors (46) in the Sally League.
Did You Know?
In 2008, Rosa combined to hit .322 with the Aberdeen IronBirds and the GCL Orioles. His .322 batting average was third best in the Orioles minor league system that year only behind Matt Wieters (.355) and Lou Montanez (.335).
Jacob Julius – 1B/OF
Selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 33rd round of the 2007 draft out of the University of Arkansas, Julius had a breakout season with Frederick in 2010. In his fourth professional season, the New Albany, IN native set new career highs in almost every offensive category including batting average, doubles, RBI, and home runs. He finished the season hitting .285 with 15 doubles, 12 home runs and 50 RBIs.
Julius started his college career at Spalding University before finishing up with Arkansas. In his freshman season at Spalding, Julius helped guide the Golden Eagles to an appearance in the NAIA World Series. In his lone season at Arkansas, Julius hit .309 with five homers and 21 RBI for the Razorbacks.
Did You Know?
Julius was honored with three awards in 2010 for his extensive community service while with the Keys: the Elrod Hendricks Prize (outstanding community service in the Orioles system), the Steve Bechler Memorial Spirit Award (Frederick Keys community service award), and the Matt Minker Community Service Award (the community service award for the Carolina League).
Steven Bumbry – OF
A native of Cockeysville, MD, Bumbry played collegiately at Virginia Tech. He played three seasons with the Hokies and had a career batting average of .275 while in Blacksburg. In his junior season, Bumbry led Virginia Tech with 10 homeruns and was second on the team with nine stolen bases. He also tied for the team-lead in triples with three.
Bumbry was drafted by the Orioles in the 12th round of the 2009 draft and spent his first professional season with the Aberdeen IronBirds. Last season, Bumbry spent the year with Delmarva in the South Atlantic League. He led the Shorebirds with nine triples and finished tied for second in the Sally League in triples. In addition, he finished second on the team in batting average and third in doubles.
Did You Know?
Steve is the son of former Oriole, Al Bumbry. Al played 13 of his 14 Major League seasons with the Orioles and was apart of the 1979 team that lost to Pittsburgh in the World Series and the 1983 World Series Champions, the last Baltimore club to win the World Series. Al was an all-star in 1980 and was named the American League Rookie of the Year in 1973.