Results tagged ‘ Tyler Townsend ’

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 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 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.


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 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.


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:



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


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.


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 Egg Hunt will be held during the event and there will also be free food samples. More info here.

Shake your Keys.

Part I – 2011 Keys Season Preview

 By Tim Murray
This is the first of a six-part series looking at the players who could possibly comprise the 2011 Frederick Keys. (Picture Above – LHP Cole McCurry)

Brian Conley – OF

Drafted by the Orioles in the 17th round of the 2008 draft, Conley made his professional debut with the Bluefield Orioles in the Appalachian League. In his second game with the “baby birds,” Conley belted his first career home run against the Elizabethton Twins. Last year, he began the season in the South Atlantic League with the Delmarva Shorebirds. Conley was named the starting right fielder for the Sally League All-Star game and led Delmarva in walks (70) despite playing in just 95 games. On August 14, Conley was promoted to Frederick where he finished out the season playing in 16 games for the Keys. He is rated as having the best eye at the plate in the Orioles system by Baseball America.

A native of Gaithersburg, MD, Conley grew up less than 25 miles away from Harry Grove Stadium. He went to Quince Orchard High School where he was named Montgomery County Player of the Year in his senior season. Following high school, Conley was a four-year starter at Towson University. In his final season at Towson, he was named second-team All-Colonial Athletic Association. He was tops on the Tigers in batting average (.352), runs batted in (65), and hits (76). Conley is currently third in Towson history in career home runs (36) and games played (208).

Did You Know?

When Baltimore drafted Conley in 2008, he was just the 12th player to be drafted out of Towson and the first since 2005.

Matt Hobgood – RHP

The Norco, California native was drafted as the fifth overall pick by the Orioles in the 2009 draft. Hobgood had an unbelievable high school career while at Norco High School. Over his junior and senior seasons, he compiled a record of 21-1 while hitting 40 homers. In his senior season, Hobgood joined an elite group that includes the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Zach Grienke, and Gary Sheffield, when he was named the 2009 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year. As a senior, he went 11-1 with a 0.92 ERA with 101 strikeouts to 26 walks over 68.1 innings pitched.

After signing with the Orioles for $2.42 million, Hobgood made eight starts in 2009 with the Bluefield Orioles. On August 13, he notched his first professional win after he tossed five scoreless innings against the Princeton Rays. Last season, Hobgood started 21 games with Delmarva and compiled a 3.25 ERA at Arthur H. Perdue Stadium. In his final start of the 2010 campaign, he threw five shutout innings against the Augusta GreenJackets. Riddled by injuries in his young career, Hobgood may not start the season on time due to a strained rotator cuff.

Did You Know?

While at Norco High School, Hobgood was a teammate with Minnesota Vikings RB Toby Gerhart, on both the baseball and football teams.

Cole McCurry – LHP

A native of Asheville, North Carolina, McCurry was drafted by the Orioles in the 43rd round of the 2007 draft. McCurry spent two seasons with Surry (NC) Community College before playing a season with Tennessee Wesleyan College. Following his final year with Surry CC, he was drafted to the Atlanta Braves in the 31st round of the 2005 draft. At Tennessee Wesleyan, he went 13-0 with a 3.59 ERA in 2007. McCurry was named honorable mention NAIA All-American and first team All Appalachian Athletic Conference.

McCurry spent all of the 2009 season in the South Atlantic League with the Delmarva Shorebirds. Despite having a losing record (6-9), he finished fifth in the league in ERA (2.71) and strikeouts (145). Last year, McCurry started the season in the Keys rotation. He moved to the bullpen on May 23 and dominated the Kinston Indians in first relief appearance of the year. Over six innings, McCurry struck out a season-high eight batters and allowed just one hit and no runs to score. In 18 relief appearances, he went 3-3 with two saves and an ERA of 3.40. As a starter, McCurry was 2-3 with a 4.89 ERA.

Did You Know?

Despite pitching just 95.2 innings in 2010, McCurry finished only four strikeouts behind Ryan O’Shea for the team-lead in strikeouts for the year. O’Shea tossed a team-high 140.2 innings with Frederick last season.

Dale Mollenhauer – INF

Originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 17th round of the 2007 draft, Mollenhauer was selected by the Orioles in the AAA phase of the Rule 5 draft this past offseason. He spent parts of two seasons in the Carolina League with Winston-Salem but spent the entire 2010 campaign in the Southern League with the Birmingham Barons. While with the Barons, Mollenhauer led the team with 17 stolen bases.

The Gibsonia, PA native, played his collegiate baseball at East Carolina University. Prior to playing for the Pirates, Mollenhauer was drafted in the 24th round by the Orioles out of Pine-Richland High School. In his first season at ECU, he was named to the Conference USA All-freshman team. As a sophomore, he was one of just two Pirates to start all 59 games and in his final year at East Carolina, Mollenhauer was named second-team All C-USA while leading the Pirates with a .329 batting average.

Did You Know?

In 22 career games against the Keys, Mollenhauer batted .304. He hit .311 in 13 games played at Harry Grove Stadium.

Brian Ward – C

From Huntington Beach, CA, Ward finished his college career at NAIA powerhouse Lewis-Clark State in Idaho. In his first season at Lewis-Clark State, Ward helped guide the Warriors to their 16th NAIA National Championship and was named MVP of the 2008 NAIA World Series. In five games, he went 12-for-27 with three home runs and eight runs batted in. In his two seasons at Lewis-Clark State, the Warriors went a combinded 98-22 including a mark of 58-7 in their 2008 National Championship season. Prior to LCSC, Ward played at Eastern Oklahoma and Golden West Junior College.

Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Orioles in 2009, Ward began his professional career with the Aberdeen Ironbirds. As the 2009 campaign progressed, Ward’s bat came to life. In his first 20 games with Aberdeen, Ward hit .206 while in his final 16 games, he hit .318 for the Ironbirds. Last season, he was the starting catcher in Frederick making 82 starts behind the plate. Ward struggled at the plate in the regular season but flourished in the postseason. In just three playoff games, he had six runs batted in and belted a grand slam in game one of the North Division Championship Series against the Potomac Nationals. The Keys lone playoff win in 2010 was a 10-9 victory in game one of the NDCS.

Did You Know?

In Ward’s two seasons at Lewis Clark State, the Warriors were 5-1 against Division I opponents (Gonzaga University: 3-0, University of Washington: 2-1).

Tyler Townsend – 1B

The Florida International product was drafted in the third round by the Orioles in 2009 and was the first collegiate player taken by Baltimore in that draft. Townsend’s third round selection is the second highest in school history to Josh Banks, who was drafted in the second round of the 2003 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. Townsend was one of the top collegiate players in the nation in 2009 as he batted .426 with 24 home runs, 77 RBIs, and 182 total bases. The 77 RBIs and 182 total bases were both FIU single-season records. His 24 HRs and .426 batting average were second best in school history. Townsend also set the career record for RBIs with 164. Townsend was a First Team All-American by Louisville Slugger, First Team All-Sun Belt, and First Team South Central All-Region in 2009.

After his first professional season was hampered by injuries, the Lewes, DE native began to hit his stride in 2010. In 30 games with Delmarva, Townsend hit .342 with three homers, 12 doubles, and 26 RBI. Prior to his promotion to Frederick on July 24, he drove in 10 runs in his final three games with the Shorebirds. Upon his arrival in Frederick, Townsend quickly was placed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. Once off the DL, he had a very strong finish to the 2010 regular season. Townsend was named Carolina League Player of the Week in consecutive weeks (August 23-29, August 30-September 5). He was one of just three players in 2010 to be named CL Player of the Week in consecutive weeks.

Did You Know?

In 2006-07, Townsend was a member of the Sun Belt Commissioner’s List for maintaining a GPA above 3.5 for the entire school year.

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