Brandon Cooney is about as intimidating of a presence as you’ll ever see on the mound, standing 6′ 6″ and weighing in at 260 pounds. He was originally drafted as a starter but the Orioles shifted him to the bullpen due to a tired arm wanting to see how his power stuff played in relief. He immediately thrived after the switch to the ‘pen and has been pretty dominant ever since.
Success is easy to find when you have a 92-96 mph fastball with heavy sink and run and it is paired with a slider that is consistently an above-average pitch. Cooney’s sinking fastball helped limit opposing batters to just 1 home run in all of 2010 (61.1 innings).
He keeps the ball on the ground and in the park and hitters have trouble squaring up on all of his pitches. This combination is the formula for bullpen success.
At 25, Cooney’s on the older side, so even though his performance tailed off a bit with Bowie the Orioles should feel fairly comfortable bumping him up to Norfolk, assuming there’s a spot open. If he can harness his command just a bit he should settle in as a middle reliever and quite possibly a set-up man.