In a season that started off filled with hope, the results for 2012 on the Shore (52-86) can only be described as disappointing. No roster in the O’s organization started the season with more “must see” prospects than the Shorebirds, but after a quick start, promotions, poor defense, and a lack of timely hitting led to a long season for fans.
A season that began with Dylan Bundy, Tim Berry and Bridwell anchoring the rotation along with Johnny Ruettiger, Glynn Davis, Nick Delmonico and Jason Esposito in the field; ended with Steel Russell, Juan Guzman and Alex Schmarzo. Nothing against those players, but it just shows the revolving door Delmarva was.
Below is a recap of some of the names and faces that came through the Shore this season. So everyone is aware I am a season ticket holder and attend about 55-60 games a season, so many of these players I saw about 50% of the total games they played. I could not fit everyone on here, but I would welcome any discussion on the players not listed on the forums.
I was hoping Parker would get a late season promotion to Frederick to give him a glimpse into next season. Statistically, you won’t see much improvement from month to month and second half over first half, but trust me, I saw a lot of change in him during the final weeks of the season. All season I spoke about the fact Parker was not challenging hitters, which he began to do with much success. The fastball and sinker are both heavy pitches with lots of movement. I would like to see the organization give him a little more freedom and input on pitch sequence in Frederick next year. Potential and tools are still there.
Matt moved from the pen to the starter roll in late May. I think his calling is more in the pen as his delivery has too much shoulder action for long term starter status. He is effective when he keeps the ball down in the zone, but doesn’t do that enough. He was shut down late season but should be healthy in time for camp.
If you are in Frederick with Zach next season, please buy him a meal. Listed at 6′ and 150 lbs, I think he must have had about 20lb shoes when these numbers were taken. Focus for him is on the off speed stuff, and he works it very well. Another arm that moved from the pen to the rotation in May. The delivery is smooth and with the right weight program, could remain a starter in the future.
It is hard to believe Jesse has been in the organization since 2008. He is still only 22, and his size and delivery are intimidating from 60 ft away. Classic pitching style who settled in well at the end of the season with a 20/3 K/BB ratio in his last 10 appearances. A healthy off season should see him in the Frederick pen next year.
This is my diamond in the rough player. Alex is 23 so he needs to progress quickly, but as a 48th round pick, little was expected here. Over his last six outings covering 11.2 IP, he allowed 3 ER with 2 BB and 14K. Alex has some of the oddest habits both entering the game and while on the mound, but it makes him fun to watch.
One of the few bright spots this season, Sammie moved on to play the final few games of the season in Frederick and one in Norfolk. At 24, Starr is in no way a prospect, but if you are a true fan of the guys that go out and give everything everyday, this is the player for you. Hard nose defense and never saw a ball he didn’t think he could get to, he plays bigger than his 5’8″ frame.
Son of Jerry Narron, Connor showed exceptional flashes this year. Connor hit 10 HR over 119 games, with half of them coming in a 30 game stretch in which he hit .330. He is still a player without a position as this club was loaded with both SS and 3B type players. Also turning 21 off season, the O’s have a lot of options with him for 2013 as they could allow him to repeat Low A but with a position or continue to use him as a super utility player (ala Buck Britton) at Frederick.
Hard to imagine taking a second look at someone that hits .221 for the season with no power, but Wyston made great strides once Gabriel Lino was traded and he received more regular playing time. Struggling to hit just .169 prior to the AS break, Sawyer hit .264 after, and raised his OPS more than .200. He will turn 21 during the off season, and advancing his skills at handling duties behind the plate are the next key for him.
I’m planning on doing a separate full story on Michael in the next couple weeks, because his story needs to be told. If the O’s gave a comeback MiLB player award, he would have been a unanimous selection this year. After hitting just .224 last season, Michael came back from an off season injury and 50 game suspension to appear in 51 games on the Shore hitting .304 with an OBP of .400. Additionally, Michael, who had struggled behind the plate in 2011, improved his handling of pitchers and in limited appearances, threw out 38% of runners. I had talked after last season of the need to move him to another position (LF or 1B) and hope the bat continued to develop. Now I see him as the C in Frederick next season.