The Bowie Baysox will begin the season with arguably the best rotation in the Orioles’ minor league system. Adding along to that, the bullpen is filled with power arms and useful matchup pitchers. The offense is rather bland from a prospect perspective, but they could be good from a performance standpoint. Below is the opening day roster (thanks to Steve Melewski of MASN) along with three to watch and three potential sleepers.
Note: The Baysox roster will most likely change in the next week, with cuts from the Orioles leaking down to Bowie and Norfolk
Rotation: Eduardo Rodriguez, Zach Davies, Tim Berry, Tyler Wilson, Jacob Pettit
Pitchers: Matt Bischoff, Fabio Castillo, Oliver Drake, Jason Gurka, Juan Morillo, Chris Petrini, Marcel Prado, Ashur Tolliver.
Catchers: Zach Chavez, David Freitas, Michael Ohlman.
Infielders: Buck Britton, Garabez Rosa, Scott Savastano, Sharlon Schoop, Christian Walker.
Outfielders: Dariel Alvarez, Ronald Burmudez, Chih-Hsien Chiang, Kyeong Kang, John Ruettiger.
Three to Watch:
Eduardo Rodriguez – LHP – The Venezuelan phenom has three solid-average pitches with a chance for the fastball and slider to become plus. He has a good feel for pitching, although he still needs some time in the minors. Expect for Rodriguez to put together a solid season for the Baysox.
Michael Ohlman – C – I highlighted Ohlman last week in the Prospect Watch. I believe in the bat, but it all falls on his defense behind the plate.
Tim Berry – LHP - Berry took some time to get acclimated in pro-ball, especially after missing his entire first season. He has progressed wonderfully in the last two years, completely refining his change and improving his fastball and curveball command. He is still too inconsistent, as Chris Mellen portrayed at Baseball Prospectus. However, Berry can be very good at times and really force you to believe that mid-to-back rotation ceiling is viable.
Zach Davies – RHP – He may be small, he may be slim, but damn can this guy pitch. Plus command and control have excelled him through the minors in two years, when most players of this size would be struggling in the lower minors. His secondary arsenal is solid and makes up for a fastball that generally sits 89-91 mph. I believe in the arm of Davies and think he will prove himself at Bowie this season. He may never be a top 100 prospect, but he will be pitching in the majors at some point.
Tyler Wilson – LHP – Wilson is an interesting pitcher that is completely overlooked in the O’s system. He likely ends up as a bullpen arm, but one scout told me that “Wilson will pitch in the majors eventually”. He cleaned up his delivery last season and pitched well in the Bowie rotation. He may not be an option the O’s go to this season, but he may slip onto their 40-man roster by next season.
Ashur Tolliver – LHP – It is honestly just nice to see Tolliver healthy and back on the mound. I was high on him when he first arrived, but the injuries blew some of the steam out of that sail. He has a power fastball with some arm-side run. It is enough to make me believe he can work at the major league level in some relief role, and it would certainly fit in a power LOOGY role. Keep an eye on him, his arm is certainly intriguing enough.
Overall, the Baysox have a fun club with some future Orioles certainly waiting for their opportunity at the next level. The rotation could really make this team worth watching every night. To make the scenario here better, Bobby Bundy and Dylan Bundy could see some time at Prince George’s Stadium somewhere down the road this season.