Mailbox Monday

Welcome back IronBirds fans!  It is officially Opening Week  in Aberdeen.  We have some major changes going on at Ripken Stadium and we can’t wait for you to see them on Friday.    We have had several great questions over the past week and we have selected a few this week to answer.  Make sure to keep sending them throughout the season to blog@aberdeenironbirds.com.

Cody writes: “How many starts will Dylan Bundy get with Aberdeen?”

IB:  Right now they are estimating at least three.  That can always change though.  Unfortunately we do not make the decision, that will come from the Orioles.

Dylan Bundy

Photo courtesy of JLMayo Productions

 

Marcus asks: “Do you know which game Bundy will be pitching at home?”

IB: Bundy is scheduled to pitch at home on Saturday, June 21st.  If everything goes as planned, he is on a six day rotation.  He is coming back from Tommy John surgery so the Orioles will be carefully monitoring him to make sure he has no soreness.  Anything could change if something feels uncomfortable.

 

Nick writes: “Are there any other players scheduled for a rehab starts with the IronBirds?”

IB: We often do not know until the day the player arrives if we are getting any rehab players.   It is always hard to say.  We have had many players come through Aberdeen in the past so it is likely we will see more in the future.

 

Thanks again to all of the fans for submitting questions over the past week.  We have an exciting week on the blog this week.  Make sure to check back to see the Ultimate Fan’s Guide to the Opening Homestand and on Thursday we will have a special blog about Opening Day!

Until then… Go IronBirds!

Media Clippings (DRAFT EDITION) — Thursday June 9, 2011

Steve Melewski the Oriole’s writer for MASN Sportsrecaps the first nine picks of the 2011 MLB Draft, and provides a more in depth- analysis of both the Oriole’s strategy, as well as a more detailed breakdown of the bird’s new top prospects.   

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun’s Oriole’s Insider provides a background on the Oriole’s two local draft picks.  Third baseman Kevin Hockaday, who was selected in the 14th round and first baseman Brendan Butler taken in the 50th round, are both from Harford County’s John Carroll High School.  Both were also coached by Oriole Scout and IronBird official scorer Joe Stetka.  He also explains former IronBird’s pitcher Dan Klein’s precautionary MRI that will occur on Monday when the Bowie Baysox return home.  

MASN Sport’s writer Steve Melewski evaluates the Oriole’s performance in the 2011 MLB draft by interviewing Baseball America’s Jim Callis and discussing the Oriole’s goals and expectations for their recent additions.

The Baltimore Sun’s Oriole’s team blog posted a story explaining why ESPN’s Buster Olney claims the Orioles first-round draft pick Dylan Bundy, a high school pitcher out of Oklahoma that ESPN’s Buster was the best prospect in the 2011 draft. 

MLB.com writer Avi Zaelon highlights former IronBird’s shortstop Manny Machado as the Oriole’s top overall prospect.  

MASN Sport’s writer Steve Melewski recaps the performance of former IronBirds’ pitcher Zach Britton.  Britton, the rookie left-hander gets his sixth win as the Orioles beat Oakland 3-2 and sweep the Athletics at home in three games for the first time since July of 1998.

Media Clippings (DRAFT EDITION) — Wednesday June 8, 2011

Here are some media clippings on the Orioles day 1 and 2 draft picks (many of which will likely play for the IronBirds)…

The Orioles used their 14th round pick on John Carroll High School product K.J. Hockaday. The 18-year-old was coached in high school by IronBirds official scorer and Orioles associate scout Joe Stetka. Brad Gerick, from the Bel Air Patch, reports that when Stetka heard the news he got pretty emotional.

Avi Zaleon, from MLB.com, recaps the O’s second day of the draft.

Baltimore Sun reporter and columnist Peter Schmuck discusses how tough it will be for O’s top draft choice Dylan Bundy to meet expectations.

Also from the Baltimore Sun, Dan Connolly gets Orioles director of amateur scouting Joe Jordan’s thoughts on some of the day 2 draft selections.

The Daily Reflector reports that O’s third round pick Mike Wright became the fourth highest drafted ECU Pirate of all time yesterday.

The Temple Daily Telegram’s Greg Wille reports that 16th round pick Mark Blackmar and his college coach are unsure whether he’ll return to Temple College or sign with the O’s.

Media Clippings — Tuesday June 7, 2011

With the fourth pick in the MLB Draft, the Baltimore Orioles selected Dylan Bundy yesterday.

Follow the second day of the draft to see who else the O’s take. Remember, 20 different 2010 draft picks played for the IronBirds last season.

Steve Melewski from MASNSports.com reports that former IronBirds Manny Machado, David Walters, Jacob Pettit and Ty Kelly will represent the Delmarva Shorebirds (Class-A affiliate of the O’s) in the South Atlantic League All Star Game.

 

With the fourth pick in the 2011 draft, the Baltimore Orioles select…

We’re just hours away from the start of the 2011 draft. The Baltimore Orioles have the fourth overall pick. Last season, the O’s owned the third selection and took Miami prep shortstop Manny Machado, who played seven games in an IronBirds uniform after signing.

Although Baltimore’s first-round pick doesn’t always play in Aberdeen, the IronBirds roster is always littered with players from that year’s draft. Of the 54 players to play for the IronBirds in 2010, 20 were drafted that same year. With the Orioles removing their affiliation with Bluefield (leaving only the Gulf Coast League and the New York-Penn League as short-season destinations for draftees), that number could grow even more.

The MLB draft can be incredibly difficult to predict. Unlike other professional sports, baseball has no bonus slotting system. So players with large bonus demands or strong commitments to colleges may fall to teams more willing to meet those demands. Many popular baseball websites/magazines have attempted to predict this year’s first-round, but there’s no consensus on who the #1 overall pick will be, let alone the fourth selection that the Orioles own.

Here’s a quick look at some of the guys the O’s are projected to take tonight…

RHP Archie Bradley

ESPN.com’s Keith Law and Baseball America’s Jim Callis both are predicting the Orioles to take Bradley with the fourth pick. Both Law and Callis feel that Bradley would be easier to sign than the alternatives (listed below). Bradley, however, is no slouch. The big right-hander throws a mid-90’s fastball, that’s said to touch 97-98 MPH. He also has one of the best curveballs in this year’s draft class. Bradley is currently committed to play quarterback at Oklahoma University.

RHP Dylan Bundy

For a while, Bundy looked like the obvious choice for the O’s. Most draft projections have him available when Baltimore makes its selection at #4. His older brother, Bobby, is currently starring in the Frederick Keys’ (High-A affiliate of the Orioles) rotation. Bundy is widely considered to be the most advanced prep pitcher in the draft. Reports say, however, that Bundy is asking for a $30 million big league deal (which would nearly double what Stephen Strasburg signed for as the #1 overall pick in 2009). Jon Heyman from SI.com is still projecting the Orioles to take him.

LHP Danny Hultzen

Some mock drafts have Hultzen going off the board as the #1 overall pick in this year’s draft. If he’s still around when the O’s pick, they’ll have a tough decision on their hands. Hultzen is having a stellar season for the University of Virginia. He’s 11-3 with a 1.57 ERA. He has struck out 148 batters in 103.1 innings of work. Hultzen is reportedly looking for $13 million, which could scare off Baltimore.

Our question is…

Media Clippings – Thursday June 2, 2011

2010 IronBirds Team MVP Kipp Schutz displayed extra inning heroics with the game-winning hit for the Frederick Keys in their 4-3 win over Myrtle Beach last night.

Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com discussed Manager Buck Showalter’s role as the Oriole’s X factor in the looming MLB draft.  Although Showalter has been involved in draft rooms earlier in his career in Texas and Arizona, he will likely not have a significant presence as the Orioles acquire their 2011 picks.

Melewski also updated the status of several former IronBirds during their 2011 season.  2010 Orioles minor league Player of the Year Joe Mahoney is unlikely to return to the double-A Bowie Baysox by Sunday.  Not having played in a game since May 3rd, Bowie has been plagued with hamstring injuries so far this year.  Other former IronBirds Manny Machado, Brad Bergesen, and Trent Mummey, are also tentatively expected to take the field in the coming days.

Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun writes about former IronBird and current Oriole Nick Markakis’ first career start at first base yesterday in the Orioles’ 2-1 win over the Mariners.

MASNSports.com writer Roch Kubatko gives his take on Nick Markakis’ first career start at first base.