Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Orioles in the Desert: Arizona Fall League 2010

Let's go Scottsdale Scorpions!

There are still some Orioles playing baseball in October and this year they are doing it for the Scorpions of Scottsdale. Unlike previous years, there are no big prospects or even many prospects that may make it to Baltimore next season but there are still some interesting players in representing the Birds in Arizona.

RHP Oliver Drake

Drake is a 23-year-old righty who pitched for Frederick this season. His stats are nothing special although his control seems good (2.6 BB/9, 7.0 K/9 in 2010) and his numbers seem to scream Brad Bergesen. Of course, being Brad Bergesen in Frederick is not exactly impressive but it will be interesting to see how he fares in an offensive environment like the AFL. I would imagine he gets shelled but maybe he learns a few things that will help him in Bowie next year.

RHP Pat Egan

The 25-year-old Egan was impressive for Bowie and unlucky in Norfolk in 2010. Egan showed impressive control and kept the ball in the park and has throughout his minor league career. The 2006 36th-round draft pick has an odd hurky-jerky motion that keeps hitters off-balance. Limiting walks and homers can lay the groundwork for success and, again, it will be interesting to see how he performs in a high-offense environment like the AFL.

RHP Kam Mickolio

Due to injury, Mickolio only threw 44 innings in a disappointing 2010. Mickolio was thought to be a potential late inning reliever before the season and he'll have to try to recapture his control and ridiculous strikeout rate to force himself back into the 2011 bullpen picture. He and Egan are probably the Scorpions most likely to pitch in Baltimore next year.

RHP Wynn Pelzer

Pelzer is the player Baltimore got back from the Padres in the Miguel Tejada trade. He walks too many batters and gives up a bunch on hits per 9. If he doesn't get knocked around too badly in Arizona, it'll be a success for him.

C Caleb Joseph

I'm very interested to see how Joseph fares in the AFL. Joseph had a disappointing season for Bowie in 2010  but is still considered a decent enough catching prospect. Will the 24-year-old get his stroke back this fall? If so, it could be a springboard to his development in his inevitable repeat of AA in 2011.

2B Ryan Adams

The 23-year-old Adams had something of a breakthrough in the power department at Bowie this year (43 doubles, 15 homers) and is certainly destined for Norfolk in 2011. Looking at the roster, Adams should play a fair amount of second and perhaps at third during his AFL stint and it will be interesting to see if the power keeps coming.

SS Greg Miclat

The diminutive, light-hitting shortstop had a bit of a career resurrection in Frederick this season but hit a roadbump in Bowie. Still just 22, the extra work could help make or break him as a prospect in 2011. The Orioles could use another legitimate shortstop prospect.

1B Tyler Townsend

Since being drafted in the 3rd round of the 2009 amateur draft, Townsend has only played in 83 during his Orioles career due to injury. He has show flashes of brilliance (.563 slugging percentage in 2010) and the Orioles could definitely use a power bat like his in the system. It's a good chance for Townsend to make up for lost time. He's only going to be 23 next year and there's no reason he can't get to Bowie and perhaps Norfolk in 2011 if he stays healthy.

CF Xavier Avery

I thought LJ Hoes would be the Frederick player to take a step forward this year (and he had a decent year) but it was the 20-year-old Avery that blossomed and advanced all the way  to AA Bowie. I don't take the hitting performances in the AFL too seriously but it would be fantastic if Avery showed well for the Scorpions. With 38 stolen bases combined in 2010, expect Avery to be testing arms in Arizona.

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