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  • Writer's pictureGrant DeVivo

Orioles MiLB Weekly Recap: May 21-26

A look at how all four Baltimore Orioles Minor League affilates performed this past week

*Cover Photo Credit: Hannah Reagle

A lot happened this past week in the Orioles' farm system. Let's break down exactly what occured with each of the Orioles' four Minor League affiliates.

AAA Norfolk Tides

The Tides and the Worcester Red Sox, also known as the Woo Sox, did battle last week in the Triple-A version of the Orioles-Red Sox rivalry. The series opener, a 20-4 Worcester win, must have sparked a fire under the Tides because following that, they did not lose a single game the rest of the series. The 6-game set belonged to the Tides 5-1.

The starting pitching held the fort down during those five wins as Tides starters combined to alow just 10 earned runs while striking out 30 batters and forcing Worcester to strand 45 runners on base. No. 8 prospect Chayce McDermott turned in 5 solid innings of 3-run ball on Thursday, striking out 10 batters and walking just one. No. 9 prospect Cade Povich allowed just 3 earned runs on Saturday while striking out 6 batters in 6 strong innings. He threw 95 pitches that day with 61 being for strikes. Righty Garrett Stallings tossed 4 innings on Friday, striking out 4 while allowing just one earned run. Unfortunately, this would prove to be his final game in the Orioles organization as he was dealt to the Brewers this past weekend in the Thyago Vieira trade.

Daniel Johnson tore it up for Noroflk last week by batting .478. Photo: Kate Kirsch

Saturday featured some big days for some guys in the starting lineup. Outfielder Daniel Johnson had a perfect 4-for-4 day on Saturday in which he collected an RBI and a double. Newly-acquired catcher Blake Hunt, who was involved in the Mike Baumann trade, slugged his first home run as a Tide in the same game, a solo shot in the 9th inning.

A week ago, the Tides were barely above .500 with a 23-22 record. After an excellent series at Worcester, they are now 28-23 and sit 6 games behind first place in the International League East. They ar 8-2 in their last 10 games and +36 run differential. Here are three standout Tides performers from the Worcester series.

  • OF Daniel Johnson: the left-handed swinging outfielder has been on a tear lately for the Tides. He went 11-for-23 (.478) last week with 2 doubles, a homer, 3 RBI, and that 4-for-4 showing on Saturday. He is now batting .313 this season and is batting .447 in his last 11 games.

  • LHP Luis Gonzalez: the southpaw had two great relief appearances for Norfolk last week. In those two appearances, he went 4 innings total while striking out 4 batters and only surrendering 3 hits. He has lowered his season ERA to 3.15.

  • IF Nick Maton: the hot-hitting utility infielder went 6-for-20 (.300) in 5 games last week with 2 home runs, 6 RBI, and 4 runs scored.

The Tides return home this week for a 6-game set against the Gwinnett Stripers (Braves AAA).

AA Bowie Baysox

There is not much to say here besides it was a rough week for the Bowie Baysox. They had a 6-game homestand against the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants AA), who sat at the bottom third of the Eastern League and had little to show for in offense leading up to the series. Sadly for the Baysox, this is when the Flying Squirrels bats decided to heat up and it helped them win the series against Bowie 5-1. Friday in particular was a stinging loss for the Baysox as they saw Richmond pull away 17-10.

Dylan Heid pitched exceptionally well out of the bullpen for Bowie last week. Photo: John Topoleski

However, the most disappointing aspect of the series for Bowie was their shaky defensive play. There were 7 errors in the series, all being very costly. In the first game, Samuel Basallo allowed five wild pitches behind the dish and had a throwing error on a first-and-third play that resulted in a Richmond run. On Sunday, there were three errors. In the top of the 6th, Dylan Beavers made an error in centerfield that allowed Will Wilson to take an extra base on a hit and eventually score later in the inning. In the top of the 8th, Frederick Bencosme made a throwing error in which that run later scored and gave Richmond a crucial insurance run that would later be key in their 8-7 win. Had that error not happened, Basallo's RBI single in the bottom of the inning would have at least tied the game.

Every team has a rough stretch, and it was Bowie's turn to have their rough stretch last week. With an off day yesterday, it was a chance for the Baysox to clear their minds, spend some time with loved ones, and prepare themselves to play some baseball this week. As they return to the field today refreshed, they look to flush last week and give the Somerset Patriots (Yankees AA) their best baseball. After all, it has still been a very good season for the Baysox.

The guys are now even at .500 with a 22-22 record. They sit in 3rd place in the Eastern League, 4.5 games out of first place. Let's look at some players who had solid performances against Richmond last week.

  • RHP Dylan Heid: the 26-year-old reliever has had a phenominal season out of the Baysox bullpen so far, and he was arguably the best reliever for the team last week. He went 3 innings (2 appearances) with just one (unearned) run, a strikeout, and just one lone hit surrendered.

  • RHP Ryan Long: perhaps Long gives Heid some competition for that "category" reliever of the week. Long went 5 scoreless relief outings on Saturday with 5 strikeouts. Richmond could only muster 5 hits against him, and they failed to score.

  • OF John Rhodes: the Orioles' No. 23 prospect went 5-for-20 (.250) last week with 3 doubles and an RBI. He had a 3-for-5 day on Sunday with an RBI double in the second inning, and he also stole a base.

Bowie hits the road this week for a 6-game set at Somerset.

A+ Aberdeen Ironbirds

2023 first rounder Enrique Bradfield Jr. hit .348 last week for High-A Aberdeen. Photo: Grant DeVivo

The Ironbirds returned home last week for yet another 6-game homestand against the Jersey Shore Blue Claws (Phillies A+). It was a well-fought series that ended in a draw with each team winning 3 games. There are some notable pitching performances to discuss here, as several Ironbirds starters had tremendous outings last week. Edgar Portes, who has dominated so far this season (1.96 ERA, 0.95 WHIP) is one of them. On Saturday, he turned in 6 shutout innings in which Jersey Shore could only collect 2 hits against him. He struck out 6 batters. Levi Wells turned in a solid start on Thursday by going 4 scoreless innings with 5 punchouts and just 2 walks. No. 18 prospect Jackson Baumeister had his own 4-inning shutout start on Wednesday. Paired with just 4 hits surrendered, he had 7 strikeouts. Aberdeen's starting pitching has been dominant this season, and the arms have given them chances to win ballgames. If the trajectory remains the same, there is a lot to look forward to in pitching coming out of High-A Aberdeen.

The 'Birds are 24-22 and sit in 4th place in the South Atlantic League, 2.5 games behind the first place Greensboro Grasshoppers (Pirates A+). Here are three standout performers from last week for the Ironbirds.

  • RHP Edgar Portes: the 21-year-old's 6-inning masterpiece on Saturday has him on the standout performers list once again. He collected 6 strikeouts and needed just 66 pitches, 43 of which were strikes.

  • OF Enqirue Bradfield Jr.: the Vandy alumnus and 2023 first rounder is heating up. An 8-for-23 (.348) showing last week raises his batting average up to .261. His excellent weak also featured 3 RBI, 2 walks, and 4 stolen bases.

  • RHP Bradley Brehmer: the Indiana native came up clutch out of Aberdeen's bullpen on Wednesday. He closed out the 2-0 with by going the final three innings without allowing a run. This was his first save of the season, and it was an important one indeed.

Aberdeen has already begun their next 6-game set, a road trip at Hudson Valley (Yankees A+). After a 9-4 Memorial Day win yesterday, they will have today off before the finish the remainder of the series beginning tomorrow.

A- Delmarva Shorebirds

Kevin Guerrero was the walk-off hero on Friday night for the Shorebirds. Photo: Hannah Reagle, Shorebirds

Entering their 6-game set with the Columbia Fireflies, the Shorebirds had been feeling good about things even in the midst of what has been a down year for the team. Prior to the series, they had been 7-5 in their previous 12 games and had just won their first series of the season, a 4-2 defeat of the Lynchburg Hillcats (Guardians A-). They hoped to continue their winning ways against Columbia, but they ultimately dropped the series 4-2. However, it was still not a horribly played series. The biggest run differential was 6, an 11-5 loss on Thursday. Their offense continuees to see improved results by the week. Against Columbia, they were 14-for-50 (.280) with runners in scoring position and had 88 total bases. The excitement was real on Friday night when outfielder Kevin Guerrero laced a walk-off RBI single to left centerfield in the bottom of the 10th in Friday's 1-0 win.

Delmarva remains in last place in the Carolina League with a 15-29 record. Here are three notable performers from last week for the Shorebirds.

  • OF Kevin Guerrero: the youngster's walk-off single on Friday was just one of his many great hits last week. He went 7-for-19 (.368), hit 2 doubles, and stole a base as well.

  • OF Stiven Acevedo: the 21-year-old has been one of Delmarva's most productive hitters in 2024 (.269, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 13 SB, .763 OPS). He went 8-for-14 (.571) last week and had a 3-for-4, 4 RBI day on Thursday.

  • RHP Michael Forret: the North Carolinian got two starts last week. In those two starts, he yielded just one single earned run while striking out 12 batters and walking just 3.

The Shorebirds are on the road this week for a 6-game series at the Carolina Mudcats (Brewers A-).

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