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  • Writer's pictureGrant DeVivo

Remainder of Orioles Minor League Baseball Returns

Baysox, Ironbirds, and Shorebirds to begin 2024 season tonight

The Norfolk Tides began their season last week and have been the talk of the Minor League Baseball world thanks to a 5-1 start and an obsurd offense that has hurt some opponents' feelings early on.

Tonight, the remainder of the Orioles' Minor League crew hops on for the 2024 season. For the Double-A Bowie Baysox, the High-A Aberdeen Ironbirds, and the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds, it is Opening Day.

As each team gets ready to take the field for the first time tonight, here is a brief summary of what to expect early on from these three affiliates as they embark on a new journey.

Bowie Baysox

MLB's No. 17 prospect Samual Basallo is the star of the spotlight in Double-A Bowie to start the season. Photo: John Topoleski

MLB's No. 17 prospect Samuel Basallo will be the main attraction to start the season. The

imposing power-hitting catching prospect will spend the first week or so as the designated hitter, as he is recovering from nagging elbow issues that lingered with him during Spring Training. Nonetheless, he is one of baseball's most prized young stars on the rise, and all eyes will be on him as he looks to take his success from 2023 (.313 BA, 20 HR, 86 RBI) into 2024.

The outfield has power potential with sluggers Dylan Beavers, Billy Cook, Jud Fabian, and John Rhodes getting at-bats in the top to middle of skipper Roberto Mercado's lineup. There is some great starting with guys like Ryan Long and Alex Pham returning, and top prospect Seth Johnson finally ready for a healthy full season. The bullpen is extremely talented, and expect guys like Trace Bright, Keagan Gillies, and Ryan Hennen to step up and eat efficient innings out of the Bowie bullpen.

If this team can put all of the pieces together, then this should be a very tough team to compete against in the Double-A Eastern League.

The Baysox open the season infront of the home faithful tonight with a 7:05 first pitch against the Phillies' Double-A squad, the Reading Fightin' Phils. Pham gets the start for Bowie.

Aberdeen Ironbirds

The majority of the 2023 draft class has flown their way to Leido Field at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, and they will be taking on bigger roles as they prepare for their first full season of pro ball.

The Orioles' 2023 first rounder Enrique Bradfield Jr. headlines that draft class, and the speed demon's journey is now in full swing. Having hit .291 last year and having stolen 25 bases in not even 20 games, Bradfield Jr. is already forecasted as areplacement for current fan-favorite Cedric Mullins. This year will test Bradfield Jr., but many fans are excited to get familiar with their new top prospect.

Fellow 2023 draftees Matthew Etzel and Tavian Josenberger will roam around with Bradfield Jr. in the outfield while tons of other talented guys roam the infield. Power-hitting Mac Horvath will see plenty of ABs in the top of the lineup, while catcher Creed Willems looks to build upon a solid power year last year.

The Ironbirds are visiting the Jersey Shore Blue Claws, the Phillies' High-A affiliate, for a 6:35 pm game to begin their season.

Delmarva Shorebirds

The Shorebirds are gaining a lot of talent coming from the Florida leagues. This will be a completely new Shorebirds team, and we will be introduced to the newest members of Birdland. A few of last year's Shorebirds are returning, however, with oneof them being power-hitting outfielder Stiven Acevedo. Acevedo slugged .411 with 14 home runs in 102 games last season. I like the looks of Acevedo a lot, and there might be a hidden gem on the rise in slugger Acevedo. I'm gonna be keeping a close eye on him moving forward.

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