As the off-season rolls right along, and a blockbuster deal was announced Wednesday night, the Orioles decided to put three players on their 40-man roster to protect them from being taken in the Rule 5 Draft.
Two of these players, Berry and Ohlman, have only little experience above Class A, while Gamboa is a recently converted knuckleballer. Let’s take a longer look at each of them.
Tim Berry was drafted by the Orioles in 2010 in the 50th round out of San Marcos High School, San Marcos, CA. Berry, 22, pitched at Class A Frederick in 2013, starting 27 games and pitching 152 innings. His record was 11-7 with an ERA of 3.85, amassing 119 strikeouts to only 40 walks.
Berry also pitched for the Surpise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League, which just wrapped up its season. The Saguaros won the AFL championship, and Berry was a big reason why.
In 7 appearances, Berry went 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA in 14 2/3 innings. The idea of putting Berry on the 40-man shows the team feels like Berry really came into his own in 2013, as he had struggled his previous seasons in the minors.
Michael Ohlman, 22, was drafted by the Orioles in the 11th round of the 2009 draft out of Lakewood Ranch High School in Bradenton, FL.
Throughout his time in the minors, Ohlman has only played catcher, although he did spend half the 2013 campaign as a DH. In 2013, Ohlman also played for A Frederick, winning the batting title by hitting to a .313 clip. Ohlman also drove in 53 runs and had 13 home runs for the Keys.
Ohlman was another bright spot in the AFL among Orioles’ players, hitting .290 with four home runs and 9 RBIs.
Eddie Gamboa, 28, was drafted by the Orioles in the 21st round of the 2008 draft out of the University of California, Davis.
Gamboa has pitched for each of the Orioles affiliates, and his numbers in 2013 were actually worse than what they had been previously. However, the intrigue with Gamboa is that he is a converted knuckleballer, working under the tutelage of Phil Niekro.
Gamboa is a career 37-34 pitcher with a 3.37 ERA. In the past he was used as both a starter and reliever, but in 2013 he worked solely as a starter, finishing with 25 starts and a record of 6-11 between Bowie and Norfolk.
Which of these players do you think has the best chance of being in an Orioles uniform next year?