Baltimore Orioles Players in the Arizona Fall League


Oct. 14, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Overall view of sprinklers watering a practice field of Salt River Field prior to an Arizona Fall League game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles have a total of seven players this year in the Arizona Fall League competing for the Glendale Desert Dogs.

Unlike 2013 where a number of O’s prospects helped the Surprise Saguaros to the league championship, the 2014 contingent is not exactly tearing up in their desert duty. And the team itself is in last place in the six-team league at 10-14.

The extended season for top-level minor leaguers gives some additional opportunities for experiences at a fairly high caliber of play. But it is not a complete indicator as to where an individual player will necessarily be the next year.

In 2013, Henry Urrutia hit .377 and was third overall in league batting, but his 2014 season was a terrible disappointment much to my surprise.

On the other hand, Jonathan Schoop looked terrible in Arizona last fall, hitting just .177, but of course had a sizzling spring and decent rookie year for the Orioles.

Tim Berry pitched to an ERA of 1.84 last year, and he has continued to move toward the big leagues with a good 2014 season of 3.51 ERA pitching at AA Bowie.

Probably the O’s prospect performing the best currently is pitcher Zach Davies. He is only age 21 and was 10-7 at Bowie with a 3.35 ERA. For the Glendale team, he is presently 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and WHIP of 1.25.

Highly regarded prospect Parker Bridwell is having a greater struggle in the desert with an 8.71 ERA over seven games in relief. Bridwell was 7-10 with a 4.45 ERA at class A Frederick this year.

Mychal Givens is 0-2 in relief but with a 2.79 ERA. His WHIP is a poor 1.65 due to 11 hits and six walks over 9.2 innings. Pitching relief for both Frederick and Bowie this past season, he had a combined ERA of 3.53.

Fellow reliever Asher Tolliver has only pitched 1.1 innings in two games. Battling injuries since his 2009 draft, he pitched for a combined 2.89 at Frederick and Bowie.

Garabez Rosa batted .282 at Bowie in 2014. Primarily a middle infielder, he played every position on the field except pitcher, catcher and first base. For Glendale he is hitting .281 with 11 RBIs and three home runs in 57 at-bats.

Catcher Mike Ohlman is playing in the league for his second year and is batting .250 in 10 games. He hit just .236 at Bowie this year, finding the AA pitching much more difficult than in lower levels where he pounded the ball quite well.

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The final of the Baltimore Orioles contingent is 2011 second-round pick Jason Esposito out of Vanderbilt. The third baseman has yet to figure out professional pitching and is hitting a combined .235 for this three minor league seasons. For Glendale he is batting .240 in 75 at-bats.

I’ve always thought that Arizona would the best place possible to live for a baseball fan (not that there would be many other compelling reasons to be there). It offers the most year-round baseball, beginning with multiple spring training teams, the regular season with the Diamondbacks, and then the fall league. But, nah … there is no way I could stand cheering for a team with a snake for a mascot and the ever-possible threat of a real one crawling into the house!