Previewing the Aberdeen IronBirds

The Aberdeen IronBirds, New York-Penn League affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, finshed the 2009 season in last place in the McNamara Division with a 30-44 record.  The IronBirds will travel to Dodd Stadium this season to play a three game series with the Tigers from August 31 to September 2.

Jordan of oriolesprospects.com answered some questions for Connecticut Tiger Den to help preview the 2010 IronBirds.

Mychal Givens/Photo courtesy of Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Stephen Hamel: Do 2009 draft picks Mychal Givens and Cameron Coffey have a chance to play for Aberdeen this season?  Can you give a brief scouting report on them?

Jordan: When I talked to Givens at spring training, he said he will likely start the season with Aberdeen. I didn’t get the chance to talk to Coffey directly but most of the other players believed that Coffey should start at Aberdeen this season, assuming he’s back at full strength. The Orioles have a tendency to draft athletic high school hitters in the early rounds of the draft, Givens fits that description perfectly. He has plus speed and plus arm strength, with excellent fielding range and footwork. He’s extremely raw at the plate but the Orioles believe he’ll add power and his bat will progress eventually. Coffey has been clocked at up to 95 mph with his fastball but you can expect him to be more in the 90-92 range at the beginning of the season. His breaking pitch flashes plus but his changeup needs work, like most young pitchers.

SH: Of the catchers in extended spring training, which one is the most likely to be assigned to Aberdeen in June?

J: I don’t believe the Aberdeen starting catcher is in extended spring training right now. Michael Ohlman was the Orioles 2009 11th round draft pick and signed for $995,000. He is playing with the Delmarva Shorebirds now, but not for long. At spring training we discussed where he’d be starting the season and he said Aberdeen was his most likely destination. However, the Orioles sent him to Delmarva, where he has struggled. He’s batting .130 and I can see a demotion to Aberdeen when the season starts. The Orioles have been willing to test their top high school players but Ohlman is clearly overmatched.

SH: Infielders Javier Santana, Corey Thomas and Omar Casamayor all played for Bluefield last season.  Who is the best prospect of this trio?  Which one is likely to get the most playing time in Aberdeen this season?

J: Casamayor is the top player in this group, but I don’t know if any of these guys are locks to play for Aberdeen next season. The Orioles tend to leave older guys struggling in the low minors there for a long time. It’s hard to tell who will get the most playing time now because we haven’t made it through the 2010 draft. If the Orioles drafted a stud 3B, he’d get playing time over Casamyor. Same thing goes for Thomas and Santana.

SH: Does Jarret Martin have the talent to lead the Aberdeen pitching staff this season?  Can you give a brief scouting report on him?

J: Martin is an extremely talented player, and he could be a steal in the 15th round. The Orioles also drafted Martin in 2009 in the 14th round, but he didn’t sign. Martin is a left handed pitcher who normally sits in the low 90s with his fastball. He has an average curveball and a pretty polished changeup. While his pure stuff is pretty good, he’ll need to improve his command in order to stick as a starter.

SH: Justin Moore had a solid 3.11 ERA for Bluefield in 2009, but he had an awfully low strikeout rate.  Is he more of a finesse pitcher?

J: Definitely, he relies on hitting corners of the plate and needs to work the zone in order to succeed. He has little margin for error.

SH: Is there anyone else in extended spring training who could make an impact with Aberdeen this season?

J: One guy I really like is Brenden Webb. He’s an athletic outfielder who we snagged in the 2009 draft. I got a good look at him at spring training and I came away impressed. He’s an excellent defender and has a nice approach at the plate, he’s a very patient hitter. He’s expected to start in either LF or CF for the IronBirds.

I’d like to thank Jordan for helping me preview the 2010 Aberdeen IronBirds.  His work can be found at oriolesprospects.com.

  

<!–[if !mso]> <! st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } –> Do 2009 draft picks Mychal Givens and Cameron Coffey have a chance to play for Aberdeen this season?  Can you give a brief scouting report on them? When I talked to Givens at spring training, he said he will likely start the season with Aberdeen. I didn’t get the chance to talk to Coffey directly but most of the other players believed that Coffey should start at Aberdeen this season, assuming he’s back at full strength. The Orioles have a tendency to draft athletic high school hitters in the early round of the draft, Givens fits that description perfectly. He has plus speed and plus arm strength, with excellent fielding range and footwork. He’s extremely raw at the plate but the Orioles believe he’ll add power and his bat will progress eventually. Coffey has been clocked at up to 95 mph with his fastball but you can expect him to be more in the 90-92 range at the beginning of the season. His breaking pitch flashes plus but his changeup needs work, like most young pitchers.
Of the catchers in extended spring training, which one is the most likely to be assigned to Aberdeen in June?
I don’t believe the Aberdeen starting catcher is in extended spring training right now. Michael Ohlman was the Orioles 2009 11th round draft pick and signed for $995,000. He is playing with the Delmarva Shorebirds now, but not for long. At spring training we discussed where he’d be starting the season and he said Aberdeen was his most likely destination. However, the Orioles sent him to Delmarva, where he has struggled. He’s batting .130 and I can see a demotion to Aberdeen when the season starts. The Orioles have been willing to test their top high school players but Ohlman is clearly overmatched.
Infielders Javier Santana, Corey Thomas and Omar Casamayor all played for Bluefield last season.  Who is the best prospect of this trio?  Which one is likely to get the most playing time in Aberdeen this season?
Casamayor is the top player in this group, but I don’t know if any of these guys are locks to play for Aberdeen next season. The Orioles tend to leave older guys struggling in the low minors there for a long time. It’s hard to tell who will get the most playing time now because we haven’t made it through the 2010 draft. If the Orioles drafted a stud 3B, he’d get playing time over Casamyor. Same thing goes for Thomas and Santana.
Does Jarret Martin have the talent to lead the Aberdeen pitching staff this season?  Can you give a brief scouting report on him?
Martin is an extremely talented player, and he could be a steal in the 15th round. The Orioles also drafted Martin in 2009 in the 14th round, but he didn’t sign. Martin is a left handed pitcher who normally sits in the low 90s with his fastball. He has an average curveball and a pretty polished changeup. While his pure stuff is pretty good, he’ll need to improve his command in order to stick as a starter.
Justin Moore had a solid 3.11 ERA for Bluefield in 2009, but he had an awfully low strikeout rate.  Is he more of a finesse pitcher?
Definitely, he relies on hitting corners of the plate and needs to work the zone in order to succeed. He has little margin for error.
Is there anyone else in extended spring training who could make an impact with Aberdeen this season?
One guy I really like is Brenden Webb. He’s an athletic outfielder who we snagged in the 2009 draft. I got a good look at him at spring training and I came away impressed. He’s an excellent defender and has a nice approach at the plate, he’s a very patient hitter. He’s expected to start in either LF or CF for the IronBirds.

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