The minor league baseball season has ended for all Orioles’ affiliates.
But we’re not giving up here at BaltimoreBaseball.com. That would be irresponsible, defeatist, just plain wrong.
So our “Minor League Podcast” with Adam Pohl continues – with a little twist.
Pohl, the voice of the Double-A Bowie Baysox, will take a closer look at each of the organization’s affiliates for the next six weeks, starting with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Orioles (26-32) in this segment.
The GCL Orioles, who play in Sarasota, Fla, are the affiliate everyone forgets about because they are the only one not within an easy drive of Baltimore. And also because many of their players are in their first professional seasons and haven’t yet established themselves as prospects.
Lucky for us, the GCL Orioles skipper is Orlando Gomez, who has been with the organization for 12 seasons and has spent 52 years in pro ball. The man knows baseball, and many Orioles’ fans know him from his stints managing the High-A Frederick Keys.
Pohl talks to Gomez about his multi-faceted career in baseball, including his time managing Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop at Frederick.
Gomez also offers a scouting report on some of the players he managed this year, including big first baseman Seamus Curran, DH Gui Yuan “Itchy” Xu and Colombian pitcher Jhon Peluffo.
Besides having a great name/nickname, Itchy Xu (pronounced shoe) is particularly interesting. The first player signed out of mainland China, the 20-year-old Xu played first base, right field and left field while hitting .247 with three doubles and no homers in 81 at-bats this season. Gomez says Xu is raw, but has some potential and has done a great job assimilating to a new culture.
In the second part of the podcast, our minor league expert, Dean Jones Jr., weighs in on the GCL O’s and looks at some specific players that intrigue him, including speedy center fielder Jake Ring, a 31st round pick out of the University of Missouri who batted .278 with 15 steals in 51 games with the GCL Orioles.
This is digging real deep into the Orioles’ farm system. But if you like learning about guys before the masses discover them, this is a great podcast for you.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB