Of all the Orioles’ minor league affiliates, none did better record-wise than the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds, who just missed qualifying for the South Atlantic League playoffs in the first half.
The Shorebirds, managed by former Oriole third baseman Ryan Minor, ended up with a 73-66 record, which included a 42-27 mark in the first half (.609 winning percentage).
Adam Pohl, the voice of the Double-A Bowie Baysox, is spending this fall periodically looking at each of the Orioles’ minor league affiliates in his “Minor League Podcast.”
This week’s focus is on the Shorebirds and some of their rising prospects including shortstop Ryan Mountcastle, center fielder Cedric Mullins and pitchers Brian Gonzalez and Ofelky Peralta.
Mountcastle, pictured above, might be the organization’s best hitting prospect, given what he did in pitcher friendly Arthur W. Perdue Stadium as a 19-year-old.
Selected in the first round (36th overall) in 2015, Mountcastle was in his first full season as a pro this year. And he didn’t disappoint after a slow start, hitting .281 with 10 homers, 28 doubles and four triples in 115 games. He hit .276 or better in May, June, July and August, and will probably end up in most preseason rankings of the organization as a unanimous Orioles’ Top 5 prospect.
He’s definitely not the only player to make some noise in a Shorebirds’ uniform this year.
Mullins, a 13th round pick from Campbell University in 2015, hit 14 homers and stole 30 bases in 124 games for Delmarva.
Pohl and our minor league expert, Dean Jones Jr., discuss what the 22-year-old Mullins brings to an organization that lacks in speed and table-setting abilities.
Gonzalez, a 20-year-old lefty and 2014 third-rounder, went 10-8 with a 2.50 ERA in 27 games and received consideration for the club’s top minor league pitcher award. And Peralta, a hard-throwing 19-year-old right-hander from the Dominican, also held his own, going 8-5 with a 4.01 ERA in 23 starts.
Pohl and Jones also talk about Calvert Hall graduate Alex Murphy’s season, which included time at first base and catcher while hitting 16 homers and driving in 63 runs.
Overall, the Shorebirds were the bright spots in the system this year, and Pohl and Jones explain why. Give it a listen.