After throwing no-hitter, Michael Baumann isn’t slowing down in Bowie - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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After throwing no-hitter, Michael Baumann isn’t slowing down in Bowie

Photo Credit: Bill Vaughan

BOWIE-Michael Baumann didn’t know something special was happening until about the fifth inning. The 6-foot-4 right-hander was on the mound for the Bowie Baysox, making just his fifth appearance for the Orioles’ Double-A team since being called up from High-A Frederick.

By that point on July 16, Baumann hadn’t allowed a hit to the Harrisburg Senators. Since walking the leadoff batter to start the game, he had set down the Senators in order. By the seventh inning, the typical no-hit behavior started. Players started leaving him alone in the dugout, and he realized what was within reach. He continued to mow down Harrisburg batters, until only Michael A. Taylor stood between him and a no-hitter. Baumann won the battle, striking out the former Washington National on a 97 mile-per-hour fastball.

It was the first no-hitter by a Bowie Baysox pitcher since Eddie Gamboa in 2013 and showed why Baumann has become one of the top pitching prospects in the Orioles’ system. In MLB.com’s midseason ratings, the 2017 third-round pick was ranked the team’s No. 4 pitching prospect, trailing only Delmarva’s Grayson Rodriguez, Frederick’s DL Hall and Bowie teammate Dean Kremer.

For Baysox manager Buck Britton, Baumann’s early success has come from sticking to what works. He has a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and has already developed a solid slider.

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“Mike, he continues to do what Mike is good at,” Britton said. “That’s throwing his fastball for a strike and getting ahead of it. He’s got a slider and breaking ball and a changeup. He’s a guy who’s trying to add a couple of pitches, but he’s a guy who gets ahead of you with that fastball.”

That mix helped lead to early success in Bowie after his callup. In his first five appearances for the Baysox, he gave up one earned run in 27 innings for an 0.33 ERA. He came down to earth in the five starts after the no-no, giving up 10 earned runs in just 17 1/3 innings pitched but was dominant again Wednesday night, striking out seven in a four-hit shutout. Since being promoted to Bowie, he has a 1.86 ERA.

Baumann credits pitching coach Kennie Steenstra and development coach Josh Conway for his success, as well as the catchers on the roster who all have experience at Double-A. One catcher, Carlos Perez, has substantial major league experience.

But he thinks the biggest reason for his success has come from his mental approach. Baumann has worked hard on honing that throughout this year, making sure he does exactly what he needs to do between starts to be successful.

Sometimes it can be a bullpen session. Another day it can be a long toss. Sometimes it can be as simple as stretching.

“It’s something I’ve been working on throughout the levels,” Baumann said. “But especially I think this year, I’m starting to get in a routine. I’ll pick out day-by-day what I want to work on specifically.”

That routine helps serve Baumann’s goal of becoming more consistent. Although he’s realized it’s the same game that he was playing in Frederick, he’s still making adjustments. Baumann’s been working on honing his off-speed pitches, trusting them to work in certain situations and to complement his fastball.

That’s something a lot of pitchers are working on in Double-A, and plenty of Baysox pitchers have had success with this season. Bowie’s starting rotation has been impressive in 2019 and may be the best of any of the Orioles’ minor league teams.

“Showing up to the field every day you know someone’s gonna go out there and be exciting to watch,” Baumann said. “These guys, we’re all pushing out each other and bringing out the best in each other.”

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Jbigle1

    August 15, 2019 at 9:30 am

    2 pretty solid 3rd round picks out of Jacksonville U. Hays and Baumann. Can’t ask for much better prospects than that out of that round. Baumann’s got a live arm. Which is a great thing because we know there aren’t many up here now

  2. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    August 15, 2019 at 10:27 am

    I saw him pitch for the Keys against MB in April. He threw in the mid 90’s but had some command issues and took the loss. Otherwise he was impressive. Hopefully his success continues to the point where he can compete for a starting rotation spot next season.

    • Jbigle1

      August 15, 2019 at 12:10 pm

      Unfortunately as a 2017 draft pick and no hope for a successful 2020, he very well may end up staying in Norfolk all season. He should for at least half of the season either way. But the good news is we should get to see Kremer and Akin. Harvey out of the pen as well. Hopefully Baumann but I believe he’ll really have to have a strong first minor league half to make it happen. Hope it does. We aren’t at the point where we have to make too many difficult 40 man roster decisions.

      • Jbigle1

        August 15, 2019 at 12:16 pm

        He’ll be rule 5 eligible in 2020, so there is a shot we will see him late next season. Certainly wouldn’t expect it before the deadline though. Kremer and Akin figure to get their shot first even if Baumann is outpitching them.

        • Grand Strand Bird Fan

          August 15, 2019 at 6:11 pm

          Bauman must pitch 4 full seasons to be rule 5 eligible which will be after the 2020 season that take place in December. So they have time to fully evaluate him and will place him 40 man roster if they want to keep him. If his success continues Elias won’t rush Bauman for sure, he started Rutschman at the Gulf Coast then to Aberdeen. Akin most likely will get an opportunity but I think Bauman could wind up pitching in relief then move to the rotation similar to what they did with Means. That’s all I am saying.

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