ORIOLES PAGE ORIOLES VIDEO
By Matt Palmer
The Orioles can't help but contemplate the future. Andy MacPhail is mulling his place as president of baseball operations. Players are trying to prove they are worthy of being on the roster next season and playing regularly.
It appears some of those players will have to worry about up-and-comers recognized by the team as the minor league player and pitcher of the year.
The Orioles named infielder Jonathan Schoop The Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year after he shined for Single-A Delmarva and Frederick in 2011. Schoop manned second and third base, as well as shortstop, for Single-A Delmarva and Frederick and batted .290 with 13 home runs and 71 RBIs during 128 games. He was the Orioles' Minor League Player of the Month for August and the Carolina League Player of the Week (Aug. 8-14). He also played in the Futures Game this summer as well.
Long-term, expect him to push for third base with the Orioles, a position the Orioles desperately need to develop. If Schoop continues to play well and rise up the system, maybe the Orioles wouldn't be so far off. Right-handed pitcher Tim Bascom was named the organization's Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 10-4 with a 2.97 ERA during 30 games (18 starts) for Class-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie.
His 2.97 ERA was the second best in the organization and his 117 strikeouts ranked fourth. He was the organization's fourth-round selection in the 2007 First Year Player Draft and was an Eastern League All-Star.
I have been critical in this space of the team's current stock of pitchers. More pointedly, the team appears to have swung and missed on the current top-line pitchers at the major league level. High draft picks like Brian Matusz are setting records for ERA. But, Bascom has hope in a guy like Zach Britton, who won the Palmer award a year ago.
Bascom had his doubters before this season. There's no guarantee that a guy who shines at the Single- or Double-A level will ever do that in the majors. But, he might have a shot if he's a fast developer like Britton from here on out. The Orioles dont have too many sure things anymore. Bascom could have a shot to prove people wrong.