As the Baltimore Orioles started the infamous rebuilding process, the organization’s focus has drifted towards prospects and the farm system.
Most knew that the major league ball club would lose quite a bit this season, and when it comes to a rebuild, clubs look to build their minor leagues full of prospects in hopes of them eventually leading the major league club back to contention. If the Delmarva Shorebirds’ 2019 season was any sign of things to come, the Orioles organization has a lot to look forward to in the coming years.
It was announced today that the Delmarva Shorebirds were named the 2019 Minor League Baseball Team of the Year by MiLB.com.
It was a historic season on the Delmarva Peninsula for the Single-A affiliate of the Orioles. A club that consisted of the Orioles’ No. 2 overall prospect, Grayson Rodriguez, at the top of the rotation and a promising 19-year-old shortstop, Adam Hall, commanding the infield, the Shorebirds were one of the few bright spots of the 2019 year.
The club finished the season with a 90-48 record, which helped the team become South Atlantic League Northern Division First Half Champions.
Delmarva finished the year with the minors’ highest full-season winning percentage at .652. Although they ultimately lost to the Hickory Crawdads in the South Atlantic League Northern Division Championship Series, the Shorebirds constantly defeated their opponents, earning them the top spot on Milb.com’s list.
Shorebirds manager Kyle Moore said this about how the 2019 played out:
“I think it was just how hard the guys played and how we stuck with it, even after the All-Star break, it was such a young group of guys. I think with a group in their first year of pro ball, the staff did a great job keeping these guys going all year because we started off hot. But the Washington Nationals will tell you it’s not how you start, and we ended up finishing good, too. We went through July and August, and the kids got better.”Delmarva Shorebirds manager Kyle Moore
Delmarva’s pitching staff was a key to their success in 2019, a group which led the minor leagues in ERA (3.00) and shutouts (20).
Moore was impressed with the pitching, from the players to the coaching staff.
“We had the big names. Rodriguez, Gray Fenter absolutely had the year of his life when he needed it. The starting pitching was great wire to wire. The job Justin Ramsey did with the bullpen was phenomenal.”Delmarva Shorebirds manager Kyle Moore
Later in the season, the No. 1 overall draft pick and No. 1 overall prospect in the Orioles organization, catcher Adley Rutschman, joined the club just in time for the postseason.
Rutschman played in just 12 games with Delmarva, tallying two home runs and eight RBI in that span.
Even though the team fell short of a championship title, it was a promising year for the Orioles organization and its fans. Hopefully the success from this team carries over to the major league club in the near future.
Congratulations to the Delmarva Shorebirds on a historic season!
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