The Norfolk Tides have started the season on a tear, winning seven of their first eight games. In fact, the only thing standing in their way was a rainout on Thursday.
A team assembled of players ready to contribute when called upon, the Tides look like a force to be reckoned with as the 2023 is under way. Norfolk has had strong pitching, allowing four runs or less in six of seven games to help propel them to their hot start.
On top of that, the offense has scored four or more runs in five of their eight games, with them scoring 21 runs in Saturday’s victory. This makes for different standouts each game and for a fun group of players looking to make their mark and take the next step up the ladder to the big leagues.
Connor Norby, the Orioles’ No. 8 prospect, has started the season on a tear. Collecting at least one hit in every game and multiple hits in three of the first eight, Norby is making his presence known from the start.
In Saturday’s 21-2 victory, Norby led the way, going 3-for-5 at the plate. He would score three runs while also driving in four for the game.
At the end of the series, Norby finds himself slashing .343/.385/.543. He has hit two home runs in his 12 total hits while scoring 12 runs and driving in 10 in just eight games.
Lewin Díaz had a strong series, as he collected multiple hits in three of the five games he played. In Thursday’s 3-0 victory, Díaz would collect two hits and a walk and tally an RBI in helping guide the Tides to victory.
So far, Díaz has started the season 7-for-14 across five games. He has one home run, four RBIs, four runs and three walks this season.
The Orioles’ No. 23 prospect, Ryan Watson, had a noticeable performance among the many pitching standouts this week. Watson gets pointed out this week because not only did he lead his team to victory, but he did so while not allowing a run in his outing.
Last year’s Orioles Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year tossed five innings, allowing two hits and striking out three. Though he walked four, he was aided by two double plays and six ground balls as the Tides won 3-0.
I did want to give a shout out to Nick Vespi, who gave up his first runs in Triple-A since 2021. Vespi had pitched 32 innings of work without allowing an earned run for Norfolk.
The Tides are off Monday as they travel to take on the Nashville Tourists. They start their series on Tuesday at 7:35 p.m. EST.
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