Orioles' Moreland Finding Ways To Succeed
BALTIMORE—Kenny Moreland doesn't have much trouble getting hitters out. Getting noticed is the real challenge.
Moreland is seldom mentioned among the top pitching prospects in the Orioles system, but his statistics deserve attention.
A 23-year-old who signed as a non-drafted free agent in June 2008, Moreland went 6-1, 0.88 in 51 innings at short-season Aberdeen in 2009, walking only three and striking out 39. After moving up two levels, he went 4-2, 4.72 in 48 innings at high Class A Frederick.
Moreland went 6-4, 2.93 in 68 innings at Rookie-level Bluefield his first pro season in 2008 after being signed by Orioles scout Dean Albany out of Division III Christopher Newport (Va.). He struck out 65 and issued just six walks.
Some things, he can control—most notably his fastball—but the 5-foot-11, 200-pound hurler felt helpless after being ignored in the draft. However, the snub also has been a motivational tool.
"This helps me fuel the fire a little," he said. "I've got something to prove every time I step on the field. It's always in the back of your mind.
"Taking nothing away from top prospects, but I'm in the same shoes as they are. Granted, they have a little more in the bank account, but I'm out there just like them, with the same chance."
Moreland doesn't necessarily have the same stuff, but it's been good enough. His fastball tops out at 88 mph, but he throws two- and four-seamers, a knuckle-curve and a circle changeup.
"If I try to light up the gun, I can leave the ball up and get hurt," he said.
"I can throw it lefthanded, underhand, whatever. If I'm getting the job done, you can't be concerned about the radar gun. If I get the job done, hopefully I can stick around."
• The Orioles hired former shortstop Mike Bordick as a minor league coordinator. Bordick will be responsible for working on offensive fundamentals, including bunting, baserunning and situational hitting. Last year, he served as the Blue Jays' roving infield instructor.
• Ryan Minor has been promoted from field coach to manager at low Class A Delmarva. Former Orioles center fielder Mike Devereaux has been hired as field coach.