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2003 Wrapups: Baltimore Orioles

With the 2003 minor league season coming to a close, we will be providing a brief wrapup of the season for all 30 minor league teams. In each report, we will take a look at how the team's Top 10 Prospects performed, identify some emerging prospects and organizational leaders, and report on the performance of their top draft pick.
Complete index of Team Wrapups               2003 League Wrapups

By Kevin Goldstein
September 19, 2003

Season Results

Level Team League W L PCT
AAA Ottawa International 79 65 .549
AA Bowie Eastern 69 72 .489
A+ Frederick Carolina 60 75 .444
A Delmarva South Atlantic 67 71 .486
SS Aberdeen New York-Penn 38 38 .500
R+ Bluefield Appalachian 23 40 .365
R GCL Orioles Gulf Coast 32 28 .533
TOTAL 368 389 .486


Performance of Top 10 Prospects

Here's how our top 10 prospects entering this season performed in 2003. Major league statistics through games of September 18th.

1. Erik Bedard, lhp      Age: 24
Returned late in the season from Tommy John surgery and looked sharp before getting knocked around in his final start for Frederick.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
GCL Orioles (Rookie) 0-0 0 1.13 3 8.0 4 1 1 2 11
Aberdeen (Short-Season) 0-0 0 2.35 2 7.2 7 2 2 1 13
Frederick (High Class A) 0-1 0 7.36 1 3.2 5 3 3 1 2

2. Darnell McDonald, of      Age: 24
A strongly hyped player as the Orioles first round pick in 1997, McDonald finally seemed to be turning his career around with a solid year at Triple-A in 2002. Got off to another nice start, but missed the remainder of the year after undergoing labrum surgery in May.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Ottawa (Triple-A) 40 152 19 45 7 1 0 20 18 27 5 .296 .374 .355

3. Daniel Cabrera, rhp      Age: 22
Limited Sally League batters to a .215 average, but struggled with his control throughout the year and ran out of steam in games quickly (9.00 ERA after the 4th inning).
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Delmarva (Low Class A) 5-9 0 4.24 26 125.1 105 74 59 78 120

4. Luis Jimenez, 1b/of      Age: 21
Missed the first half of the season with a shoulder injury, and then failed to build upon last season's breakout performance. Hit .365 in August, but did not homer in his final 45 games.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Aberdeen (Short-Season) 53 168 17 41 9 0 1 21 26 40 7 .244 .344 .419

5. Rommie Lewis, lhp      Age: 21
Last year's Sally League all-star closer, Lewis struggled in the rotation for Frederick, walking nearly as many as he struck out while going 2-6 in his final nine starts. He returned to the bullpen for the final month of the season, where he gave up a .387 batting average.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Frederick (High Class A) 4-9 0 3.34 26 113.1 108 54 42 60 69

6. Mike Fontenot, 2b      Age: 23
After struggling in his first pro season, Fontenot enjoyed a breakout campaign in Double-A, hitting .360 over the season's final three months while reaching base in 74 of his final 84 games and being named to the Eastern League all-star team.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Bowie (Double-A) 126 449 63 146 24 5 12 66 50 89 16 .325 .399 .481

7. Richard Stahl, lhp      Age: 22
The injury-plagued lefty returned to action in early May and was used sparingly in the Delmarva bullpen, usually getting three days rest between appearances. The results were disappointing as he walked over a batter per inning, and surrendered a .299 average to righthanded hitters.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Delmarva (Low Class A) 1-3 1 5.48 28 47.2 47 41 29 50 46

8. John Maine, rhp      Age: 22
The Orioles breakout player of the year, Maine led the minors in strikeouts, and continues to look like a steal after being selected in the sixth round of last year's draft. Limited opposing batters to a .177 average across two levels while compiling a K/BB ratio of nearly 5-to-1.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Delmarva (Low Class A) 7-3 0 1.53 14 76.1 43 16 13 18 108
Frederick (High Class A) 6-1 0 3.07 12 70.1 48 27 24 20 77

9. Tripper Johnson, 3b      Age: 21
Hit .310 over the first two months of the season, but steadily tailed off from there. Still not showing the power expected from him, or making progress in pitch recognition.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Frederick (High Class A) 123 417 43 114 25 3 5 50 46 92 7 .273 .359 .384

10. Eli Whiteside, c      Age: 23
Missed almost a month after a violent home plate collision, and Whiteside's offense continues to lag far behind his defense as he vas a virtual nonfactor at the plate for Bowie.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Bowie (Double-A) 81 265 21 54 13 1 1 23 5 44 0 .204 .230 .272
GCL (Rookie) 1 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 .333 .500 .667
Adberdeen (Short-Season) 2 10 0 7 3 0 0 4 0 1 1 .700 .700 1.000


Top Draft Pick:

Nick Markakis, of    Young Harris (Ga.) JC   Bonus: $1.85M
Markakis was the best hitter and pitcher in the junior college ranks entering the draft, and while most preferred the upside he showed on the mound, the Orioles liked what they saw from his bat in a private workout and selected him with the seventh overall pick. Played very well in his debut after missing nearly three weeks to play for the Greek Olympic team.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Aberdeen (Short-Season) 59 205 22 58 14 3 1 28 30 33 13 .283 .372 .395


Emerging Prospects:

Adam Loewen, lhp: Last year's top pick finally signed just before this year's draft, and showed dynamic stuff in seven games for Aberdeen before being shut down as a precautionary measure.
Val Majewski, of: A third round pick in 2002, Majewski missed nearly six weeks with a right leg fracture, but still managed to hit .301-12-71 in 102 games.
Matt Riley, lhp: More of a re-emergence for Riley, who was ranked as the Orioles top prospect before the 1999 and 2000 seasons, but had struggled with injuries and control since. Riley went 9-4 with 150 strikeouts in 144 innings to earn his first big league callup in nearly four years.


Statistical Leaders

Batting Average Mike Fontenot .325
Home Runs Tommy Arko
Ivanon Coffie
Juan Diaz
14
Runs Batted In Mike Huggins 74
Stolen Bases Tim Raines Jr. 51
Earned Run Average John Maine 2.27
Wins John Maine 13
Strikeouts John Maine 185
Saves Jeff Montani 23

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