Tyler Erwin Competes And Gets Ground Balls
The Orioles may have unearthed a gem in the 23rd round of the 2016 draft.
Lefthander Tyler Erwin could begin the 2019 season in Double-A Bowie’s bullpen after registering a 1.58 ERA and 18 saves in 68.1 innings with high Class A Frederick. Righthanders hit .178 against him and lefthanders hit .198.
The Orioles assigned the 24-year-old New Mexico State product to the Arizona Fall League.
In three minor league seasons, Erwin has posted a 2.22 ERA and 1.15 WHIP and held opponents to a .226 average over 89 appearances.
"He competes and throws strikes,” farm director Brian Graham said.
Erwin walked just 23 batters and fanned 84 this summer in the Carolina League. He surrendered only one home run to raise his professional total to two.
He keeps the ball in the strike zone and in the ballpark.
"Erwin’s stuff is not overwhelming or overpowering, but he gets ground balls and he gets outs and he really competes,” Graham said. "He throws three pitches for strikes. He’s a sinker-slider-changeup guy and he really commanded the baseball. He just kept getting a lot of outs.”
Erwin wasn't as sharp in the AFL. He allowed six earned runs (eight total) and 13 hits in 10 innings, with seven walks and 12 strikeouts. Opponents hit .302 against him.
Though he hadn’t allowed an earned run in seven of his appearances, Erwin turned in a couple of duds that inflated his ERA. He gave up two earned runs in 1.2 innings on Oct. 26 and three over one-third of an inning on Nov. 6. But it probably won’t influence where the Orioles assign him next summer.
"Pitchers who get hitters out, they get their opportunities,” Graham said.
Erwin did it with regularity at Frederick.
"He throws strikes and gets ground balls,” Keys manager Ryan Minor said. "I think he can compete at the next level.”
Branden Kline Rises To Cusp Of Majors
The 2012 second-round pick missed the better part of three seasons after having Tommy John surgery, but his perseverance paid off in 2018.
• The Orioles added 2012 second-round pick Branden Kline to the 40-man roster on Oct. 30. Had he not been added he would have qualified as a minor league free agent. Kline missed almost three full seasons after having Tommy John surgery and experiencing multiple setbacks, but he posted a 1.64 ERA with 17 saves in 65.2 innings between Frederick and Double-A Bowie.
• Kent Qualls will remain in the organization despite sweeping changes in the front office and scouting departments. Qualls has been director of minor league operations since 2013. His duties have included overseeing the administration of the Orioles' player development department and minor league affiliates.