Bird Seed: Orioles Prospect Report All-Star Edition

Zachary Ball@MLBDraftCntdwnAnalyst IJune 9, 2009

See if this makes sense. Delmarva is 29-23—two and a half games out of first place, and they have two All-Stars in Rick Zagone and Ronnie Welty.

On the other hand, Frederick is 27-30 and currently occupying the cellar of the Carolina League. How many All-Stars could they possibly have?

If you guessed six, then you win a prize.

That's right. Catcher Caleb Joseph, infielders Brandon Waring and Pedro Florimon Jr., as well as pitchers Brian Matusz, Zach Britton and Luis Lebron all made the squad this year.

In case you needed a reminder on why they each made the squad, Joseph is leading the league in hitting with a .338 average.

Waring ranks third in the Carolina League in home runs with nine and fourth in RBI (38) and Florimon is on pace for a breakout season and paces the league in runs scored (39) and is second in doubles (17). 

On the mound, Matusz is putting together a season worthy of the No. 4 pick in last year's draft. He is currently 4-2, with a 2.16 ERA, good for third in the league. His 66.2 innings pitched leads the league, as do his 75 strikeouts.

Britton might be the only pitcher in the league pitching better than Matusz, to the tune of a 3-2 record and a 2.11 ERA that ranks second in the Carolina League. He also has 53 strikeouts in 59.2 innings.

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Though both are worthy of an All-Star vote, polish and control are the main differences between the two hurlers. While Britton averages four-and-a-half walks per game, Matusz is averaging fewer than three.

Lebron is the sole reliever to make the team from the Keys. He is tied for second in the league in saves with nine and has an outstanding 41 strikeouts in only 25.1 innings pitched.

From the Delmarva team, Zagone is having a breakthrough season. He has a 4-4 record with a 3.65 ERA while racking up 56 strikeouts in 56.2 innings.

Outfielder Ronnie Welty also made the squad. So far, he is hitting .302 and has seven doubles, three home runs, and 26 RBI. 

Soon we'll be finding out who among the big league club will be making the All-Star team.

It seems like outfielders Adam Jones and Nick Markakis have an excellent shot, as well as closer George Sherrill, who made his first All-Star team last year. Brian Roberts is always as good a bet as anyone, but with his recent slump, he could drop out of the running.

Last night down on the farm, Norfolk continued to roll without any of its high-profile, big-bat guys. Outfielder Justin Christian led the way with a three-run home run in the third inning that made the difference in the Tides' 5-1 win over Toledo.

Former top prospect Jeff Fiorentino also played well, stroking a triple and driving in a run. 

On the mound, Bobby Livingston continued to impress since his call-up from Bowie. The 26-year-old lefty pitched seven innings of six-hit ball, allowing only one unearned run. He struck out four in his first win with the Tides.

Russ Wolf and Chris Ray finished off the victory, pitching two perfect innings, combining for three strikeouts and one walk.

Bowie and Frederick both had the night off, so let's skip straight to Delmarva's 8-7 back and forth victory over Lake County. Every starter except catcher Luis Bernardo had at least one hit and five Shorebirds had multiple hits.

First baseman Joe Mahoney led the way with two doubles and three RBI. Tyler Kolodny also played hero, hitting a solo home run as a part of a two-hit night. 

However, the real heroes of the night were Xavier Avery and Greg Miclat. Avery drove in a run with a bases loaded walk to tie the game at seven before Miclat drove in a run with a RBI single to give the Birds an 8-7 lead that they would not relinquish. Miclat finished the night with three hits, including a triple.

Rick Zagone got the start for the Shorebirds, but struggled to make it through three innings, surrendering three runs on four hits. He also walked three while striking out two. It was his shortest start of the season.

Newcomer Shane Mathews came on in relief and was hit hard, giving up two runs on three hits in 1.1 innings. Reliever Eddie Gamboa picked up the win, his fifth of the season, all in relief.

He pitched 2.1 innings and escaped by giving up only one hit. He also struck out three and managed to lower his ERA to 1.16 on the season.

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