It's time for another edition of Orioles101's Minor League spotlight and today we turn our focus to the Short-Season Class A Aberdeen Ironbirds who got their season underway last week. The defending McNamara Division Champion Ironbirds have gotten off to a rough start in the win column, but there have been plenty of promising starts to the season.
Prior to Friday Night's home opener, the Ironbirds began the season with seven straight road games, in which they finished 1-6, but all seven games were decided by one or two runs, with six of the seven being one-run games. Aberdeen has suffered four walk off losses this season already, but as we mentioned before, some of the Ironbirds players have gotten off to good starts early on.
Every pitcher on the staff has made at least one appearance and tossed at least one inning, and of the 17 pitchers that have been on the mound for the Ironbirds, nine of them have not allowed an earned run.
Although prized pitching prospect Dylan Bundy is currently rehabbing with the Ironbirds and has had one start where he threw five innings while allowing one run on five hits, zero walks and six strikeouts, the pitcher we want to highlight is probably a guy you have never heard of in right hander Janser Severino.
Severino, who is 6'2'' and just 140 pounds, was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2009 at the age of 18 and he has gotten off to a good start this season. He has made two starts on the season, including Opening Day for the Ironbirds, and has a 1.93 ERA with 9 1/3 innings pitched with four walks and 11 strikeouts. On Opening Day he tossed six scoreless innings, while allowing just three hits, one walk and he struck out nine, but was forced to take a no decision.
Aberdeen has struggled to find some consistency early on offensively with just two batters with at least ten at bats hitting over .300 entering Friday's home opener. The Ironbirds have hit three home runs, again entering Friday Night's game, which came from Hector Veloz, Ronarsy Ledesma, and Jonah Heim.
One hitter that has been noticeably hot to begin the season is Orioles 2013 sixth round pick, catcher Alex Murphy. A local product out of Calvert Hall, the 2013 Gatorade Maryland Baseball Player of the Year has gotten off to a fast start this summer as he was hitting .407 with two doubles and two RBI entering Friday Night's home opener. Last fall we interviewed the young catcher, and if you would like to take a look, you can click here to check it out.
It is still very early into the season for the Ironbirds and hopes of repeating as McNamara Division Champs are still high. If you get a chance to go check out the Ironbirds at Ripken Stadium, we highly encourage you to do so as it is a beautiful park on a beautiful campus.
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