Just because the season has begun, doesn’t mean we can’t continue our division previews. In fact, now that rosters have been established, it is a bit easier to give an educated preview of a given league, and so the Carolina League preview begins.
Parent Club: Baltimore Orioles
Hometown boy, Branden Kline, was born and raised in Frederick, MD, and begins the season with the team whose games he attended as a kid. Despite being a closer at Virginia, he has worked exclusively as a starter thus far in his minor league career, but his future is most likely back in the bullpen. He has a three pitch mix, with his best pitch being a solid slider. His fastball plays best in short outings, as it can touch 95 MPH rather than the high-80s or low-90s when he goes deeper into games.
Mychal Givens spent three full seasons in the Orioles organization as a shortstop, but his bat never developed, so in 2013 he transitioned to the mound. He is still incredibly raw on the hill, but he shows some potential. He has a heavy sinking fastball and good slider that should earn him a promotion to Double-A before too long, but will serve as the closer in Frederick first.
Adrian Marin is currently a light hitting shortstop, but his bat needs to advance as his arm and natural defensive skills likely won’t allow him to stick long-term at short. The Orioles have a painful lack of depth in the middle infield in their system, so Marin will get the chance to try and prove scouts wrong about his future at short.
The Keys will also roll out Glynn Davis in center field, who was a rare undrafted player who has landed on some prospect lists. He plays solid defense in center, but his bat has not produced the power he was once expected to develop. His approach at the plate needs improving as does his recognition of breaking balls, but he is an interesting talent worth tracking.