The Baltimore Orioles have seven players in the organization currently playing in the great Arizona Fall League for the Mesa Solar Sox. Baltimore has planted four pitchers and three position players on the Solar Sox, including two that were selected to play in the Rising Stars Game a week ago, which is the Arizona Fall League's version of an All-Star Game.
Let's take a look at each Orioles organization player currently playing in the Arizona Fall League (minor league affiliate is the one they finished the season with):
- Mike Belfiore – AA-Bowie – Belfiore had a great season for the Bowie Baysox once he arrived, as he went 5-1 with a 2.85 ERA in 28 games for the Baysox, including two saves. Belfiore was one of the two players selected to play in the Rising Stars Game, and currently fields a 5.00 ERA in nine appearances for the Solar Sox thus far.
- Chris Petrini – AA-Bowie – Petrini is coming off of a good season for the Bowie Baysox once he was promoted there from A-Frederick posting a 6-3 record with a 2.62 ERA in 24 games for the Baysox, including one save. Petrini, although not selected to the Rising Stars Game, has performed well thus far for the Solar Sox with a 2.08 ERA in nine appearances.
- Clay Schrader – AA-Bowie – Schrader had a nice season for Bowie after being called up from Frederick, although he made more appearances for Frederick, Schrader was 1-0 with a 2.74 ERA in 19 appearances for the Baysox with a save. Clay has unfortunately struggled thus far for the Solar Sox with a 0-1 record and a 10.80 ERA in seven appearances.
- Mike Wright – AA-Bowie – Wright is the only starting pitcher that the O's have in the Arizona Fall League, as he performed well during the regular season as he split time with Frederick and Bowie, but posted a 5-3 record with a 4.91 ERA in 12 starts for the Baysox. Wright has also struggled in his time with the Solar Sox with a 0-4 record and a 9.00 ERA in five starts.
- Brian Ward – AA-Bowie – Ward is the first position player on the list as he is a catcher that played for the Bowie Baysox this season with a .217 average with one homer and 12 RBI, but has a great eye at the plate drawing 24 walks to boast a .324 OBP. Ward is hitting the ball better for the Solar Sox currently hitting .261 with two RBI, but is posting a huge .393 OBP.
- Jonathan Schoop – AA-Bowie – Schoop is one of the highest ranked prospects in the Orioles organization, and plays a position that the Orioles will be looking for answers very soon, second base. Schoop hit .245 with 14 homers and 56 RBI for the Baysox this season and was the second player selected to play in the Arizona Fall League's Rising Stars Game and is currently hitting .300 with two homers and nine RBI and boasting an astronomical .470 OBP for the Solar Sox.
- L.J. Hoes – Baltimore Orioles – Hoes saw time at Bowie, Norfolk, and with the big league club this season, and is considered to be in the conversation for the left field position for the Orioles in the 2013 season. Hoes is struggling a bit for the Solar Sox hitting .235 with five RBI.
If you have never heard of the Arizona Fall League, shame on you. It is a great offseason league that all MLB organizations take advantage of to help groom their prospects to get some more work. The league is celebrating its 20th season this year and has produced such greats as Paul Konerko, Michael Young, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Roy Halladay and Albert Pujols to name a few. The Arizona Fall League consists of six teams with each team having players from five MLB organizations. Congrats to the Orioles organizational players that are in Arizona and keep performing well.
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