The 2012 season was definitely one to remember for Baltimore Orioles fans and for the team itself, but the entire organization had a fantastic 2012 as well. AA-Bowie made the playoffs for the first time since 2008 and AAA -Norfolk had a winning record as well. Later this off-season, Orioles101 will give you a run down of our top ten Orioles prospects, but today we recap each Orioles minor league affiliate's season.
- DSL Orioles (34-36) – A rookie league affiliate in the Dominican Summer League, the DSL Orioles had a very respectable season and finished fourth in the Boca Chica Baseball City division. 19-year old Ronarsy Ledesma led the team in hitting with a .343 average with 2 homers and 41 RBI in 68 games.
- GCL Orioles (25-35) – Another rookie league affiliate, this one in the Gulf Coast League and although they finished ten games below five hundred, a lot of young guys got some quality work, including Nikolas Balog who led the team with a .376 average in 85 at bats with 10 RBI.
- Aberdeen Ironbirds (28-48) – The short season class A affiliate of the Orioles, owned by the legendary Cal Ripken Jr., struggled to say the least this season, but if you have not had a chance to go their complex, you should as it is absolutely beautiful. The Cal Ripken league's complex is on the grounds as well, which the Camden Yard replica is unbelievable. Torsen Boss led the team in hitting with a .257 average with four triples, five homers, 27 RBI and nine stolen bases. Speed is a plus for Boss, who plays in the outfield.
- Delmarva Shorebirds (52-86) – Located just outside of Ocean City, MD, the class low A Shorebirds did not have a great season record wise, but there are a couple big name prospects who played for the Shorebirds this season, including a top ten prospect in Nick Delmonico and Glynn Davis. Davis led the team in hitting with a .252 with 25 RBI and 29 stolen bases in 101 games. Davis also played 22 games with advanced class A Frederick.
- Frederick Keys (62-77) - The advanced class A affiliate of the Orioles had an abysmal first half of the season, but rebounded with a 35-34 second half to finish strong. Frederick also led all advanced class A teams in total attendance and average attendance per game with 311,805 overall and an average of 4,724 fans per game. It was the first time Frederick led the league in attendance since 1994. Ty Kelly led the team in average with a .346 clip, nine homers and 41 RBI in 76 games, and also played 46 games with AA Bowie and 11 games with AAA Norfolk.
- Bowie Baysox (78-64) – The AA Bowie Baysox made the playoffs for the first time since 2008, and saw a number of big name prospects wear the Baysox uniform including Manny Machado, Dylan Bundy, Jonathan Schoop, and L.J. Hoes. Robbie Widlansky, whose name is relatively unknown in the Orioles world, led the team with a .316 average, and added eight homers with 83 RBI and 11 stolen bases. Widlansky was also named to the EAS All-Star team as well.
- Norfolk Tides (74-70) – The AAA Norfolk Tides finished the season with a winning record, despite the 230 roster moves that took place during the season with Baltimore constantly calling up and sending down players during the season and the Tides used 75 players, and had 25 different pitchers start a game during the season. Joe Mahoney led the Tides in hitting, of those who qualified, with a .265 average, and added ten homers with 56 RBI. If the name sounds familiar, he did play two games for the Orioles this season going 0-4.
All told, the Baltimore Orioles should be excited about their future and had a great 2012 organization wide with two affiliates having winning records, including Bowie making the playoffs. The fact that Norfolk could manage a winning record while enduring 230 roster moves throughout the season is unbelievable. If you noticed, the closer the affiliate to the big leagues the better the teams are, which bodes well for the future.
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