Orioles101 has received several requests to go through the Baltimore Orioles prospects and formulate a list of how those prospects rank. We strive to provide readers with information and articles that they want to read, and we have compiled a top ten Baltimore Orioles prospects list, and we start with number ten, Clay Schrader.
The Baltimore Orioles selected the right handed Schrader with their 10th round selection in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of San Jacinto Junior College. Schrader has a plus fastball and curve ball, and has the potential to be a good back end of the bullpen type of pitcher if he can command his stuff, and of course stay healthy.
Clay made his professional debut in 2010 with the Aberdeen Ironbirds where he pitched in seven games without allowing an earned run in eight innings with one win, one save and ten strike outs. Schrader quickly earned a promotion to low-A Delmarva where he struggled a bit to close out 2010 only appearing in three games, but surrendered three earned runs in four innings pitched while taking one loss and striking out six.
2011 was a breakout season for Schrader in his first full professional season as he began the year with the low-A Delmarva Shorebirds where he made 12 appearances resulting in 22 innings pitched. Clay had a 1-1 record with a 2.05 ERA with two saves and 38 strikeouts in those 22 innings. Schrader, to no one's surprise was promoted to advanced class-A Frederick where he finished out the 2011 season. Clay got even better as his competition got better, as he made 15 appearances resulting in 24 innings pitched and a 1-1 record. He compiled a 1.13 ERA in his stint with the Frederick Keys while recording three saves and 35 strike outs. All told, Schrader's first full professional season was impressive to say the least as he struck out a robust 14.3 per nine innings, while allowing just 3.7 hits per nine. His one glaring weakness thus far is his ability to lose command as he averaged 6.3 walks per nine innings in 2011 as well, but his low ERA's show that he finds a way to get out of the trouble he presents himself with.
Clay began 2012 with the advanced A-class Frederick Keys and continued the momentum he gained in 2011, as he appeared in 23 games for the Keys with a 1.29 ERA in 35 innings, four saves, a 1-1 record and 51 strikeouts, but did have 27 walks. Schrader moved one step closer to the big leagues as he was promoted to AA-Bowie in the middle of 2012 and proceeded to make 19 appearances for the Baysox. In 23 innings pitched, Clay compiled a 1-0 record with a 2.74 ERA and one save. For the first time in his career with an Orioles minor league affiliate, he had more walks than strikeouts as he walked 24 while striking out just 17.
Schrader did partake in the Arizona Fall League this season and struggled quite a bit, but the numbers show that he has the stuff to be a Major League back of the bullpen type pitcher as either a set up man or closer in the future. His ability to steer away from the long ball and his number of strikeouts make him a viable professional one day. Clay could still be a year or two away from getting the call to the big leagues, but if he comes out in 2013 shutting teams down, do not be surprised if you see him in an Orioles uniform sometime in 2013.
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