Stockstill likes the start of top 4 teams

Delmarva rolling at 7-3

Penn shining for Baysox

Orioles minor league notebook

Baseball

April 18, 2005|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

David Stockstill, the Orioles' director of minor league operations, is more than pleased with the way things have been going with the organization's four minor league clubs that recently opened their seasons.

"We've got a very good staff, spring training went well and I'm getting a lot of cooperation and settling in very well," said Stockstill, who was promoted during the offseason from roving hitting instructor.

"The pitching has been even better than expected, and normally the pitching is behind the hitting at the start of the season."

Stockstill said his philosophy for the minors is two-fold.

Stressing winning baseball and "respect for the game" are what Stockstill brings to the Orioles' table.

"We really want to emphasize baseball that is geared toward winning-type baseball," Stockstill said.

"You've got to have respect for the game and do the little things right. We want our players to be professional at all times, at the park and away from the park."

Thus far, the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds under Baltimorean Gary Kendall are at 7-3 and Triple-A Ottawa is 6-5. The Single-A Frederick Keys are 3-7 and the Double-A Bowie Baysox are 4-7.

Stockstill is excited about Baysox right-hander Hayden Penn, who gave up no hits in six innings yesterday, striking out nine and walking two against the Akron Aeros in the Eastern League.

Penn, who is rated as the Orioles' No. 2 prospect and according to Stockstill "has been simply outstanding," has a 1.13 ERA and a league-leading 26 strikeouts in 16 innings.

Other pitchers cited by Stockstill for receiving good reports included Ottawa's James Baldwin and Adam Loewen and Richard Stahl of the Keys.

As for position players, second baseman Bernie Castro and catcher Eli Whiteside of Ottawa and Bowie third baseman Tripper Johnson and shortstop Brandon Fahey have earned early raves.

Triple-A Ottawa

In his first two starts, the right-handed Baldwin (1-0) has pitched 12 innings, allowed eight hits and struck out six for a 1.50 ERA.

The Lynx are tied for second with Syracuse in the International League's North Division behind 7-4 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and are the third-highest hitting club in the league. Ottawa is batting .287 as a team behind Scranton (.309) and Columbus (.294).

First-baseman-DH Walter Young leads the league in batting at .457 and has four doubles and seven RBIs.

Double-A Bowie

Johnson, who is batting .280, has a nine-game hitting streak, and Fahey is hitting .226 with six RBIs. Outfielder Ben Cliffords (.294, four doubles) and first baseman Mike Huggins (.351), who have five RBIs each, are among the Baysox's leaders in batting.

Eugene Kingsale, who is on his sixth tour with the Baysox, got his 249th career hit. That puts him in ninth place on the team's all-time list.

Single-A Frederick

Nick Markakis, the Orioles' top prospect, and the rest of the Keys' outfielders are off to slow starts. Markakis and Jeff Fiorentino (No. 5 prospect) are batting only .250 each while Jarod Rine is hitting .154.

Single-A Delmarva

Pitching has been key with Kevin Hart (Maryland) not giving up an earned run in 10 innings and striking out nine. Lefty closer Dave Haehnel has saved four of the Shorebirds' first six wins while reliever Casey Cahill has three wins.

Lefty Carlos Perez (0-1) has 14 strikeouts in 10 innings and a 0.90 ERA, and James Tiller (1-0) has struck out 11 in 10 2/3 innings.

First baseman C.J. Smith (.313) and outfielder Quincy Ascencion (.324) help pace the hitting. Smith has three doubles, and Ascencion has two triples.

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