The Orioles 2008 draft featured left-handed starting pitcher Brian Matusz, but included a number of other promising players who now find themselves at the Double-A level in their third professional season.
On the Baysox roster, you can currently find eight players from the 2008 draft who form the core of the team, including outfielders Xavier Avery and LJ Hoes, the players drafted in the second and third rounds.
Avery, Hoes and 20th round draft pick Ronnie Welty form a Baysox outfield that has played in 127 combined games this season. The center fielder, Avery hits lead off and has stolen 20 bases through the first month and a half of the season. Welty, the right fielder, leads the team with eight home runs and Hoes, who just joined the team in late May is a Bowie native and crowd favorite.
Fifth round draft pick, second baseman Greg Miclat, made the transition from shortstop at the beginning of the season and has blossomed at his new position. Miclat has helped turn 25 double plays in 53 games. Batting second, Miclat also has been effective getting on base and leads the team with 27 runs scored.
Seventh round draft pick, catcher Caleb Joseph is the Baysox primary signal-caller behind the plate and is considered one of the best defensive catchers in the system. Through the first 56 games of the season, Joseph is leading the team in batting average (.268) and is second on the team in RBIs (22).
Two current Baysox pitchers also came from the 2008 draft: left-handed pitcher Rick Zagone was drafted in the sixth round and right-handed pitcher Eddie Gamboa was drafted in the 21st round. While Gamboa has been on the Disabled list since May 1, Zagone has made seven starts for the Baysox this season and is 1-4 with a 4.68 ERA.
Third baseman Buck Britton was drafted in the 35th round and has played in nine games since joining the team on May 20. Before coming to Bowie, Britton was dominating the Carolina League with Advanced-A Frederick, batting .341 with 30 RBIs in 25 games.
While Matusz is currently the only player from the 2008 draft class to make his debut with the Orioles, several more are following in his footsteps and fans can expect to see more familiar faces in Baltimore in the seasons to come.
Baysox Baseball - We'll Knock Your 'Sox Off. The Baysox 19th season as the class Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles is underway. Parking is free at every Baysox home game and tickets are now available at www.baysox.com.