Bowie starter Mike Wright became an All-Star for the first time this July, and the honor became even more special when he was named MVP after tossing a scoreless first inning with just 12 pitches.
"It was definitely awesome," said the 23-year-old Wright, whose West squad blanked the East, 5-0, in New Britain, Conn. "I hadn't made an All-Star team since I was in Little League. It was a great experience to be with future big leaguers."
Wright has built on that outing, finishing July with a 2-0 record and 2.12 ERA in five starts for the Baysox. He began August in fine fashion as well, picking up a win over New Hampshire on Aug. 1 after allowing three runs on eight hits in seven innings.
Wright improved to 9-2 on the year with an 3.59 ERA in 21 starts. In 115 1/3 innings he has struck out 107 and walked 32.
"I'm definitely a strike-thrower. I can throw hard, but for the most part I'm not afraid of contact," said Wright, who began this season as the No. 9 prospect in the Baltimore system.
Wright has flown somewhat under the radar as two other right-handers who've pitched for Bowie in the past two seasons -- Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy -- have garnered the headlines and had brief stints in the Majors with the Orioles.
While Gausman is now at Triple-A Norfolk and Bundy is injured, Wright has been a mainstay in the rotation for Bowie manager Gary Kendall, leading the team in wins, starts and innings pitched.
What does Wright have to do to move up the ladder like his former teammates?
"Definitely being consistent and going out every day and be the same pitcher," he said.
Last year he was 5-2 with a 2.91 in eight starts for Class A Advanced Frederick of the Carolina League and 5-3 with a 4.91 ERA in 12 starts for Bowie.
Wright began playing organized baseball when he was 4 years old back in his hometown of Whiteville, N.C. He's bidding to become the second right-hander from the small town to make the bigs in the past 20 years, as Tommy Greene pitched for the Phillies, Braves and Astros and won 38 games from 1989-97.
Wright stayed in his home state to play at East Carolina, whose alumni includes Washington Nationals veteran pinch-hit specialist Chad Tracy and rookie Seth Maness of the St. Louis Cardinals.
"When I met the staff, I knew it was going to be great," Wright said of ECU. Wright was drafted in third round in 2011 by the Orioles.
Big league talent: Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, on a rehab assignment with Richmond, got the best of Red Sox prospect Anthony Ranaudo in a 4-0 win over visiting Portland on July 30. "It was pretty cool facing [Vogelsong]," infielder Travis Shaw told The Portland Press Herald. "He's pitched in the World Series. Everybody was ready to face him." Ranaudo was called up to Pawtucket on Friday and enjoyed a stellar Triple-A debut Sunday.
On the move: Outfielder Billy Burns was promoted to Harrisburg on Friday from Class A Advanced Potomac. A 32nd-round pick by the Nationals in 2011 out of Mercer University in Alabama, he hit .308 with an on-base mark of .417 and OPS of .804 in 90 games with Potomac. He had one hit in four at-bats Friday in his first game with the Senators.
On the move, Part 2: Catcher Gary Sanchez, the top prospect in the Yankees system, was promoted to Trenton and went 1-for-3 with an RBI double in his debut Sunday. He was signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent July 2, 2009. He had 13 homers, 61 RBIs with an average of .254 in 93 games with Class A Advanced Tampa this season.