The Baysox celebrated the franchise's 20th season at Prince George's Stadium in 2013 and the milestone season saw a number of players on the Baysox roster set season-highs and franchise career marks.
Catcher Caleb Joseph was a highlight for the Baysox in 2013. He had the best single season of his career, batting .299 and finishing fourth in hitting in the league. He also led the league in total bases (256), finished second in home runs (22), second in runs batted in (97), second in hits (155) and tied for second in .SLG (.494). In addition to those impressive season stats, he set several franchise career records, including games played (428), runs batted in (237) and hits (416).
Back for his fifth season in Bowie, Brandon Waring added to his list of Baysox career records. He entered the season as the Baysox all-time home runs leader and he added to that, hitting 23 more to finish tied for the league lead and with 78 in his Baysox career. He also set a new franchise record for runs scored (218) and tied the record for doubles (85). Waring led the league in home run/AB ratio, going long once every 15.09 at-bats.
A couple of Baysox pitchers also reached some impressive milestones in 2013. When Zach Clark made his first start for the Baysox in May, he became just the second Baysox player to ever appear with the team during six different seasons (2008-13). Tim Bascom also set a new career record for innings pitched (453.1) passing Mike Paradis.
Starting pitcher Mike Wright also had a tremendous season for the Baysox, going 11-3 with a 3.26 ERA. He finished the season tied for the league lead in ERA and winning percentage (.786) and tied for second in wins.
Manager Gary Kendall returned for his third season with the Baysox in 2013 and became the third Baysox manager to win 200 games with the team (224). The season began with a squad that combined promising young pitchers - Kevin Gausman and Wright - with a number of veteran hitters who had become household names in Bowie over years - Joseph and Waring.
The team struggled to stay consistent early in the season and that was a theme that repeated itself throughout the year. Highly touted pitching prospect Kevin Gausman lived up to the hype, making five starts in the month and pitching 28.2 innings. During that span he walked just one batter and struck out 29, pitching to a 3.77 ERA. The Baysox also led the league in hitting with a .283 average as a team, led by catcher Caleb Joseph who hit .310 with five home runs and 22 RBI.
The team's pitching struggled, however, finishing second-to-last in the league with a 4.45 ERA. The bullpen had a rough month to start the year, converting just six saves in 12 opportunities as a team.
Wright made headlines in May, going 4-0 in six starts with a 1.85 ERA over 34.0 innings to carry the team to a 15-13 record that saw them move back to .500 on the season. Playing baseball in the United States for the first time in his life, Cuban defector Henry Urrutia also caught some eyes. He hit .348 with nine doubles and 13 RBI in 24 games during the month and was leading the Eastern League with a .365 average at the time of his promotion to Triple-A in late June.
Defense was another weakness for the Baysox in April as the team committed 33 errors, but the addition of shortstop Niuman Romero greatly helped to solidify the infield. Romero started 20 games for the Baysox in May and committed just one error while also batting .329 with 11 runs batted in. Center fielder Xavier Avery also added speed to the Baysox arsenal, swiping eight bases in 15 games during the month before his promotion to Norfolk.
Lefty Jason Gurka was also a bright spot coming out of the bullpen for the Baysox, going 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA and four saves in eight games during the month of May. Gurka was also named to the Eastern League All-Star game but various injuries derailed the second half of his season.
The Baysox continued to hover around .500 by going 13-13 in June. Right-handed pitcher Eddie Gamboa, who had begun throwing a knuckleball at the start of the season, was a bright spot for the pitching staff. Things finally clicked for him in June as he went 3-2 with a 2.10 ERA and 29 strikeouts against just 11 walks over five starts. His success in Bowie climaxed when he pitched a seven inning one-hitter June 30 against Harrisburg in the first game of a doubleheader.
Joseph garnered Player of the Week honors in the middle of the month as his impressive play continued. From June 10-16, Joseph hit .522 (12-23) with three doubles, a home run, seven runs batted in and two runs scored.
After missing nearly all of 2012 with a shoulder injury, right-handed pitcher Oliver Drake made his triumphant return in 2013 as a member of the Baysox bullpen. He got off to a strong start in June, appearing in six games and allowing just one earned run over 10 innings. He continued his success throughout the season, going 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA and eight saves in 19 games. Marcel Prado was another nice addition to the back of the Baysox bullpen in June as he converted six of seven save attempts during the month and surrendered just two earned runs in seven games.
Six Baysox players were selected for the Eastern League All-Star Game in July - Joseph, Urrutia, infielder Ty Kelly, Romero, Wright and Gurka - but only Joseph, Romero and Wright were able to participate in the game. Joseph won the home run derby the night before the game and Wright picked up the win for the Western Division, pitching a 1-2-3 first inning to start the game.
Another Baysox starting pitcher stepped in with an impressive month in July as Tyler Wilson went 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA over six starts. Wilson never missed a beat after his promotion to Frederick in June, going 7-5 with a 3.83 ERA in 16 starts overall in Bowie.
After struggling with some injuries early in the season, lead off hitter and outfielder Kyle Hudson got steaming hot at the plate. Hudson went on a season-high 18 game hitting streak in July and raised his average 30 points from .265 to .295. His impressive hitting continued for the rest of the season as he finished the year seventh in the league hitting .292. Hudson also led the team with 26 stolen bases in 34 attempts.
The Baysox entered August trailing in the playoff race and badly in need of a strong month to close the gap. While the team went a season-best 17-13 in August, it wasn't quite enough. The Baysox concluded the season 71-71 and four games out of the playoffs despite leading the league in hitting with a .274 average.
Left-handed starter and top 10 Orioles pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez showed what he was made of in August after struggling following his promotion to Double-A in July. In his final four starts, he went 3-0 with a 0.36 ERA including pitching eight shutout innings in his second to last start where he was named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week.
Making a pair of spot starts out of the bullpen, Daniel McCutchen was another bright spot for the Baysox pitching staff in August. He went 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA and two saves while also pitching seven innings of one run ball in both of his spot starts for the Baysox.
Baysox Baseball - We'll Knock Your 'Sox Off. The Baysox 2013 season and 20th season of baseball at Prince George's Stadium has come to an end. The Baysox open the 2014 season at home Thursday, April 3. To keep up with Baysox news during the offseason, visit www.baysox.com.