FREDERICK, MD -The Frederick Keys are pleased to announce that Parker Bridwell and Jason Esposito have been selected to compete for the Glendale Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League. Both players were officially named to the team's preliminary roster on Tuesday. Comprised of six different teams, the AFL serves as a training ground for some of minor league baseball's top talent. Since its inception in 1992, approximately 60% of players selected to the Fall League have gone on to compete in the Major Leagues. Players are selected for the league by their respective organizations, while the schedule runs from early October-mid November.
Bridwell, 23, makes his first appearance in the Arizona Fall League. Rated the No. 19 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, the Texan paces the Carolina League in strikeouts (136) and is fifth in batting average against (.237) and innings pitched (135.2). Over 25 starts, he is 6-10 with a 4.51 ERA. On Monday at Potomac, Bridwell carried a perfect game into the seventh inning before it was broken up by Tony Renda. Ending with eight shutout innings, the right-hander struck out a season-high 13 batters (one short of his career-high).
A pitcher who was at his best in May and June, Bridwell posted seven straight quality home starts from May 13-June 27. That streak started with a near no-hitter on May 13, as Bridwell did not allow any hits through 8.1 innings against the Nationals. Originally selected by the Orioles in the ninth round of the 2010 draft out of Hereford (TX) High School, Bridwell spent all of last season at Low-A Delmarva.
Esposito, 24, also makes his Fall League debut. In his second season with the Keys, the Connecticut native is batting .266 over 119 games with eight home runs and 45 RBIs. A player who has turned the corner in the second-half, Esposito is hitting .314 in 59 games since the All-Star break, while he has 31 RBIs during that time. His best month of the season came in July, when he hit .354 over 26 contests.
Originally selected by Kansas City in the seventh round of the 2008 Draft out of Amity (CT) Regional High School, Esposito elected to attend Vanderbilt University. There, he was a member of the 2011 Commodores team that advanced to the College World Series. That same year, he signed with the Orioles after being selected in the second round.
In addition to Esposito and Bridwell, former Keys Mychal Givens, Ashur Tolliver, Michael Ohlman, Dariel Alvarez, and Zach Davies have also been selected for the Desert Dogs roster. Givens and Tolliver both spent time with the orange and black earlier this season. Glendale will be managed by Lance Parrish, while Triple-A Norfolk pitching coach Mike Griffin will serve as the co-pitching coach along with Chris Hook. Andy Tomberlin is the hitting coach.
The Frederick Keys play a doubleheader on Wednesday night against the Salem Red Sox. Steven Brault (1-0. 0.00) and Brady Wager (6-8, 5.58) are the probable pitchers for the Keys, while the Sox counter with righties Heri Quevedo (1-0, 2.45) and William Cuevas (2-6, 4.75). First pitch is slated for 5 p.m. from Harry Grove Stadium, and both broadcasts can be heard on 1450 AM The Source. For ticket information call 301-815-9939 or visit frederickkeys.com.