Four Shorebirds Named Postseason All-Stars

Moore, Ramsey sweep coaching honors; Rodriguez top prospect

By Will DeBoer / Delmarva Shorebirds | August 27, 2019 10:05 AM

CLEARWATER, FL - Recognized as the leaders of the league's undisputed best team, the Delmarva Shorebirds placed two players and two members of its field staff on the South Atlantic League Postseason All-Star Team, announced by the league office on Tuesday.

Grayson Rodriguez was voted as the league's Most Oustanding MLB Prospect, as well as its top right-handed pitcher. Shortstop Adam Hall was named to the utility infield slot. Pitching coach Justin Ramsey picked up Coach of the Year honors, and manager Kyle Moore was crowned Manager of the Year.

Rodriguez, a 19-year-old prospect from Nacogdoches, Texas, has made his name as one of the most electric arms to ever pass through Delmarva. Over 19 starts the right-hander is 9-4 with a 2.86 ERA in 88 innings. Rodriguez has walked just 35 and struck out 122 batters, good for a 12.48 K/9 mark.

Rodriguez, the Orioles' No. 2 prospect and No. 45 overall, grabbed the spotlight from the instant he set foot on the pitching rubber. He earned the first SAL Pitcher of the Week award in early April with back-to-back 10-strikeout starts against Lexington and Lakewood and opened the season on a 14.2-inning scoreless streak. Rodriguez would punch out 10 batters in a game twice more on the season; he tossed a combined 21 scoreless innings over those four double-digit strikeout starts.

The postseason accolades are just the latest in a banner year for Rodriguez. In addition to SAL Pitcher of the Week from April 4-14, he earned Orioles Minor League Pitcher of the Month at the end of April. In June, Rodriguez became one of eight Shorebirds named to the SAL All-Star Game, starting the game on the mound for the Northern Division. The next month he went to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in Cleveland, becoming the first active Shorebird to make it to the Futures Game since Hunter Harvey in 2014.

The Orioles drafted Rodriguez out of Central Heights High School (Nacogdoches, Texas) in the first round (11th overall) of the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft. His signing scout was Thom Dreier.

Hall, a 20-year-old prospect born in Bermuda and raised in London, Ontario, ranks inside the league's top 10 in six offensive categories, including batting average (.302), on-base percentage (.383), hits (134), runs (75), stolen bases (32), and OPS (.783). He leads the Shorebirds in all those categories, as well as doubles (22), and ranks second on the team in games played (116).

Hall, the Orioles' No. 14 prospect, began the season on a blistering pace, slashing .354/.453/.456 with 17 runs, 12 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases in April on the way to winning Orioles Minor League Player of the Month. He kept it up through the rest of the first half and was voted the Northern Division's starting shortstop in the SAL All-Star Game. Unphased by the longest season he's played in his life, Hall went on a 10-game hitting streak from August 8-17, batting .417 over that span. On August 20 against Greensboro, he alertly scored the game-winning run on an eighth inning wild pitch in Delmarva's record-setting 84th win.

The Orioles drafted Hall out of A.B. Lucas Secondary School (London, Ontario) in the second round (60th overall) of the 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft. His signing scout was Chris Reitsma.

Ramsey, finishing up his first season coaching in the Orioles system after over a decade in the college ranks, has overseen one of the most vaunted pitching staffs in all of Minor League Baseball. The Shorebirds' 3.02 ERA is fifth-best in MiLB, and tops in the SAL by a quarter-run. Delmarva leads the minors in saves (50) and batting average against (.205), is tied for second in shutouts (19), and ranks fifth in WHIP (1.18).

Most impressively, Ramsey's arms have struck out 1,308 batters (10.25 K/9), shattering the South Atlantic League record set by Lakewood in 2018. Grayson Rodriguez (122), Drew Rom (116), and Gray Fenter (112) have all broken 100 strikeouts for the season despite throwing fewer than 100 innings; Ryan Wilson (99) and Nick Vespi (96) are on the cusp of doing the same.

Watching over all of it has been Moore, who is in his first year managing the Shorebirds after a decade in the Orioles system in various roles. Under Moore's leadership, Delmarva started the season 24-4 and went 48-21 in the first half, running away with the Northern Division title and clinching the team's first postseason berth since 2005. The Shorebirds broke a 23-year-old franchise record with their 84th win of the season on August 20 and are bidding to become the first SAL team to reach 90 wins since 2006 (Augusta).

Moore's club has accomplished a dream season thanks to its ability to win a remarkable number of close games. Fifty-nine of Delmarva's 86 wins (68.6 percent) have come by three runs or fewer, and the team has 20 wins this season in games decided in its final at-bat. The Shorebirds set the tone from the get-go, winning 10 games in a row from April 9-18, the first of four separate winning streaks of five games or longer they have recorded through the year.

The SAL Postseason All-Star Team was voted on by the 14 teams' field managers, coaches, general managers, writers, and broadcasters. Asheville shortstop Terrin Vavra was named Most Valuable Player for the 2019 season, while Augusta southpaw Seth Corry earned Most Outstanding Pitcher.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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