FREDERICK, MD-The Baltimore Orioles have announced the tentative break camp roster for the 2019 Frederick Keys. This group of 27 includes one of Minor League Baseball's top left-handed pitching prospects and four of the Orioles top 30 prospects according to Baseball America. A team largely of newcomers, 17 are slated to begin their first seasons with the Keys.
Regarded as one of the top pitchers in Minor League Baseball and the No. 2 prospect in the O's system by Baseball America, DL Hall joins the Keys for the 2019 season. Ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the South Atlantic League following the 2018 season, the left-hander went 2-7 with a 2.10 ERA in 22 games (20 starts) for the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds. He was a first-round pick by the Orioles in the 2017 draft.
Brenan Hanifee and Cameron Bishop join Hall in the rotation following excellent 2018 seasons with Delmarva. Placing fourth in the SAL in ERA (2.86), Hanifee led Orioles farmhands in this category as well. Ranked as the No. 11 prospect on the O's farm, the right-hander also surrendered only 1.5 walks per nine innings. Bishop showcased pinpoint control as well, walking just 20 batters in 125.2 frames.
Mike Baumann returns to Frederick following a strong 2018 campaign between the Keys and the Shorebirds. Baltimore's No. 21 prospect according to Baseball America, the right-hander went 13-5 with a 3.17 ERA and placed fourth on the Orioles farm in ERA. Cody Sedlock and Matthias Dietz (Orioles #29 prospect) who each logged time in the Frederick rotation during the 2018 season also return.
In the bullpen, the Keys welcome back Steven Klimek , Travis Seabrooke and Francisco Jiménez. One of the orange and black's most consistent relievers in 2018, Klimek tallied a 3.43 ERA, while tying for third in the league in appearances (43). Seabrooke closed out last year strong in Frederick, giving up just five earned runs in his final 16 innings. Meanwhile, Jiménez saw action with the Triple-A Norfolk Tides in addition to 14 games with the Keys.
Diógenes Almengo, Scott Burke, David Lebron, Cameron Ming and Luis Pérez round out the Keys pitching staff. Almengo tallied a 3.86 ERA between Delmarva and Short-Season Aberdeen and Burke turned in strong second half numbers despite limited action. No stranger to the Carolina League, Lebron pitched for the Down East Wood Ducks in 2018 and made his CL debut in Frederick. As a southpaw, Ming limited left-handed batters to a .171 average in 2018 and Pérez turned in six quality starts in 10 games with Delmarva.
Ben Breazeale serves as one of the Keys three catchers to begin 2019. The former Wake Forest product caught 73 games for Delmarva last season. Jean Carrillo threw out 36% of potential base stealers while sharing catching duties with Breazeale. That duo will benefit from the veteran presence of Stuart Levy . One of the top defensive catchers in the Orioles system, the Arkansas native spent 2018 in Frederick but got a taste of Triple-A as well.
On the infield, J.C. Escarra returns to Frederick after playing 12 games with the Keys early in 2018. Spending most of the year with the Short-Season Aberdeen IronBirds, the former FIU product slashed .331/.417/.511 and was named a New York-Penn League Midseason All-Star as well as the IronBirds MVP. Escarra will be joined at first by Ryan Ripken who played 106 games with Delmarva in 2018. He is the son of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr.
A South Atlantic League Midseason All-Star last year, Trevor Craport split time between first, third and leftfield. Mason McCoy joins Frederick after playing mostly shortstop for Delmarva. There, he finished tied for the SAL lead in triples (10). Former UConn product Willy Yahn makes the jump to Frederick from Aberdeen, while Yeltsin Gudino and Jomar Reyes round things out. Acquired from the Blue Jays on Friday, Gudino has played all across the infield over five years in the Toronto farm system.
Zach Jarrett earned SAL Midseason and Postseason accolades as a member of the Delmarva outfield last year. The son of NASCAR legend Dale Jarrett, Zach led all Orioles minor leaguers with 139 hits. Jake Ring was limited to 74 games in 2018 due to injury but looks to regain the form that made him a South Atlantic League All-Star in 2017. Speedster Kirvin Moesquit joins Frederick after leading the SAL with 49 stolen bases last year. That figure was also tied for fourth-best in the MiLB.
Ryan Minor begins his second straight season as the Keys manager and third overall. He will be joined by newcomers Justin Lord (Pitching Coach) and Adam Bleday (Development Coach). Jack Graham opens the season as the Keys Hitting Coach. Marty Brinker (Trainer) and Kevin Mixon (Strength and Conditioning) round out the staff.
The Keys kickoff their home schedule on Thursday, April 4 when the Winston-Salem Dash come to town. Fans can purchase single-game regular season tickets as well as tickets to the 2019 Carolina League All-Star Classic, presented by Visit Frederick, by visiting frederickkeys.com or by visiting the Keys box office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.