FREDERICK, MD - The Orioles began their minicamp at the Ed Smith Stadium complex down in Sarasota, FL on Monday. The minicamp is a chance for the big league club to get a look at their future by bringing in minor league players from across the Orioles organization. This year's minicamp features a number of former Keys.
Both Mychal Givens and Mike Wright have spent time in Baltimore over the past two seasons. Givens has compiled a 10-2 record with a 2.75 ERA in 88 games with the O's. He spent part of 2014 in Frederick, going 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA and three saves in 18 games. Wright, the Orioles third round pick in 2011, has split time between Triple-A Norfolk and Baltimore the last two years. Keys fans saw him go 5-2 with a 2.91 ERA in eight starts back in 2012. He also boasted an impressive 7:1 strikeout to walk ratio.
A Florida resident, Christian Walker, is making a full transition to the outfield after splitting time between leftfield, first base and DH last year. With Norfolk, he batted .264 in 131 games to go with 18 homers and 64 RBIs. Frederick was among Walker's three stops in 2013, when he played 55 games and hit .288 with eight longballs and 35 RBIs.
From 2014-16, Jimmy Yacabonis appeared in 76 total games for the Keys. After experiencing ups and downs over his first two seasons, the New Jersey native turned in a terrific 2016. Posting a 3.96 ERA in 16 games, Yacabonis held opponents to a .227 batting average. At the time of his promotion to Double-A Bowie, he was tied for the Carolina League lead in appearances. The righty concluded his terrific season by going 2-2 with a 2.03 ERA in 44.1 innings for the Baysox.
The Orioles acquired Chris Lee in May of 2015 from the Houston Astros. The 6'3" lefty started 14 games for Frederick, going 3-6 with a 3.07 ERA before helping lead Bowie to the Eastern League Championship. In November 2015, he was added to the Orioles 40-man roster.
Stefan Crichton spent last season in Bowie, but pitched in seven games for the Keys the year prior. Tallying a 4.05 ERA, he struck out 18 batters and walked only one in 13.1 innings. This past fall, he thrived in the Arizona Fall League, leading the circuit in appearances (13).
John Means made 13 starts for the Keys over two seasons. The former 11th round draft pick for the Orioles went a perfect 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA for the Keys in nine starts last season.
Branden Kline last pitched for Bowie in 2015. The Frederick native missed the entire 2016 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The second rounder went 8-6 with a 3.84 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 23 games for the Keys back in 2014.
Minicamp will conclude on Wednesday. The Frederick Keys kickoff their 2017 season on Thursday, April 6 against the Carolina Mudcats at Nymeo Field. Ticket plans are currently on sale, while any fan who purchases or renews a ticket plan can choose between a Jonathan Schoop bobblehead or a Dylan Bundy gnome. For ticket information fans can call 301-815-9900 or visit frederickkeys.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.