A southpaw from the west coast, Bywater spent the majority of 2012 in Frederick after a strong start to the year in low-A Delmarva. The 23-year-old appeared in eight games for the Shorebirds, posting a 1.56 ERA, before being promoted to the Keys in just his second season of professional baseball.
Bywater spent most of his time with Frederick working out of the bullpen, though he made five starts. He finished the Keys season with a 5.67 ERA and K/9 rate of 7.24 in 46 innings and was then promoted to AA Bowie for its playoff run.
The Orioles selected Bywater out of Pepperdine in the seventh round of the 2010 draft. Bwyater had a decorated three-year college career with the Waves, twice named to the All-West Coast Conference First Team and finished 2010 with four complete games, the most in the NCAA. His first start of 2010 was a complete-game shutout against No. 4 Cal-State Fullerton, a performance that earned him National Pitcher of the Week honors.
After garnering the interest of colleges as a quarterback and forgoing a commitment to Texas Tech, Bridwell signed with the Orioles out of his Hereford, Tex., high school in 2010. A long 6-4, 190-pound right-hander, he spent all of 2012 in Delmarva, pitching in 23 games – 22 of which he started – for the Shorebirds.
Bridwell struggled last season, posting a 5-9 record and a 5.98 ERA in 114 innings, while walking 63 and striking out 71. At 21 years old, he's rated as Baltimore's 23rd-best prospect overall and 13th-best pitching prospect by Baseball America with a sinking fastball that lingers in the high 80s and low 90s.
As a senior at Hereford High School, Bridwell finished with a 7-2 record on the mound, posting a 2.26 ERA with 106 strikeouts in 65 innings. A three-sport star, he also threw for 2,669 yards and 24 touchdowns and averaged 12.1 points and 6.3 rebounds during his senior year. Baltimore picked Bridwell in the ninth-round of the 2010 draft.
A hard-throwing pitcher drafted out of Mississippi State, Jones finished 2012 with the Keys in dominant fashion. Promoted from Delmarva in July, the 22-year-old righty went 7-1 in nine starts with Frederick, posting a 2.80 ERA and throwing two complete games. Prior to his move to the Keys, Jones was used out of the bullpen in Delmarva, striking out 51 batters in 54 innings, saving three games and posting a 2.65 ERA.
Jones was drafted in the ninth round of the 2011 first-year player draft out of MSU, where we was mostly used out of the bullpen. At 6-2, 170 with a fastball that can creep into the mid-90s, Jones saw his strikeout rate cut nearly in half when he moved to the starting rotation last season. His effectiveness, however, improved.
A Mississippi native, Jones was also drafted out of high school by Cleveland but decided to honor his commitment to Mississippi State. Jones is rated by Baseball America as the Orioles 18th-best prospect overall and ninth-best pitching prospect. If he continues his success from 2012, his potential 2013 stop in Frederick may be a brief one.
Frederick's leader in batting average for the 2012 season, Nowak hit .281 in 117 games with seven homers, 44 RBIs, 40 walks and 117 strikeouts. A switch-hitting outfielder, he also led Frederick with 26 doubles.
Nowak arrived in Frederick after spending 2011 in Aberdeen and Delmarva. A 24-year-old from Cheektowga, N.Y., Baltimore drafted Nowak in the 13th-round of the 2010 out of Mount Olive College in North Carolina.
At Division II Mount Olive, where he transferred before his senior season, Nowak set single-season records in batting average (.446) and hits (99). He started his season year with a 34-game hit streak and also hit 17 home runs while driving in 81 runs. Nowak was named a first-team All-American that year and finished the top 12 for the Tino Martinez Division II National Player of the Year Award.
Oliveira spent all of 2012 with Frederick, playing 72 games and hitting .209. A right-handed catcher drafted out the University of the Pacific in the 15th round of the 2010 draft, Oliveira spent 36 games with short-season A Aberdeen in his first professional season.
A good defensive catcher, he spent about four weeks with the Keys in 2011, hitting .308 in nine games, but was sent down to Delmarva to make room for another catching prospect, Justin Dalles. His promotion to Frederick for the 2012 season didn't yield similar offensive production and a bat to the head in late May caused a laceration that required stitches and sidelined him for over a week.
Oliveira, 25, spent five years at Pacific, hitting .238 for his career. For his final three season, he was named to the watch list for the Johnny Bench Award, given to the nation's best collegiate catcher.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.