The Frederick 40 Countdown: Part V

A look a 40 potential Keys for 2013, five at a time

By Mike Mueller | March 7, 2013 9:13 AM ET

Marcel Prado - P
Signed by the Dodgers as a 16-year-old out of his native Venezuela, Prado spent five seasons in the Los Angeles organization, reaching high-A Inland Empire in 2009. After a year out of baseball in 2011, Prado spent 2012 with the independent El Paso Diablos and was signed by Baltimore in December.

Prado, 25, appeared in 44 games last season, finishing with a 3.37 ERA, 15 saves, 43 strikeouts and 20 walks in 50.2 innings pitched for the Diablos. Prado played independent baseball in 2010 after the Dodgers released following his season with Inland Empire. In high-A ball, he finished with a 4.06 ERA in 41 games, throwing 44.1 innings and saving seven games.

Prado spent the winter pitching for the Bravos de Margarita in the Venezuelan Winter League, posting a 3.58 ERA in 27.2 innings pitched. The Nationals signed Prado in December 2011, but released him less than two weeks before the start of the season.

Luis Pardo - P
Out of affiliated baseball since 2008, Pardo looks to make his return in 2013 after spending 2012 with the Trinidad Triggers. The right-handed ace of the independent Colorado club's staff, he finished with a 4-3 record and a 7.81 ERA in 13 starts.

Pardo, 27, saw his ERA skyrocket after a nightmarish start on his birthday, July 14, in which he allowed 14 earned runs in 2.1 innings. He struck out 53 batters and walked 25 in 2012 and allowed an average of about four earned runs in his 12 other starts. Drafted by Houston in the ninth round of the 2007 first-year player draft out of his Miami high school, Pardo pitched in 13 games in short-season A Tri-City after signing and pitched in 16 in 2008 with low-A Lexington. He sported records of 0-8 and 1-9, respectively, with ERAs over 5.00 in the seasons and was released in November of 2008.

The Reds signed Pardo in February of 2009 but released just over a month later. After three years out of baseball, he returned to the diamond in 2011 and has thrown 155 innings over the last two seasons.

Chris Wade - SS
The Orioles signed Wade in December after posting a .301 average in his second season with the Windy City Thunderbolts, an independent club. A former 11th round pick of the Marlins in the 2009 draft, the 6-0, 170-pound shortstop from Kentucky played two seasons for the Miami organization before being released.

With Windy City, Wade improved in nearly every offensive category last season, stealing 20 bases, driving in 37 runs and homering five times. After signing with the Frontier League team in April of 2011, he hit just .253 for the Thunderbolts. Wade reached advanced-A Jupiter in 2010, but hit just .164 in 19 games. His best offensive stop with the Marlins' organization was short-season A Jamestown, when he hit .277 and scored 24 runs in 47 games. Defense proved to be a weakness during his two seasons in the Marlins' system, committing 18 errors, though he made just three in 90 games with Windy City in 2012.

Wade hit .313, drove in 42 runs and stole 14 bases in the 50 games of his final collegiate season at Kentucky. During his senior high school season, he batted .388 with 38 hits, 32 runs scored, 12 doubles, four home runs, 21 RBI and 14 stolen bases.

Kyle Mertins - P
A former 28th round selection of the Atlanta Braves, Mertins signed with the Orioles in January after an impressive season with the Sioux Falls Pheasants in the independent American Association. The 25-year-old right-handed reliever finished 2012 with a 1.00 ERA and 4-1 record with four saves in 45 games, compiling a strikeout rate of nine per nine innings.

Mertins, who was rated by Baseball America as the 19th-best prospect in independent baseball before the 2012 season, played for the Braves' organization for two seasons after being selected out of Cal State-Fullerton in 2010. He reached low-A Rome at the end of the 2010 campaign and spent his only full season in the Minors there. In 2011, Mertins recorded a 2.25 ERA, six saves and 20 strikeouts in 28 innings. Atlanta released him in March of 2012.

Mertins spent just a season at Cal State-Fullerton after two in junior college, recording scoreless appearances in 21 of his 25 games with the Titans.

Buddy Sosnoskie - OF
Undrafted after batting over .390 at Division II Francis Marion his final two collegiate seasons, left-handed outfielder Sosnoskie signed with independent Fargo-Moorhead last summers. Baseball America ranked Sosnoskie as independent baseball's seventh-best prospect after he hit .339 with 18 doubles, two triples, two home runs, 31 RBIs, 35 runs scored and nine stolen bases in 53 games with the Redhawks.

In his final season at FMU, Sonoskie, Baseball America's preseason D-II Player of the Year, batted .391 with 25 doubles, three triples, two home runs, 56 RBIs and 51 runs scored in 58 games. His junior year he hit .396 with nine triples and finished with a .474 on-base percentage. Sosnoskie started his college career at Virginia Tech, slugging 13 homers a sophomore.

Kansas City drafted Sosnoskie in the 25th round after that 2010 season, but he chose to transfer to FMU rather than go pro. The Orioles signed Sosnoskie in November.

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

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