O's Baumann among Pitchers of the Week

No. 27 Baltimore prospect tossed no-hitter in big week for Bowie

Michael Baumann has struck out 36 batters over 32 2/3 innings since joining Double-A Bowie on June 21. (Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | July 22, 2019 3:15 PM

Whether Michael Baumann has a future as a starter or reliever in the upper levels remains a question. Given his performance last week, he appears to be making a serious push for a spot in a future Major League rotation.

The Orioles' No. 24 prospect was named the Eastern League representative on the list of Minor League Pitchers of the Week for July 15-21 after throwing a nine-inning no-hitter for Double-A Bowie last Tuesday. Adding in a Sunday outing, Baumann finished the week with three earned runs allowed over 14 2/3 innings (1.84 ERA) while striking out 14 (most in the Eastern League) and walking only three. This is his third career Pitcher of the Week award and second of the season -- he also won in the Carolina League for Class A Advanced Frederick on May 6.

View the Offensive Players of the Week winners »

Regardless of what happened the rest of the way, the 23-year-old right-hander pretty much had this week's EL honor wrapped up after his history-making performance Tuesday. He needed only 94 pitches to wrap up the no-hitter against Harrisburg in just his fifth start since joining the Baysox on June 21. It was the sixth no-hitter thrown in the Eastern League this season but only the second by a single pitcher -- Casey Mize's gem on April 29 was the other.

Baumann's 10 strikeouts marked his Double-A high and the third time in 17 appearances this season that he reached double digits in the category. Also, his nine frames were a career best, beating out the seven he last achieved on Aug. 30, 2018 with Frederick.

Video: Bowie's Baumann completes no-no

The 2017 third-rounder had developed a reputation for having two above-average pitches in his low-to-mid-90s fastball (which also earns points for its movement) and his slider, but he needed a fully developed arsenal to accomplish this latest feat.

"It was a very tight game and I think that helped Mike stay focused, because he knew he had to try and match [Harrisburg starter Steven Fuentes]," Baysox pitching coach Kennie Steenstra told MiLB.com's Andrew Battifarano. "He was able to keep his concentration and was plugging along. I was proud, he's been trying to mix in some extra changeups and curveballs and he was doing that in the seventh, eighth and ninth."

With a more rounded-out repertoire, Baumann's results have taken a jump in 2019. His 113 strikeouts already eclipse his 106 from last season, despite coming in 44 fewer innings (86 2/3 vs. 130 2/3). Indeed, his 33.3 percent strikeout rate is 10th-highest among the 354 Minor League pitchers with at least 80 innings pitched in 2019, while his .173 average-against ranks fifth and his 0.99 WHIP 22nd. Between Bowie and Frederick, the Jacksonville University product owns a 2.80 ERA on the season, and he's been better at the higher level with a 1.10 ERA, 0.67 WHIP and 36 strikeouts over 32 2/3 innings. 

It's the type of breakout Baumann needed coming into the season as Baltimore tries to rebuild its farm system. He'll need the curveball and changeup to continue to stand out as a starter in a pipeline that boasts both Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall at the lower levels, but the results indicate he's certainly heading in the right direction. 

"It's a great feeling. My head is still spinning trying to wrap around what happened," he said after the no-no.

Below is the complete list of Minor League Pitchers of the Week for July 15-21:

League Player Team MLB Stats
International Corey Oswalt Syracuse NYM 2-0, 0.75 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 1 HBP, 0 BB, 12 K
Pacific Coast Brandon Bielak Round Rock HOU 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
Eastern Michael Baumann Bowie BAL 1-0, 1.84 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 14 K
Southern Trey Supak Biloxi MIL 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 SHO, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
Texas Lake Bachar Amarillo SD 2-0, 2.92 ERA, 2 G, 1 GS, 12 1/3 IP, 12 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 14 K
California Elliot Ashbeck Lake Elsinore SD 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
Carolina Jonathan Bowlan Wilmington KC 1-0, 2.57 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 SHO, 14 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 18 K
Florida State Philip Pfeifer Florida ATL 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 17 K
Midwest Andy Fisher Dayton CIN 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 HBP, 0 BB, 8 K
South Atlantic Colten Schmidt Asheville COL 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 SHO, 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
New York-Penn Jhenderson Hurtado Vermont OAK 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 0 GS, 1 SV, 8 1/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 HBP, 1 BB, 12 K
Northwest Adam Kloffenstein Vancouver TOR 2-0, 0.82 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K
Appalachian Reid Anderson Pulaski NYY 2-0, 1.00 ERA, 2 G, 0 GS, 9 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HBP, 2 BB, 11 K
Pioneer Kevin Malisheski Ogden LAD 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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