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Keys 2008 Opening Day Roster


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Press Release:

Three First Round Picks Highlight Roster

Frederick, MD – The Frederick Keys, Advanced Class-A Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles have announced their 2008 roster as they break camp from their spring training complex in Sarasota, FL. The Keys roster will feature each of the Baltimore Orioles last three first round selections including the #5 pick of the 2007 draft, C Matt Wieters. The team will have continuity from their 2007 championship run with nine players who spent time with the Keys last season returning to the club. Six of the Orioles top-ten prospects deemed by national publication Baseball America will break camp with the Keys.

“The 2008 Frederick Keys are one of the most talented squads to have ever played in Frederick,” Keys General Manager Dave Ziedelis said. “The excitement from our fanbase as we approach opening day is palpable.”

The starting pitchers are led by a young crop of power pitchers including Jake Arrieta, Pedro Beato and Brandon Erbe. Arrieta was drafted in the fifth round of the 2007 draft and stunned many in the prestigious Arizona Fall League by not allowing a run in 14 appearances. Beato, the 32nd overall pick of the 2006 draft, represented the Orioles in the Future’s Game in 2007. Erbe, a 20-year old local product from Owings Mills, MD, was Frederick’s opening day starter in 2007. All three pitchers are listed as top-ten prospects in the Orioles organization by Baseball America.

Behind the plate the Keys will have the prized prospect Wieters, a two-time collegiate All American out of Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jacket was just the second All-American catcher in Georgia Tech history joining Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. Wieters signed too late to play in the regular season in 2007 for an Orioles record six million dollars. Although he played in the professional Hawaiian Winter Baseball League, Wieters will make his official professional debut with the Keys.

The infield will feature top prospects Brandon Snyder and Bill Rowell who will man the corner infield spots in 2008. Snyder, who hails from Centreville, VA, was the Orioles first round pick in 2005. He led the Hawaiian Winter Baseball League this off-season batting .378. Rowell was selected with the ninth overall pick of the 2006 draft, a high school player with exceptional power. Last year Rowell battled through an early season oblique strain but he has regained the power that saw him launch a 480-foot home run for the Aberdeen Ironbirds in 2006.

The outfielders include the Orioles Minor League Player of the Year Brandon Tripp and speedster Danny Figueroa. Tripp rebounded from a sub-par 2006 to bat a stellar .288 with 19 home runs and 79 RBI with Delmarva last season. Figueroa, whose brother Paco played with the Keys in 2006, will give the Keys line-up needed speed. Figueroa stole 35 bases in Delmarva in 2007.

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YES!!!

That is all.... I'm kidding.

I am absolutely looking forward to next week knowing this core will be the crux of the defending Mills Cup champions. I'm excited to see Synder, Weiters, Rowell and Tripp dominate the lineup. Personally, this may be the most loaded lineup Frederick has ever seen, and what better season to have this happen but in their 20th season.

The rotation looks to be just as strong as the lineup, led by Erbe, Beato and Arrieta. Jake's coming off a stellar AFL stint and I'm eager to see the new mechanics Erbe has in his windup. Beato, I'm looking forward to seeing if he can rebound after stumbling last year.

Yeah, I'm uber-psyched for baseball, and I can't wait!

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YES!!!

That is all.... I'm kidding.

I am absolutely looking forward to next week knowing this core will be the crux of the defending Mills Cup champions. I'm excited to see Synder, Weiters, Rowell and Tripp dominate the lineup. Personally, this may be the most loaded lineup Frederick has ever seen, and what better season to have this happen but in their 20th season.

The rotation looks to be just as strong as the lineup, led by Erbe, Beato and Arrieta. Jake's coming off a stellar AFL stint and I'm eager to see the new mechanics Erbe has in his windup. Beato, I'm looking forward to seeing if he can rebound after stumbling last year.

Yeah, I'm uber-psyched for baseball, and I can't wait!

Adam, are they going to do a meet the Keys function this year?
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Here is the roster (as posted on the Keys website):

Pitchers:

Jake Arrieta, Pedro Beato, Brad Bergesen, Jason Burch, Brandon Erbe, J.P. Martinez, Ryan Ouellette, Wilfredo Perez, Jake Renshaw, Ryan Rodriguez, Kyle Schmidt, Chad Thall.

-Guessing Arrieta, Beato, Bergesen, Erbe and Renshaw are the starters. I don't know much about J.P. Martinez, I think he was a draft pick of ours (I'll look later). Ryan Rodriguez was a pickup from the White Sox organization. He played with Winston-Salem last year. The bullpen looks pretty solid, Tommy Thompson's got some choices for set-up and closer.

Catchers:

Justin Johnson, Michael Pierce, Matt Weiters

-JJ is back with the Keys after a brief stint last year. He's got some potential. Pierce is a solid backup and Weiters... yeah, I can't wait to see him.

Infield:

Miguel Abreu, Chris Amador, Todd Davison, Billy Rowell, Brandon Snyder, Chris Vinyard, Jason White

-Amador is versatile and can play second and in the outfield. White was acquired from the Twins organization. Davison is a scrappy kid. Rowell, Synder, Vinyard... we know them.

Outfield:

Bobby Andrews, Danny Figueroa, Brandon Tripp, Paul Winterling

-Some good power (Tripp, Winterling) mixed in with some speed.

Do the math and you add up that there is 26 players on the roster. I have a feeling that someone may be moved/placed on the DL when the season starts to get to 25.

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Yeah, there's two. The first is at the Greene Turtle in downtown Frederick next Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. Unless I have a story to do for the News-Post, I'll be there and hanging out and grabbing some food and a beverage or two.

The second one is Saturday morning from 11-1 p.m. and then there's a game at 2 p.m.

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Reallly suprised and Not happy to see Rowell playing there. I realize they most likely want Henson to play 3rd in Delmarva., but I wish they would make Billy R. earn his way up the ladder. From what I've read, he had a mediocre spring, and didn't hit lefties last year. Doesn't sound like he earned it. AND, the O's and Billy will have a built in excuse that they rushed him if he does not impress this year. Hoping for the best, we need him , but think this is not a good move.

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Jason White, 17th round pick last year, apparently the starting SS? He's 24 this year and played in Bluefield last year. That's intriguing to me.

Not a whole lot of options here. Garciaparra could also see some time here as well as Jed Stephens at some point.

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