Frederick Keys On a Hot Streak, Now in Second Place in Division

The Baltimore Orioles' High-A affiliate, the Frederick Keys, were expected to be pretty darn good heading into the 2017 season. After a slow start, the Keys are rolling and are now in second place in the Northern Division of the Carolina League.

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The expectations were due to their starting rotation, which included four of the Orioles' top 30 prospects (per MLB Pipeline), including right-handed pitcher Cody Sedlock and left-handed pitcher Keegan Akin, the O's top two draft picks last summer.

It wasn't just the pitching that was supposed to be good either, the Keys were boasting some potent offensive prospects as well in outfielder Austin Hays, shortstop Ryan Mountcastle, third baseman Jomar Reyes, and catcher Yermin Mercedes. Both Reyes (DL) and Mercedes (Promotion to Bowie) are not with the Keys at the moment, but did begin the season in Frederick.

After their first 20 games, the Keys sat at 9-11 and were struggling on both sides of spectrum.

Over their last 13 games however, the team has caught fire and have gone 9-4 to make their season record a season-high three games over .500 at 18-15 and now sit in second place in the Northern Division, just 3.5 games back of Salem (Red Sox).

Their pitching over this hot streak has been up-and-down with some dominant performances and some duds, but their offense has picked it up quite a bit.

Frederick's offense has average 5.4 runs per game over their last 13 games, which includes three games of which they scored two or fewer runs. To give the pitching it's due credit, the Keys won two of those three games where they scored two or fewer runs.

One of the bigger standouts over this recent stretch has been Mountcastle. The 20-year old is hitting .326 with three home runs and 11 RBI over his last 10 games.

The Keys are playing good baseball right now, and while it may have taken a little longer than expected, the wins are accruing. Be sure to Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick to catch the Keys in action, because you are going to see some great talent on the field and if recent history is any indication, you're likely to see a 'W' as well.

                                                                                                                                                      
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