By Contributing Writer: Chuck Boemmel Jr.
Lucas Long, right-handed pitcher for the Class-AA Bowie Baysox, is quietly having a solid season in 2017. His season so far has been overshadowed by the buzz surrounding a few of his Bowie teammates and that buzz that may have caused Long’s performance to go unnoticed by many. The Eastern League did notice his performance, however, and has named him to the Eastern League All-Star team for the July 12th game in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Long, the Baltimore Orioles’ 24th pick in the 2014 draft (721st overall), is currently 5-3 with 5 saves in 8 opportunities for the Baysox. He has a 2.10 ERA to go along with a 1.05 WHIP and is limiting opponents to a .225 batting average. In 73.0 innings this season he has struck out 65 while walking 16.
Long owns the only two complete games pitched for the Baysox this season and has appeared in 21 games; he has made 4 starts this season.
Long’s ERA and WHIP lead the Eastern League (as of Friday morning) among qualifying pitchers and his strikeout total is good for 14th overall.
Among Bowie pitchers, Long’s WHIP leads the team. His ERA is second only to Tanner Scott’s (not enough innings to qualify for the League lead). Long is third on the Baysox in strikeouts, fourth in games, fifth in innings pitched and tied for third in wins.
Long keeps the ball down in the zone as evidenced by his 1.61 ground out to fly out ratio.
As a member of the Orioles organization since 2014, Long has made stops at every level from the Gulf Coast League to Class-AA. Once he was promoted to Frederick (Class-A High) in late April of 2016 Long showed signs of what was to come. His record in Frederick was 7-7 in 24 starts spanning 128.2 innings. He pitched to a 4.27 ERA and 1.40 WHIP while holding opponents to a .290 batting average. He walked 31 while striking out 112 while keeping the ball mainly on the ground (1.76 ground out to fly out ratio).
It would appear as though pitching in the Carolina League began to bring out the best in Long and that the move to the Eastern League has improved upon that.
Deserving of his spot on the Eastern League All-Star team, Long has all the qualities of a workhorse in a pitching rotation. I can see him as a middle of the rotation hurler or at the least a long reliever.
Here’s hoping that the rest of the 2017 season as well as his performance in the All-Star game helps to put Long’s name on the list of Minor League Prospects Baltimore is talking about. The list of must-see players in Bowie is growing.
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