By Contributing Writer: Chuck Boemmel Jr.
Aberdeen Ironbirds’ (Class-A Short) C/DH Ben Breazeale is off to a torrid start in 2017.
Photo: Patrick Cavey
Breazeale was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 7th round (218 overall) of this year’s draft out of Wake Forest University. His 193 game, 4 year career at Wake Forest resulted in a .276/ .387/ .405 slash line with 16 home runs and 106 RBI. Signing with the Orioles for a reported $10,000 bonus on June 21st, Breazeale was assigned to Aberdeen and hasn’t looked back.
In 37 games through August 3, Breazeale is slashing .378/ .466/ .541 with 13 doubles, 2 home runs, 22 walks and 27 RBI. In fact, he began the season by reaching base in 28 straight games.
Breazeale is currently leading the New York-Penn League in batting average, OBP and OPS; he is tied for the league lead in doubles as well.
Named the New York-Penn League Player of the Week on July 9 for a week in which he hit .542/ .607/ .792 with 1 homerun, 2 doubles and 5 RBI, Breazeale was recognized as the Baltimore Orioles’ Minor League Player of the Month for the month of July. His numbers in July were nothing short of outstanding: .390/ .462/ .550 with 10 doubles, 2 homeruns, 13 walks and 23 RBI.
Defensively, Breazeale is performing just as well. In 14 games behind the dish he has thrown out 23% (7/30) of would be base stealers. He has a fielding percentage of .980 and has committed 3 errors while being tagged with 10 passed balls.
I expect all these numbers to improve with experience and maturity. A bat like the one Breazeale possesses will always have a spot in the lineup. He has the potential to join the likes of Chance Sisco, Austin Wynns and Yermin Mercedes as top Orioles’ catching prospects.
As bright as the present has been for Breazeale, the future is just as bright. Keep an eye on this one Orioles fans.