By Contributing Writer: Chuck Boemmel Jr
The MLB Draft can produce gems in the later rounds if a team is willing to look hard enough. The Baltimore Orioles found such a gem in the 26th round of this year’s draft and almost lost him.
Photo: Chuck Boemmel Jr
Aberdeen Ironbirds (Class-A Short) southpaw Cameron Bishop produced quite a body of work this season. The Baltimore Orioles are lucky to have him and his body of work in their system; he was almost lost over five minutes.
Drafted 788th overall out of the University of California, Irvine, Bishop passed his physical and agreed to terms with the club on July 5th. The deadline to sign 2107 draftees was 5 pm. ET on July 7th and for some reason, the Orioles submitted the paperwork to the League office nearly 5 minutes after the deadline, a major faux pas for any front office.
MLB looked into the matter and decided not to punish Bishop over a delay by the Orioles. It is a good thing for Baltimore the deal was allowed to stand.
Bishop started 8 games for the Ironbirds and over a span of 34.2 innings, pitched to a 1-1 record with a 0.78 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. New York-Penn League opponents managed to hit just .165 off of the lefty who struck out 38 and walked 16; he surrendered only 1 homerun.
Consistent all season, Bishop ended the year by starting the Ironbird’s final game, the back end of a doubleheader against Hudson Valley (Tampa Bay) Thursday night. That start was solid: 3.0 scoreless innings pitched, surrendering 3 hits, while walking 1 and striking out 4. Sadly, he was credited with a no decision in a game the Ironbirds won 10-3.
On the season Bishop averaged 4.1 innings, 2.5 hits, 2 walks and almost 5 strike outs per start. He was able to pitch 6.0 innings twice while his shortest outing was 2.2 innings in his second start for the Ironbirds. He is a strike thrower who doesn’t allow hitters much success as his .219 batting average on balls put in play illustrates.
I like what Bishop has done and am anxious to see how he performs over a full Minor League season. Playing almost every night over a 140 game season can be the great equalizer. The next few years should allow Bishop to prove he is a gem from the 2017 draft.
The early returns say the Orioles pitching prospects are looking up.