Recapping the Delmarva Shorebirds 2017 Season, Alex Wells and Jake Ring Stand Out

We continue on with our 2017 season recaps for each of the Baltimore Orioles minor league affiliates. Today, we take a look at the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds, who had some standout performers.

Arthur W. Perdue Stadium - Home of the Shorebirds
Photo: Baby Birdland

The South Atlantic League is considered Low-A, and Low-A is the lowest, full-season level in the minor leagues. This is where some players begin to show whether they are real prospects or not, and often have several of the top drafted players from the year before.

The Shorebirds did have a few of those players, though the likes of 2016 top picks Cody Sedlock (1st), Keegan Akin (2nd) and Austin Hays (3rd) were all sent straight to the High-A Frederick Keys to begin the year, the Shorebirds did have some of the top picks from the year before.

In terms of the win-loss column, the season did not go as planned for the Shorebirds. Delmarva went 59-78 on the year, which was the second-worst record in the entire South Atlantic League. The Shorebirds had a losing record at both home (28-40) and on the road (31-38).

The biggest struggle for the Shorebirds was offensively, where their .240 batting average was the second lowest in the SAL, and their 544 runs were the fourth lowest. On the mound, they found themselves in the middle of the pack with a 3.79 team ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

Below are the team's leaders, both offensively and on the mound:


  • OF Cole Billingsley, 23 - The 2016 19th round pick had a very good season in his first full professional season. He hit .282 with 24 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 31 RBI and scored 66 runs over 120 games. He also boasted a .349 OBP and stole 27 bases in 39 attempts. He played three games for the AA Bowie Baysox this year as well.
  • OF Jake Ring, 23 - The Post and Mid-Season SAL All-Star had a terrific year at the plate. He hit .272 with 36 doubles, four triples, 14 home runs, 65 RBI and scored 69 runs in 118 games. He also owned a .328 OBP and stole 17 bases in 23 attempts. His 36 doubles led the entire SAL. Ring also played three games for the High-A Frederick Keys.
  • 1B Preston Palmeiro, 22 - The 2016 7th round pick rebounded at the plate after a dreadful start to the year and hit a respectable .253 with 27 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs, 55 runs scored and a team-high 77 RBI. He owned a .319 OBP as well. His 77 RBI were fifth-most in the SAL.
  • LHP Alex Wells, 20 - The 2017 Orioles Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Wells has been absolutely outstanding since being signed by the O's out of Australia a couple of years ago. After a dominant year with the Ironbirds in 2016, Wells proved he could do it for a full-season affiliate as he went 11-5 with a 2.38 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP over 25 starts and 140 innings pitched. He struck out 113 batters while walking just 10, yes you read that correctly, he walked 10 batters ALL SEASON.
  • RHP Steven Klimek, 23 - Klimek had a very solid year out of the Shorebirds' bullpen. He went 7-3 with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP over 37 appearances and 70.2 innings pitched. He also picked up six saves and struck out 71. He held opponents to a .225 batting average and walked just 12.
  • RHP Francisco Jimenez, 22 - Originally out of the Dominican Republic, Jimenez had a solid year in the Shorebirds bullpen. He went 7-2 with a 3.13 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP over 28 appearances (two starts) and 77.2 innings pitched. He also struck out 63 and held opponents to a .238 batting average. He also appeared in one game for the Keys as well.
The Shorebirds did not win as much as they would have liked, but they did have some fun talent to watch on the field, as well as the Pitcher of the Year in the Orioles' minor league organization.


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