Minor League Spring Training Report: 3/11/07

ITW has a report direct from the Baltimore Orioles' minor league spring training facility in Sarasota, Florida.

With lots of information to get to and an extra hour of sunshine for me to enjoy in Florida, you'll have to forgive me for going straight to bullet points:

--Zach Britton looked sharp, first fooling Richard D'Oleo every time he threw something other than his fastball. Then he dialed his fastball back up and made Pedro Silveren look silly. Britton has obviously made strides with his slider and remains a potential breakout candidate for 2007.

--Franklin Gonzalez spent 2006 playing every spot in the infield for the Bluefield Orioles. With his questionable bat, it makes sense to groom him for a utility role, but he looked very slick in the field today. He has soft hands and a quick first step.

--Josh Tamba showed good control in Aberdeen last year and more of the same in camp today. He threw mostly fastballs, but had no problem hitting both side of the plate.

--Frederick Pitching Coach Blaine Beatty was on hand while Chorye Spoone threw to live hitters. He was impressed by the development of Spoone's curveball, which he commanded better than last season. I still think he ends up as a reliever in the long run, but he's certainly progressing.

--Ryan Adams took some live pitches against Ezequiel Selen. Selen's command was spotty, so Adams' discerning eye meant a lot of non-swings.

--Seeing Brent Allar up close, it was clear why his mid-90's heat lasted into the 14th round of the 2006 amateur draft. In addition to his inconsistent command, he's built similar to former O's farmhand Chris Britton.

--Brandon Snyder again looked great while taking his cuts in batting practice. Though I've expressed my doubts about his recovery time in the past, I wouldn't be surprised to see him hit the ground running at low-A Delmarva this year.

--Towards the end of the day, Anthony Martinez and Kieron Pope were part of the same batting session. Pope mis-hit a few balls in his first turn and Martinez answered by hitting the longest shot of the day. Pope then came back in and trumped Martinez by hitting a ball that easily cleared the 400 foot fence in centerfield. Both of these guys have the potential to be very fun to watch this season.

Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via email at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com


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