Did anybody see this coming? It's not just this week, the entire season has been night and day from last year. In fact, until April of this season, the last time Florimon hit .300 in a full month was in July of 2006 with Aberdeen. Coming into this season, Florimon had 5 career home runs, he has 5 in 112 AB's this year. Yes, the ball jumps in Frederick, but he is hitting the ball hard to all fields, from both sides of the plate.
2. David Hernandez (Norfolk): 2 GS (1-0), 12.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 5 H, 20 SO, 4 BB, 0.74 WHIP
Hernandez mad a good impression during Spring Training and could find himself in the big leagues soon. He has always had high strikeout totals, but his 2.7 BB/9 IP is the best of his career, so far. Corresponding to that, his 4.62 SO: BB ratio is double the best SO: BB ratio of his career. And I thought it was supposed to get harder the higher you go?
This stretch included a 7.1 inning performance with 14 strikeouts and no walks Friday evening.
3. Jake Arrieta (Bowie): 2 GS (1-1), 13.0 IP, 2.08 ERA, 7 H, 19 SO, 4 BB, 0.85 WHIP
If not for a tough first inning in his start Friday, Arrieta could find himself atop this list. He earned a complete game shutout in his start on May 16 when the game ended after 7 innings due to rain. He struck out a career high 10 batters in that game and gave up just one hit. Remember, every team passed on him, including the Orioles, until the 5th round of the 2007 draft.
4. Brandon Waring (Frederick): 7 G, .320 AVG (8/25), .680 SLG, 2 HR, 3 SO, 5 BB, 6 RBI
Waring, 23, who came over from the Reds in the Ramon Hernandez trade has been crushing the ball all over the field the past week, and all season for that matter. The home runs this week may be a little bit of an understatement, he hit a pair in one game just before the deadline for the start of this list, so he has four in the past 8 days. The 23-year-old is doing what he should in the Carolina League and could take Brandon Snyder's spot in Bowie when/if Snyder is promoted. Waring adds a little versatility in that he is a natural third baseman, and has played well there in the past.
5. Matt Wieters (Norfolk): .318 AVG (7/22), 4 XBH, .682 SLG, 2 3b, 7 RBI
In retrospect, I guess this has been a cold week for Wieters, but he finds himself here on the Hot List. Yes, you are reading that correctly, a pair of triples for the big guy. Does this mean he'll have the green light for the rest of the season?
Wieters looked good in the Orioles jerseys in Spring Training, it will not bee too long before we see him in those uniforms again if he keeps hitting like this.
6. Richard Zagone (Delmarva): 1 GS (1-0), 6.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 10 SO, 3 BB, 0.833 WHIP
It's hard to believe that Zagone has already surpassed his walk total from last season (14 in 65.1 IP) in just 44.2 IP, but it is still not terribly bad. He is taking advantage of a park that has favored pitchers in the past few years, but is also pitching well against the road. The tall, lanky, lefty is letting right-handed batters hit more than 100 points higher than left-handed batters, but it's OK when the righties are only hitting .211.
Zagone is fourth in the South Atlantic League in WHIP at 1.01 on the season, but he has pitched in more innings than the three pitchers ahead of him. He had his worst year at Missouri in 2008 when he was drafted, but the Orioles saw something in him and now he's showing fans what the O's saw.
7. Justin Turner (Norfolk): 4 G, .308 AVG (4/13), 1 SO, 1 BB
Turner, another one of the guys who came over from the Reds in the Hernandez trade, has actually cooled off this week, but this is as much of a nod to his past two weeks. He got off to a rough start but has really turned his early season woes around. Turner has played second, third and short this year with the Tides
8. Troy Patton (Bowie): 1 GS (1-0), 5.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 5 H, 5 SO, 0 BB, 1.00 WHIP
Just one start this week is the reason Patton finds himself this low on the list. He went from contending for a rotation spot before the 2008 season, to season-ending surgery, to Bowie and he is proving as he did in 2007 that Double-A is no match for him. Patton is third in the Eastern Leage in WHIP with a 0.92 WHIP on the season and leads the league with a 1.14 ERA. He has not walked more than two batters in four consecutive starts. Patton also worked into the sixth inning in five consecutive starts from April 16-May 13. Most importantly, though, Patton is healthy.
9. Cole McCurry (Delmarva): 2 GS (1-1), 11.0 IP, 3.27 ERA, 7 H, 8 SO, 3BB, 0.91 WHIP
At 23 years old these numbers, and his body of work this year, should be expected in the Sally League. He has not walked more than two batters yet this season and is off to a fast start. The pitching has been the bright spot on the Eastern Shore this year, and McCurry has been no exception. Righties are only batting .215 off of McCurry and he has certainly dominated at home, giving up just 2 earned runs in 5 starts.
10. Zach Britton (Frederick): 1 GS (2-0), 11.0 IP, 2.45 ERA, 9 H, 10 SO, 5 BB, 1.27 WHIP
The walks are a little high, but his two starts this week were pretty solid. Interestingly, however, he gets credit for pitching in back-to-back games on the 16th and 17th. Britton re-started the May 17 game against Kinston on Friday after that game was suspended. So, he did not actually pitch 11 innings in two days. It was not his best week, but in re-starting a suspended game, he had to start from the stretch in the first inning of a game with no outs. Plus, any time a starter is credited with a win for games on back-to-back days, that's a good week.
1. Delmarva's offense
The team has averaged just three runs per game over the past week, but they did snap an 8-game losing streak on Wednesday and have shown signs of their offense turning it around of late, putting up 13 of their 21 runs in the past week over their last three games.
2. Mike Costanzo (Bowie): .167 AVG (3/18), 2 2b, 1 RBI, 0 HR, 6 SO
Costanzo has handled his transfer from Norfolk to Bowie well, but his struggles have continued. He was considered a power bat with some good upside when he came over from Houston in the Miguel Tejada trade prior to the 2008 season. Costanzo is running out of time at age 25 in Double-A, but hopefully he can find the stroke he had in 2007 when he hit 27 home runs with the Double-A Reading Phillies, also in the Eastern League.
3. Jeff Fiorentino (Norfolk): .059 AVG (1/17), 3 BB, 1 R
Fio got off to a quick start with the Tides, but has fallen off in the past week. He was hitting the ball with authority at the outset and will need to pick it up if the Tides want to keep the best record in the International League. He will be counted upon after the losses of Nolan Reimold and Lou Montanez to the big league club. At the very least, he will need to get out of this funk to show that he can be counted upon in case the injury bug that has struck the Orioles affiliates finds its way to the majors.