Meet Tyler Townsend

It has been some time since the Orioles have produced one of their own young corner infielders and have, yet again, turned to the draft in hopes of finding one. Meet Tyler Townsend, the Orioles third selection of the 2009 draft, inside.

If the Orioles are looking for a power hitting first baseman, Tyler Townsend may be their answer. One of the newest IronBirds hit his first home run over the weekend, a three-run blast over the right field wall. He is the highest 2009 pick to join Aberdeen and looks to be a solid player for the IronBirds.

Townsend, Baltimore's 3rd Round Pick (85th overall) in the 2009 MLB First Year Player Draft, signed after three years at Florida International University. He led the Golden Panthers in home runs the last two seasons, including hitting 24 in his final year, a 10-homer improvement over his sophomore year. Playing in 54 games, he also led in RBI with 77, slugging with .858, total bases with 182, sacrifice flies with six, and tied for the lead in doubles with 16.

In an FIU press release by Gianluca Messina, he quoted Townsend's coach, Turtle Thomas, as saying "Tyler's like losing three players, he's that good."

The lefty has a very quick swing and has patience at the plate, despite his professional numbers not reflecting this. He walked 26 times and struck out only 31 times in 54 games in his final amateur season. Townsend says one thing he will need to get used to is hitting with wooden bats full-time.

"There's a difference in the distribution of weight, it is something I've got to get used to, it is just a different feel," Townsend told ITO.

Adjusting to the professional ranks has not been easy for Townsend. He is only hitting .170 in his first 12 games with Aberdeen, including 18 strikeouts in 47 at-bats. But, he is showing his power when he makes contact. Half of his eight hits have gone for extra bases (three doubles and the home run).

Aberdeen manager Gary Kendall says Townsend will often be placed in the middle of the Aberdeen lineup.

"He seems like a guy that will put good swings on pitches," Kenadall said. "He's big, strong, he's got some raw power, he seems like a kid that retains, and he's a baseball player."

As far as retaining information, no need to worry, Townsend has shown he can do that. At FIU, he maintained a 3.5 GPA past his sophomore season as a criminal justice major.

As a high-schooler, Townsend was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Delaware. He had been around the Orioles growing up, and may someday have a chance to play for the team he used to see at Camden Yards.

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