Waring Named CL MVP, Three More Keys Honored

Brandon Waring has had a superb season according to Carolina League awards voters, he was named the league MVP Wednesday. He received more honors and three of his teammates were also honored with post-season awards. Inside Waring and Orioles Director of Player Development, David Stockstill, talked to InsideTheOs.com about the honors.

Brandon Waring is the 2009 Most Valuable Player of the Carolina League and first in Frederick Keys history as the league announced its post-season award winners Wednesday evening.

Waring was also named to the Post-Season All-Star team at first base, where he played most of the season before transitioning over to third base. Waring led the Carolina League in doubles (35), RBI's (90), total bases (246), slugging percentage (.520), and on-base plus slugging percentage (.874) at the time of his promotion to Double-A Bowie. Waring was also second in the league with 26 home runs.

"It was definitely a huge honor," Waring said after finding out Wednesday evening. "I was fortunate to have a good season and put up some good numbers and it led to an MVP, so I'm happy. To have that happen, it's a big honor."

According to a release by the Keys, Waring's 26 home runs with Frederick are second most in team history and his 63 extra base hits (26 homers, two triples, 35 doubles) are a new team record.

Earlier in the season Waring was also named to the mid-season Carolina League All-Star team and participated in the home run derby, which comprised players from the Carolina and California Leagues.

The Orioles acquired Brandon Waring from the Cincinnati Reds on December 9, 2008, as a part of a deal that sent catcher Ramon Hernandez to the Reds. The Orioles also got Ryan Freel, who was traded to the Chicago Cubs, and second base prospect Justin Turner who is finding success in Triple-A Norfolk.

Waring has improved his numbers in every aspect of his game in advancing a level to High-A Frederick from the Dayton Dragons in the Mid-A Midwest League. Coming into the season, Waring needed to work on making contact more often, he struck out 156 times in 441 at-bats, or 35 percent of the time. He said in spring training this was an emphasis.

"[I was working on] shortening my swing a little bit, staying within myself and cutting down the strikeouts, and I have this year," Waring said. "[Strikeouts] come and go a bit, sometimes my timing is off and they come back a little but, but it's something I've been working on."

The work has paid off, and not just in the form of the MVP award. Waring has made more consistent contact, reducing his strikeout rate by 10 percent, striking out 121 times in 473 at-bats with Frederick.

In a system that entered the season in need of young corner infield prospects, Waring has shown good promise for the future. The 23-year-old has had a solid 2009, with still a week left in Double-A Bowie, but he has provided some depth in the organization at both first and third. The Orioles' director of player development, David Stockstill has taken notice as well.

"Brandon has done an outstanding job all season," Stockstill said. "He's made big strides defensively, learned how to play first base, he went back to third base, did a very good job."

Stockstill took time to point out that Waring has done a good job of using the whole field with his power, hitting many of his doubles to right-center. Stockstill was in attendance Tuesday night when Waring hit a home run to left and a double to right-center in his Bowie debut. Stockstill likes how Waring's season has gone.

"He's just made outstanding progress and had an exceptional year that he's earned the award," Stockstill said.


Waring was not the only Key to earn honors Wednesday. Starting pitcher Zach Britton was named the Carolina League pitcher of the year and was also named to the Post-Season All-Star team along with centerfielder Matt Angle and catcher Caleb Joseph.

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