I’m not one to give folks from Ohio State too much credit on a normal basis, but this week I make an exception for Shorebirds outfielder and speedster Matt Angle. Yes, he is a Buckeye (from Whitehall, Ohio) and this is his first shot at full-season baseball, having been drafted in the 7th round by the Orioles in the 2007 draft.
So far Matt has done reasonably well, breaking a hitless three-game slump yesterday morning by cracking his first professional home run against Lake County. After a slow 5-for-24 start, he’s picked up the average to a more respectable .242 (15-for-62) and is doing the job of a good leadoff hitter by leading the team with 10 walks and 6 stolen bases.
Last season Matt was a mid-season All-Star in the New York-Penn League and deservedly so, hitting .301 with 34 stolen bases, 47 walks, and scoring 60 runs in 66 games for the IronBirds. It was obvious he’d mastered the lower level so there’s no shock involved seeing Matt beginning the season here in Delmarva. However, I would be shocked to see him still here if he puts up similar numbers about midway through our season. With his speed, the only questions the 22 year old has to answer are whether his bat and eye of the strike zone will allow him to steal first base on a regular basis as he progresses through the Orioles system.