After a few days to update the page, I have reopened my Shorebird of the Week Hall of Fame. Tonight I announce the Class of 2011, which has a record seven members. Of those members, one was a Shorebird of the Week way back in 2006, one in 2007, four in 2008 (the season which now has the most honorees) and one from 2009. (He was the quickest to arrive at the Show after his selection as a Shorebird of the Week.) I also have the first member to make his debut with a team other than Baltimore.
In order of their first MLB appearance, the class of 2011 is:
- Pedro Beato, who made his debut with the New York Mets on April 1;
- Zach Britton, who debuted with the Orioles on April 3;
- Ryan Adams, whose Oriole debut was May 20;
- Blake Davis, making his first Oriole appearance June 22;
- Matt Angle, brought up to the Orioles on July 17;
- Kyle Hudson, a September callup who made his Orioles debut on the 4th, and;
- Pedro Florimon, Jr., whose first game was September 10th. He may have the record for shortest Oriole tenure for awhile since he only played in four games for Baltimore and is now property of the Minnesota Twins.
Florimon’s rapid change of scenery illustrates the fickle nature of professional baseball – in the three seasons that the SotWHoF has existed, the members are already in three other organizations aside from Baltimore. David Hernandez was traded last winter to Arizona, Pedro Beato came to the Mets via the Rule 5 Draft in 2010, and Florimon was acquired by the Twins earlier this month after the Orioles waived him from their 40-man roster.
So which former Shorebirds of the Week may be in the Class of 2012? In most cases, the next crop comes from players who are already on the team’s 40-man roster. A look at some former Shorebirds protected as such by Baltimore shows that pitcher Oliver Drake and infielder Joe Mahoney are possibilities.
Others the Orioles could be persuaded to give a shot come from the ranks sent to the Arizona Fall League. Mahoney was in that league along with pitchers Sean Gleason and Cole McCurry as well as outfielder Xavier Avery.
If you judge by that peer group, the Class of 2012 may be somewhat smaller than this year’s crop. But impressive Spring Trainings and player movement could open up other opportunities. For example, three former SotWs were involved in a pair of trades during the Winter Meetings, one which sent Jarret Martin and Tyler Henson to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the other sending Greg Miclat along with former Shorebird Randy Henry, who wasn’t here and healthy long enough to be a SotW, to the Texas Rangers.
My prediction at this stage is that I’ll have another five or six players to add to the SotWHoF next year, and at least one won’t be on this list of possibilities. For example, Blake Davis came out of nowhere this year.
It gives us baseball fans that much more incentive to await the beginning of the 2012 season, both here and at the big league level.