Shorebird of the Week – June 7, 2012

When Connor Narron climbed aboard the bus to travel with the Shorebirds to Hagerstown and West Virginia last week, it came at the end of a brutal month which had seen his batting average fall from .261 to .189 – a 9-for-74 stretch will do that to a guy. Yes, Connor only hit .117 in the month of May, which included an 0-for-3 “performance” in Hagerstown to close out the month.

Like so many other Shorebirds, the teamwide funk which seemed to grip them in May might have loosened for Connor in June’s first week. In a drastic turnaround of fortune, Narron is 11-for-20 this month in six games. He’s hit safely in all six, with at least one RBI in five straight and three home runs in that stretch. It’s almost too bad they had an off-day today as they return to Delmarva because Narron is back to hitting .229 – and that looks a lot better than .189 does.

With that power surge, the 20-year-old North Carolina native jumped into the team home run lead with 6 to go along with his 24 RBI. A fifth-round pick in 2010, Narron skipped a chance to play at the University of North Carolina to sign with the Orioles, and unlike his father Jerry – who was a major league catcher for eight seasons with the Yankees, Mariners, and Angels – Connor has primarily played the corners in both the infield and outfield through his pro career.

Until this recent hot streak, it looked more and more like Narron could be a high-round draft bust for the Orioles, since he’s only hit .164/0/4/.429 OPS and .211/0/16/.614 OPS in his two previous seasons. Having decided to go the professional route, however, it can be argued that Narron is perhaps at the same level as a 2012 college draftee would be, so the Orioles will likely show some patience with Connor. And if he can get back to that .260 level he was hitting after April by season’s end, the organization would likely deem it a successful season for Narron and plan for 2013 accordingly.