Friday, April 24, 2015

Oriole #992- Rey Navarro

As the Orioles are faced with yet another early season injury as Ryan Flaherty is now heading for the disabled list, it at least leads to the first post-Opening-Day-roster-member debut of the 2015 season as Rey Navarro has been recalled from AAA Norfolk. Rey will be making his Orioles and MLB debut in tonight's game, and is being thrown right into the fire starting at second base and batting seventh against the Red Sox. After eight seasons in the minor league farm systems of the Diamondbacks, Royals, Reds, and now Orioles, he is finally getting that call-up. 

If you have been reading the blog recently, Rey is one of the players who I wrote about in my posts about the lead-up to Oriole #1000. I correctly predicted that since he was already on the 40-man roster, he would likely make his debut prior to #1000. And now the field of candidates for that special number has theoretically been lowered as well. 

Thankfully, Rey is one of the (many) new players in the Orioles organization that my dad was able to get to sign an autograph for me on his Spring Training trip. That, along with his Orioles Old Man Card, leave me feeling confident that I very likely have the only Rey Navarro signed Orioles card out there. Thanks Dad, you tha man! 

Rey only has one major release baseball card, in 2007 Bowman Draft Draft Picks as a member of the Diamondbacks, and was also included in the 2008 Tristar PROjections and '08 Justifiable minor league sets. If you are looking for cards of his though, make sure to search for Reynaldo Navarro. 

I have a funny story about Rey from this year's Orioles Fanfest. As an autograph collector, I take pride in my ability to ID pretty much any players on the O's roster, as well as many of the minor leaguers. (I'm good with faces, not sure how or why, but I am.) However, while walking around the Baltimore Convention Center and taking in the festivities, I ended up in the kids room for a few minutes. A few players were around the room playing games with the kids. Ryan Flaherty was playing air hockey, and (I believe) JJ Hardy was up front pulling bingo numbers along with someone who I couldn't place. So I figured he must not be an Orioles player, if I couldn't place him. After Fanfest, I realized that I was wrong, and that the other guy at the bingo table was none-other than Rey Navarro. 

My dad's autograph prowess on his Spring Training trip was so strong that he was able to get Rey to sign two of his cards, so if anyone needs his autograph for their collection, just let me know and maybe we can work out a trade!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Friend Makes it to the Show - Alan's Ironbirds Debut

So this probably should have been the first autograph that I wrote about after Spring Training, but better late than never right? It's not everyday that someone you know gets to make their professional baseball debut and gets featured on a baseball card. Last summer, my buddy Alan Strout won a contest through Topps to make his "Pro Debut". Here are a couple articles that describe the contest and Alan's story. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Alan probably three or four years ago on a trip to visit the Orioles Spring Training home in Sarasota, Florida. Alan and I share an interest in the Orioles, and specifically Orioles autographs. As memory recalls, Alan had found his way to the this blog and we quickly hit it off. Each of the past few years, I've enjoyed trying to collect autographs with Alan during our respective trips to Spring Training. Well, as you probably know, I didn't make the trip this year, but my parents did and look what Alan had waiting for them to pass along to me. I can honestly say that this is the first signed baseball card I've ever received that featured someone who I know on it. In all likelihood, that will probably always be the case, so this will hold a special place in my collection.

I attended Alan's debut in Aberdeen last summer and it was great to see him have the chance to sign autographs for fans on the concourse, deliver the lineup card to the umpires, and spend time in the dugout and on the field with the players. I'm sure that it was an amazing and exceptionally unique experience. I'm sure that most of us would have settled for just being featured on the card! Congratulations Alan!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Another Look at Oriole #1000 Candidates


Pitchers (click column headers to sort)
#NamePosBatThwHtWtDOBStatusMLB 40-man
36Pedro BeatoPRR6' 6"23010-27-1986ActiveNo
25Michael BowdenPRR6' 3"21509-09-1986ActiveNo
38Cesar CabralPLL6' 3"25002-11-1989ActiveNo
15Zach DaviesPRR6' 0"15002-07-1993ActiveNo
Dane De La RosaPRR6' 7"24502-01-19837-day DLNo
59Oliver DrakePRR6' 4"21501-13-1987ActiveYes
37Eddie GamboaPRR6' 1"21512-21-1984ActiveYes
40Steve JohnsonPRR6' 1"22008-31-1987ActiveNo
43Chris JonesPLL6' 2"20509-19-1988ActiveNo
46Pat McCoyPLL6' 3"22008-03-1988ActiveNo
66T.J. McFarlandPLL6' 3"21906-08-1989ActiveYes
30Hector Daniel RodriguezPLL5' 11"19512-11-19847-day DLNo
33Chaz RoePRR6' 5"19010-09-1986ActiveNo
34Tyler WilsonPRR6' 2"18509-25-1989ActiveYes
28Mike WrightPRR6' 6"21501-03-1990ActiveYes
52Zach BookerCRR6' 0"22004-24-19857-day DLNo
45Steve ClevengerCLR5' 10"21004-05-1986ActiveYes
24Audry PerezCRR5' 10"22012-23-1988ActiveNo
13Michael Almanzar3BRR6' 3"19012-02-1990ActiveNo
11Paul JanishSSRR6' 2"20010-12-1982ActiveNo
2Rey NavarroSSSR5' 10"18512-22-19897-day DLYes
12Jayson Nix2BRR5' 11"19508-26-1982ActiveNo
41Chris ParmeleeIFLL6' 1"22002-24-1988ActiveNo
1Garabez RosaSSRR6' 2"16610-12-1989ActiveNo
22Christian Walker1BRR6' 0"22003-28-1991ActiveYes
10Dariel AlvarezRFRR6' 2"18011-07-1988ActiveNo
5Julio BorbonCFLL6' 0"19502-20-1986ActiveNo
14Nolan ReimoldRFRR6' 4"20510-12-1983ActiveNo
51Henry UrrutiaLFLR6' 3"20002-13-1987ActiveYes

There's the current 2015 roster of the Orioles' AAA affiliate Norfolk Tides. It's a relatively safe assumption to make that these are the most likely candidates to make the jump up to the big league team in the near future, thus being the most likely to be Oriole #1000. Obviously, the Orioles could always make a trade and that special debut could be a player that isn't currently in the organization, and/or the O's have occasionally called up a player directly from the AA Bowie Baysox since they are located closer to Baltimore and certainly have some talent on their roster as well. 

I wrote about the highlighted players on Tuesday, so I won't rehash what I wrote about them. Today's post will focus on the remaining 18 members of the Tides, and their chances to be Oriole #1000. 

I would put this group of Dariel Alvarez, Paul Janish, Jayson Nix, & Chris Parmelee among the most likely of the remaining 18 Tides to play for the Orioles this year. Alvarez is a solid prospect who will almost positively be an Oriole at some point, when is really the only quesiton. The other three guys are MLB veterans who play solid defense and were some of the last spring training cuts so they seem to be just a DL move away from Baltimore. 

My second tier of possible candidates for Oriole #1000 includes Julio Borbon, Michael Bowden, Zach Davies, Pat McCoy, Audry Perez, Chaz Roe, & Garabez Rosa. I feel like anyone from this group could make it to Baltimore or none of them could. Probably the most likely is Davies, another prospect, who was rewarded with a few late March Spring Training road starts. Borbon, Roe, & Rosa played a good bit for the O's during Spring Training which could bode well for them. Bowden was signed near the end of spring training, and have over 100 MLB games under his belt, and the team picked up McCoy off of waivers from the Tigers last year, so the O's obviously see something in both of them. And Perez is a catcher, and let's be honest, you never know when you'll need a catcher. 

My "who knows" group includes two guys who were out of the Orioles system but were resigned over the winter, Michael Almanzar and Pedro Beato. I'm also including Cesar Cabral and Dane De La Rosa in this group since they've had some MLB experience. 

And finally the three remaining players I will put in my "I just don't see it" category. Zach Booker is a bullpen catcher and is on the roster pretty much only to warm up pitchers, Chris Jones has been in the Orioles organization since 2013 and hasn't been mentioned in any call-up scenarios I've ever heard, and Hector Daniel Rodriguez seems to be a career Mexican League/AAA guy.  

So there's my two cents on the Tides roster and how likely each player is to make it to Baltimore. What do you think? Do you care? I'm pretty sure that I might be the only one out here who is even aware of the pending milestone, well until I started writing about it and sharing it at least.