Up today, is yet another relief pitcher, by the name of Stefan Crichton (it's pronounced ste-FON CRY-ton for those of you who might care about that sort of thing).
The Orioles drafted Stefan in the 23rd round of the 2013 out of TCU, and he has spent the ensuing parts of five seasons by making stops at every level of the Orioles minor league system. He was always solid but not spectacular, and didn't appear on any top prospect lists. The Orioles obviously liked him enough to keep promoting him through the farm system and he was included in the players the Orioles sent to play in the Arizona Fall League in 2016.
However, he wasn't on the map enough to earn an invite to the big league camp for Spring Training 2017 which made his rise to the majors even more interesting. Buck Showalter has a penchant for bringing over a handful of guys from minor league camp for every Orioles spring game, and Crichton was frequently one of those players. He ended up pitching in eight games, and only allowed four hits over eight innings of work while striking out seven and earning four saves. Take what you will about the typical minor leaguer versus minor leaguer end of spring games, but he clearly put himself on the radar.
Stefan was recalled to the Orioles on April 16th for the first time this season when Zach Britton was placed on the DL, also unfortunely for the first of now two trips there thus far, and made his MLB and Orioles debut that same day. Regrettably, his spring success has not carried over to the regular season, and he has allowed at least one earned run over each of his three appearances for the Orioles to this point, and his ERA sits at 10.80 over 3.1 innings pitched.
He is one of the handful of players riding the Baltimore-Norfolk carousel, and has already had two separate stints with the O's and three distinct spells spent with the Tides. Who know what the rest of the season will bring, but here's to hoping that Stefan can redirect his successes in Florida to Baltimore.
Crichton was honestly so far off of my radar that I didn't even ask my dad to make Old Man Cards of his until after Spring Training. Stefan kindly signed these for me at the same game that I had success with Wade Miley and Alec Asher, so I was very happy to knock off three guys I was hoping to have sign for me in a single day.
I will be trying for an former Padre, now an Oriole. Edwin Jackson is at Norfolk and he had a Padres heritage card this year. I will try him at Baltimore if he makes it to Camden Yards.
Good luck Rod! Any idea if he's a good signer? I will need him as well if he ends up pitching for the O's.
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