Mid-Atlantic Red Sox

High School Showcase Baseball Team

"Thanks to the players and coaches who have participated in the program during the last thirteen years, the Mid-Atlantic Red Sox has established itself as one of the elite showcase teams on the East Coast.  The program takes great pride in providing opportunities, and assisting young men in fulfilling their academic and athletic goals of becoming student-athletes at the collegiate and professional levels."
 
- Allen Haines, General Manager

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Kline to Pitch Keys' Opener
By Greg Swatek, Frederick News Post

For the past few nights, Branden Kline got the chance to sleep in his own bed, which, in his world, is a virtual luxury.

“It’s nice seeing my mom and my brother when I wake up in the morning and saying hi to them,” the 22-year-old graduate of Thomas Johnson High School said. “It’s been a while since I have been able to do something like that.”

But being able to put his head on his own pillow isn’t even the best part of Kline’s week so far.

On Monday, after making the long drive home from spring training in Sarasota, Fla., Kline learned he would be the starting pitcher on opening day for his hometown Frederick Keys.

“It’s awesome to be able to get the ball in Game one,” he said during Tuesday afternoon’s media day at Harry Grove Stadium. “I am looking forward to it.”

When the Keys open their 26th season at 6:05 p.m. Thursday in Lynchburg, Va., Kline will be fulfilling a dream, of sorts. But it wasn’t exactly his dream because, for a variety of reasons, he never thought playing for the Keys would be possible.

“It’s special,” said Kline, who was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the second round of the 2012 draft out of the University of Virginia. “I’d be lying to you if I told you I thought this would actually happen one day.”

However, Thursday’s start carries more significance than just playing for the team he grew up watching.

Kline, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound right-hander, hasn’t pitched in an official game since breaking his right leg last May doing shuttle sprints between starts for the low-Class A Delmarva Shorebirds.

He said it was the first major injury of his life and “one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to deal with.”

“You never realize how much you are going to miss walking if it’s taken away from you,” he said.

Kline underwent surgery May 23 to repair his leg and wasn’t able to start running again until Aug. 15.

He called the recovery process “frustrating” and “monotonous.” But it did give him a greater appreciation for his job.

“It made me realize how fortunate I am to play the game I love and to do it at a high level,” he said.

Kline’s rise through the lower level of the Orioles’ minor-league system is impressive considering he has never completed a full season with any team below the high-Class A Keys.

He made four starts in the fall of 2012 for the short-season Aberdeen Ironbirds, and did not earn a decision.

Last season in Delmarva, he was 1-2 with a 5.86 ERA in seven starts. In his final start before breaking his leg, he struck out a career-high 13 over 5 2-3 innings in a 5-2 win for the Shorebirds. He also allowed a pair of runs on four hits and walked one during that start.

“He has a good fastball,” said new Keys manager Luis Pujols, who coached Kline in Delmarva last season. “I see him as being a lot more mature than last year. He has more self control on the mound now.”

Much of that maturity was gained by playing in the Arizona Fall League last October and November.

While Kline was pitching for the eventual league-champion Surprise Saguaros, an Orioles affiliate, he learned to slow the game down mentally and do a better job of staying in the moment.

Instead of visualizing what his final line was going to look like for any one game, Kline learned to focus on the next pitch he was going to throw.

That, as much as anything he has done physically since that time, is why Rick Peterson, the Orioles’ Director of Pitching Development, and his staff tabbed Kline to be the Keys’ No. 1 starter.

“He’s an awesome pitcher,” said 20-year-old Adrian Marin, the top-ranked prospect on the Keys who played with Kline in Delmarva last season.

“His command, control, speed, everything he has is amazing. I can’t wait to play shortstop for him.”

Marin is the Orioles’ 12th-best prospect, according to Baseball America, while Kline is the 20th best. The only player between them in Frederick is 22-year-old starter Parker Bridwell (No. 19), who will be the Keys’ No. 2 starter.

“He was one of the first guys I met when I signed two years ago,” Kline said of Bridwell, another one of his teammates in Delmarva. “He’s a great guy. It will be fun playing with him again.”

The Keys’ players figure to lean on Kline for some local knowledge about Frederick. Where are the best places to go? Where are the best places to eat?

“I am trying to give them the best general idea I have,” Kline said. “At the same time, it’s been a while since I have been here myself. There are a lot of new buildings, a lot of new restaurants I don’t even know about.”

Kline will have one start under his belt by the time he makes his pitching debut at Harry Grove Stadium, which he thinks is a good thing.

That will help to calm some of his nerves before he pitches in front of his friends and family. His first home start is likely to be next Wednesday against the Carolina Mudcats.

Kline grew up going to Keys games with his family. In high school, he was scheduled to make one start for TJ at Harry Grove, but it got rained out.

His grandfather, Donald, is a regular at Keys games to this day.

“I’ve done everything (at Harry Grove Stadium). I’ve been in those stands over there,” Branden Kline said, pointing. “I’ve been in those stands over there. I have been in the orange seats. I have been on the merry-go-round. ... I know it very well.

“The one place I have never been is actually on the mound. So it will be special when I get a chance to throw in front of everybody when we come back home.”

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Lombardozzi Traded Twice During Off-season


March 24th - Tigers trade Lombardozzi to Baltimore Orioles


By Mike Axisa, CBS Sports

The Tigers continue to stockpile shortstop depth in the wake of Jose Iglesias' likely season-ending injury. They have traded utility man Steve Lombardozzi to the Orioles for veteran shortstop Alex Gonzalez, the Orioles announced.

Lombardozzi, 25, was part of this offseason's Doug Fister trade. He has hit .264/.297/.342 (74 OPS+) with five home runs and nine stolen bases in 257 games with the Nationals over the last three years. Lombardozzi has a bunch of MLB time at second base, third base, and in left field. As a young, useful bench piece, he's an excellent return for a 37-year-old veteran who was in camp as a non-roster invitee.

The Orioles do not figure have to have Manny Machado at the start of the season following his offseason knee surgery, so Lombardozzi gives them added infield depth. He could wind up being their everyday second baseman -- or at least part of a platoon -- while Ryan Flaherty mans the hot corner during Machado's absence.


Dec. 2nd - Nationals Trade Lombardozzi to Detroit Tigers


By James Wagner, The Washington Post

Many players dream of playing at home, in front their families and friends, a short drive from their childhood neighborhood to the stadium, but few have it fulfilled. Since he was drafted in the 19th round of the 2008 draft by the Nationals, Steve Lombardozzi, a Columbia native and Atholton graduate, has been spoiled in that regard. With the exception of Class AAA Syracuse, every stop on his path to the majors was within driving distance of Washington and his family and friends watched him play. That was also the case when he was called up the majors late in 2011.


But on Dec. 2, the Nationals shipped reliever Ian Krol, prospect Robbie Ray and Lombardozzi, the Nationals player with the deepest ties to the D.C. area, to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for starter Doug Fister. Initially, Lombardozzi was shocked. He had seen teammates traded, but now it involved him. Now, weeks after the reality of the move has sunk in, Lombardozzi is appreciative of his unique opportunity.

“It was cool to be able to be from Columbia and play for the Nationals,” he said in a phone interview on Thursday night, his first comments since he was traded. “To be able to play for the hometown team is pretty special. The fans have been unbelievable and all the support I’ve gotten since the trade, there’s been so much positive things that have been said to me. It’s been pretty cool to see that.”

That early December night, Lombardozzi was on his way to dinner when he received a call from Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo about an hour before news of the trade reached the public. According to Lombardozzi, Rizzo informed him of the trade and thanked him for his contributions to the Nationals. Stunned, Lombardozzi also thanked Rizzo in the brief conversation, but then had to pull over on the side of the road to collect himself.

“I told him I appreciated everything he and the Nationals have done for me,” he said. “They gave me a chance to play in the big leagues and gave me my first opportunity. I was kinda out of words. I talked to him but I didn’t have a lot to say.”

Lombardozzi admits feeling shocked, confused and sad about being sent to Detroit because Washington was his hometown and the team that drafted him. He was looking forward to the 2014 season. He didn’t think he was on the trading block or bait.

“Once I settled down and a couple weeks went by, I was able to take a deep breath,” he said. “Even though it is tough leaving everybody, I am very excited for the opportunity. I think it’s going to be a really good opportunity for me. Obviously I’m going to another great team in the Detroit Tigers. It’s a good opportunity for me to play more as well. I’m looking forward to helping them win and hopefully win a World Series.”

The night he was traded, General Manager Dave Dombrowski and new Manager Brad Ausmus both spoke with Lombardozzi. They told Lombardozzi they were happy to have him and that the Tigers had been targeting him for some time.

Ausmus “sees me as kinda bouncing around and doing a little bit of what I’ve done in the past two years,” Lombardozzi said. “They like that I’m a switch hitter and get me in and hit from both sides of the plate and I bring the versatility.”

Along with Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman, Lombardozzi was one of three Nationals players who made the Washington area their home year-round. Lombardozzi had been planning on finding a place to live in between Columbia and the District later this offseason. But now that he has been traded, he will continue to spend his offseasons in Columbia and will rent a place in Detroit. He had been working out often at Nationals Park during the offseason but has stopped since.

His family and friends will also have to adjust. Lombardozzi’s father, former major leaguer Steve Sr. who coaches baseball at Good Counsel High in Olney, came often to Nationals Park to watch his son play. Lombardozzi’s family is already planning trips to Detroit for opening day and will see him when the Tigers visit Baltimore.

Looking back at his time in Washington, Lombardozzi counts his major league debut, at Nationals Park on Sept. 6, 2011, his first hit and the Nationals clinching a playoff berth in 2012 among his favorite memories. “That was pretty special to be a part of that,” he said. In addition to the difficulty in leaving his hometown, Lombardozzi considers parting with coaches and teammates equally hard.

Coaches and teammates alike respected Lombardozzi, a hard-working player who grinded his way from late-round draft pick to prospect to minor league player of the year in 2011 to major leaguer. Lombardozzi was close friends with Tyler Moore, and also considers Ian Desmond, Werth and Zimmerman as confidants. Lombardozzi was also particularly close with first base coach Tony Tarasco (“he’s had a huge impact on me”) and the two had a long conversation after the trade because Tarasco went through the same thing twice as a player.

“Just good guys and I was glad to be a part of it,” Lombardozzi said. “And also, a big part, is the player development. All the coaches that helped me get to where I am now. I could list a long list of names that have helped me get to the big leagues.”


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Mooney Named to NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List

University of Maryland Sophomore right-handed pitcher Kevin Mooney has been named to the initial watch list for the 10th annual National Collegiate Baseball

Writers Association Stopper of the Year 

Award, given to the nation’s top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.

Last season, Mooney nailed down nine saves for the Terps, which set a single-season freshman record for Maryland and is the second-highest single-season total 

all-time. The native of Forest Hill, MD,

made a team-high 28 appearances a season ago and posted a 2.18 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 41-1/3 innings of work.

The NCBWA's All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year's recipient to be announced during the 2014 College World Series.

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Mid-Atlantic Red Sox Alumni

Pictured from left to right: Mid-Atlantic Red Sox Alumni Jason Lombardozzi (University of Florida), Steve Lombardozzi (Washington Nationals), Kevin Doherty (University of Virginia)

The Mid-Atlantic Red Sox are proud of the program's rich 15 year tradition.  Click on the Alumni Page to see where our players are continuing their athletic and academic careers.  Check back often for the latest updates!

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4 Red Sox Alumni Selected in 2013 MLB Draft 
 
 The Mid-Atlantic Red Sox program has now had 36 players selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft, including 32 draft picks in the last six years.  The Red Sox have also had 7 players sign as undrafted free agents.  The program’s rich 14-year tradition has produced over 300 collegiate baseball players from the Mid-Atlantic area.
 

Michael Mayers - St. Louis Cardinals, 3rd Round
 
 Mid-Atlantic Red Sox alum Michael Mayers was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the third round (93rd overall) of the 2013 MLB Draft.  

"It's a pretty amazing experience to be 21 years old and still be living the same dream you've had your whole life," Mayers said.  "Just to be drafted by such a great organization, an organization that's respected all around baseball, it's definitely a huge honor."

In his first season with the Rebels, he finished with a 5.10 ERA, then last year he had a 3.50 ERA.  His junior season, he lowered his ERA even further to 2.98.

Mayers also boosted his stock with a solid summer in the Cape Cod League, where he allowed 15 earned runs on 28 hits and seven walks while striking out 42 in 28 innings with the Bourne Braves last year.  

He relies on his feel for the craft more than overpowering stuff, and scouts see him as a future Major League starter.

Mayers combines his low-90s fastball with a slider and changeup, which has plus potential.  He struck out 141 batters in college.

"I can move my fastball in and out of the zone and kind of use that to set up my offspeed pitches," Mayers said, adding that his changeup is his favorite to throw. "It's fun to sit up there and play with. If you throw a fastball in and you throw a changeup, they think they're on it and it just baffles them."

He has good command of all three of his pitches. Without swing-and-miss stuff, Mayers will have to continue to refine his control in the Minors.  He earns high marks for his makeup and poise on the mound.

"He's got a strong track record on top of it and we think he's got really solid pitchability," said Cardinals scouting director Dan Kantrovitz. "And there's more left in the tank. Maybe in a couple years, he's throwing mid-90s.  He's a guy that we're pretty excited about."






Alex Murphy - Baltimore Orioles, 6th Round

Mid-Atlantic Red Sox alum Alex Murphy was selected in the 6th round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles.

"It was such a good feeling," said Murphy, who graduated June 1 from Calvert Hall in Baltimore.  "I knew it was coming and it still took the breath out of me. To see and hear my name go across the screen ..."

The 5'11", 210 lbs. catcher was named Maryland's Gatorade Player of the Year, posting impressive statistics during his senior season — a .475 batting average with 46 RBIs and just two strikeouts — which accompany solid abilities behind the plate and strong arm.

The Orioles' offer convinced Murphy to give up the chance to play at Wake Forest, where he expected to contribute immediately as a scholarship athlete.

Now, he has another destination in mind: Sarasota, Fla., site of the Orioles' spring training complex. It would be the first step on a path that could one day lead him to Camden Yards, where his father had season tickets along the third-base line while Murphy was growing up.

“It's a good area. There's good baseball around here,” Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said.  "It's good to sign a local kid, because when the local boys do well, it paves the road for another generation of pro ballplayers.”

On Murphy, Duquette said “He's a big, strong kid. He has good range behind the plate.  He has a quick delivery to second base.  He comes from a good program, and we're happy to have him.






Harrison Musgrave - Philadelphia Phillies, 33rd Round

Mid-Atlantic Red Sox alum and West Virginia University left-handed pitcher Harrison Musgrave was selected in the 33rd round of the 2013 MLB draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.  After missing the entire 2012 season with Tommy John surgery, Musgrave was named a Louisville Slugger NCAA Division I Second Team All-American for his performance in his sophomore season.

The lefty was also named Big 12 Pitcher of the Year in 2013,

 finishing the season with a 2.17 ERA, striking out 81 batters and allowing 65 hits in 95.1 innings on his way to a 9-1 record for the Mountaineers.

Throughout WVU's first season in the Big 12, Musgrave earned Pitcher of the Week honors four times. 





Jeff Kemp - Baltimore Orioles, 33rd Round

Mid-Atlantic Red Sox alum and Radford University shortstop Jeff Kemp became the 33rd-round selection of the Baltimore Orioles in the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft.  Kemp was the 999th overall pick.

Kemp was a 31st round selection of the Los Angeles Angels in 2012, but was the only Red Sox alum out of seven draftees who decided not to sign.  As a returning senior, Kemp was an
 All-Big South first-team selection for the second straight season and the 2013 Co-Big South Preseason Player of the Year.  
Kemp batted .284 on the season and led the conference in home runs (10) and slugging percentage (.588) despite missing 12 games with a rib injury.

He finished his career at Radford tied for second in Highlander baseball history with 11 triples. He tallied 213 base hits, 43 doubles, 145 RBI, and 23 home runs in his collegiate baseball career.  

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Peter Solomon (2014, RHP, Mount St. Joseph, MD)
commits to University of Notre Dame!!!

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Breen selected for Adenhart Courage Award
 
In 2009, tragedy struck Major League Baseball fans everywhere as Los Angeles Angels Pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed in a car accident just hours after throwing six scoreless innings. This tragedy hit close to home for many alumni, coaches, and players of the Mid-Atlantic Red Sox who watched or played against the Western Maryland native.
 
In 2010, the Adenhart family presented the first ever Nick Adenhart Courage Award at the Southern Maryland Baseball Camp. The recipient was Mid-Atlantic Red Sox alum Joe Giacchino. The 2011 Nick Adenhart Courage Award was recently presented to Red Sox alum Danny Breen.  Danny will continue his collegiate career next year at Salisbury University.  The Mid-Atlantic Red Sox are honored to have alumni be selected in consecutive years.  The Mid-Atlantic Red Sox are proud of the program's rich history of having the type of players who display the character, perseverance, and courage recognized by the Adenhart family.
 
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