Thursday, June 10, 2010
Steve Bumbry, 2009 Grandstand IronBirds #11
Yesterday the Orioles selected Jeremy Shelby with their 38th round draft pick. Jeremy played center field at Grambling State University, and was apparently thrilled to have been chosed by the team that currently employs his father as first base coach. According to former O's center fielder and current coach John "T-Bone" Shelby, his son was "hollering and screaming" when he got the good news. It remains to be seen if the younger Shelby can overcome the long odds and join his dad in the annals of Major League Baseball players, but his .360 average and 21-for-24 stolen base total would suggest that he has some good tools at his disposal.
Of course, this is the second year in a row that the Birds have chosen a second-generation center fielder in the draft. Last year's 11th-rounder was Virginia Tech's Steve Bumbry, son of Al, a former Rookie of the Year and the man that T-Bone eventually replaced. I thought I would see how Steve is doing down on the farm, and the results are encouraging. After hitting just .234 (but with a .342 on-base percentage) in 42 games at Aberdeen last year, he moved up to the Delmarva Shorebirds of the South Atlantic League. In 54 games thus far, he has hit .296 with a .373 on-base percentage while playing at all three outfield positions (primarily center). He's hit 13 doubles and a team-leading five triples. "Little Bee" is still a long way from Baltimore, but he's on the right track.