Talent overflowing at Double-A Bowie

Talent overflowing at Double-A Bowie

BALTIMORE -- Double-A Bowie is providing glimmers of hope for Orioles fans, as a number of players are having excellent seasons and the Baysox sit in second place in the Eastern League Western Division at 36-33. But it's not all top pitching prospect Zach Britton who deserves the attention. Here's a look at some other Baysox who are excelling in 2010.

Joel Guzman, third base
Originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Dodgers in 2001, the 6-foot-7 slugger is pacing the Eastern League with 17 homers and is third on the Baysox with a .272 average. Having already advanced to the Majors with Los Angeles and then Tampa Bay, Guzman has been a known commodity. Injuries have derailed his career multiple times, and he's glad to be healthy and back at the plate with Bowie.

"Staying healthy is the main thing, and I thank God everything is coming together," the Dominican Republic native said. "The main thing is just to play baseball and not put a lot of pressure on me. Just do everything I do, come to the field early, get my work in. Pretty basic stuff, just staying focused is the main thing."

Caleb Joseph, catcher
The Orioles' seventh-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Joseph had a strong season in 2009 with Class A Frederick, hitting .284 with 12 home runs and 60 RBIs in 104 games. Now with Bowie, the Nashville, Tenn., native is fifth on the team in hitting, and he's seeing time at first base as well.

For Joseph, the biggest adjustment in Double-A hasn't been anything physical or mechanical, it's just been relaxing more.

"I came into the season just pressing, knowing that we're so close and just trying to live in the moment as opposed to thinking so much more down the line," he said. "I kind of got lost in the first part of the season, thinking, 'If I do this, then I'm going to go here or here,' instead of just, 'Look kid, you're in Bowie. Enjoy it, do what you can here.' I needed to grow up a little bit. I was 24 acting like I was 17."

That has been the main message he's heard from anybody he's talked to, whether it's Bowie manager Brad Komminsk, bench coach Moe Hill, or even a random guy on the street.

"I sought help from just about everybody. I mean, I was talking to homeless people about what they thought," he joked. "[Everyone] just reassured me, 'It's a long season, blah blah blah.' It's all the stuff you've heard, but when they say it, it kind of sicks in a little bit."

Pat Egan, relief pitcher
A 6-foot-8 mammoth of a relief pitcher, the product of Quinnipiac has managed to lead the Baysox in both wins and saves while pitching out of the long-relief role. Most of his five saves have come over multiple innings, which he says is just a matter of being used in the right situations.

"It's not like I'm doing something amazing," Egan said. "It's just right place, right time."

No matter what place or time, Egan has overpowered hitters to the tune of a 1.60 ERA and 0.69 WHIP over 45 innings. Only two other Eastern League relievers with at least 20 innings have a lower ERA, and none have anything close to his six wins. Coming a long way since being drafted in the 36th round in 2006, Egan is trying to become just the second Major Leaguer out of Quinnipiac.

"That's my goal, to see if I can push myself to compete at the next level and as each level comes, I try to push myself towards the next one," he said. "I'm just grateful for every opportunity."

Worth noting
Tyler Henson is leading the Baysox and is 16th in the Eastern League with a career-high .293 batting average. He is second on the club with 34 RBIs and is third with six homers. He's played primarily left field but can also hold down all three bases. ... After a walk-off blast against Harrisburg on Sunday, Brandon Waring is tied for 10th in the Eastern League with 11 homers. ... After winning the Carolina League batting title with a .340 average in 2009, Robbie Widlansky is second on the Baysox in hitting at .275. ... Right-handed starter Steve Johnson eclipsed 500 career strikeouts on Thursday against Reading.

Noah Rosenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.