O's prospect Baumann tosses no-no for Bowie

July 17th, 2019

Michael Baumann had only been with Double-A Bowie for five games when he accomplished something that some of baseball’s best pitchers never do in their entire career.

The Orioles’ No. 24 prospect, who was promoted to the Baysox on June 21, faced just one batter over the minimum as he completed a no-hitter against the Harrisburg Senators on Tuesday. It was Bowie’s 10th no-no in the team’s 27-year history, and just the third in a nine-inning game. The Baysox most recent nine-inning no-hitter was pitched by Radhames Liz on June 1, 2007 -- also against Harrisburg.

Baumann didn’t get off on the best footing, allowing leadoff batter Michael A. Taylor to draw a walk after working a full count. But the rest came naturally to the 23-year-old righty, as he retired the next 19 batters in order before walking Drew Ward in the seventh.

The story came full circle, though, when Baumann, a third-round pick in the 2017 Draft out of Jacksonville University, struck out Taylor looking on a belt-high fastball. Baumann smacked his glove and lifted his legs in celebration as his teammates poured in from all around him.

Efficiency was key to going the distance, and Baumann delivered by requiring just 94 pitches -- five shy of his season high. The Minnesota native tossed three eight-pitch innings while striking out ten batters (three looking). He’d never recorded an out in the eighth inning prior to Tuesday’s no-hitter. Baumann’s relatively low pitch count also allowed him to tap into his 60-grade fastball, as evidenced in the ninth inning by his stadium-gun-clocked 98-mph heater to complete a strikeout of leadoff batter Austin Davidson.

However, it took a while for the Baysox to provide Baumann with run support. The Bowie lineup had only produced one hit through five innings -- a double off the bat of Orioles No. 4 prospect Ryan McKenna -- before striking for a run in the sixth. Then the floodgates opened, and the Baysox sent 11 batters to the plate against Senators reliever Brady Dragmire. That eight-hit rally spelled a five-run inning, including an RBI single by McKenna, that gave Baumann plenty of breathing room to settle in.

Baumann has virtually cruised through the Minor Leagues so far. The 2014 Atlantic Sun Pitcher of the Year drew eyes in his debut pro season with a 1.28 ERA in 11 outings (10 starts) over 42 1/3 IP. Then he diced up both levels of Class A competition with a 3.17 ERA in 24 starts, permitting a .222 BAA with 106 strikeouts.

This season has been no different for the right-hander, who began the year by upping his K rate, fanning 77 batters in 54 innings (11 starts) to the tune of a 3.83 ERA with Class A Advanced Frederick. Baumann’s Double-A career started with two relief outings, including four scoreless innings for his first pro save on June 27. Despite his below-average command tool grade, Baumann has also improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio this season, posting 109 K to 32 BB so far.