SARASOTA, Fla. -- There are few pitching prospects who had more of a breakout season in 2018 than right-hander Dean Kremer. Now the No. 9 prospect on the Orioles Top 30, Kremer began the year pitching with the Dodgers in the Class A Advanced California League. He had just been
SARASOTA, Fla. -- There are few pitching prospects who had more of a breakout season in 2018 than right-hander Dean Kremer. Now the No. 9 prospect on the Orioles Top 30, Kremer began the year pitching with the Dodgers in the Class A Advanced California League. He had just been promoted up to Double-A when he was sent to Baltimore in the blockbuster Manny Machado deal. Not missing a beat, Kremer excelled upon joining Double-A Bowie post-trade and finished with a 2.88 ERA, .225 batting average against and 178 strikeouts, the highest total in the Minor Leagues.
Most of Kremer’s leap forward came from his mindset on the mound, his willingness to be more aggressive in attacking hitters and his ability to continue to add strength. But the 23-year-old also made some small adjustments in his delivery, mostly in terms of his direction to the plate.
• Spring Training report | Orioles Top 30 | Orioles' prospects Spring Training stats
It’s a feel thing for Kremer mostly now -- he can tell when his delivery gets off-kilter or he falls into old habits -- but if he senses that he’s off, he will draw that line when getting his work in between starts to give him a visual aid to help him recalibrate. When everything is working, he is able to keep his weight back and have everything going in the right direction at the right time, allowing him to not work as hard as he did with his old delivery.
In addition to his delivery, Kremer has done work on his pitches, particularly his slider. Again, it’s not anything drastic he’s doing, but rather a subtle tweak to his wrist positioning and release point.
Kremer has been out this spring with a mild oblique strain, so he hasn’t been able to incorporate the new slider too much yet, but he’s liked the early results. And he sees a big difference between his slider from 2018 and the one he hopes to use in his first full season in the Orioles organization.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.