Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Orioles Insider
Sports Orioles Orioles Insider

After rough start, Double-A Bowie catcher Michael Ohlman rebounding in May

BOWIE -- Sometimes, numbers can deceive.

Just ask Double-A Bowie catcher Michael Ohlman, whose .211 batting average looks like a disappointing letdown from a .313 average and Carolina League Player of the Year honors at High-A Frederick last season.

But Ohlman, 23, was hitting just .181 a month ago, and the Orioles' 11th-round pick in 2009 has found his footing since then -- both at the plate and behind it. He had a six-game winning streak snapped after going 0-for-3 in Saturday's game against Richmond at Prince George's Stadium.

“Michael’s been swinging it really well of late,” Baysox manager Gary Kendall said. “It seems like, whenever a catcher hits better, you catch better. It’s a very demanding position, and it’s something Michael has made some strides on.”

On Saturday, Ohlman caught two runners stealing and came inches away from nabbing a third. He is seeing the dividends of emphasizing defensive play this season, and he’s expecting his better plate discipline will soon reap similar rewards.

“I’m just not getting a cookie every at-bat,” Ohlman said. “I’ve got to really dig in to my at-bats and get deep into them and see a lot of pitches. Really, you can’t miss any pitches here. If they make a mistake, that’s the one you have to hit, and that’s how you’re going to make your living.”

Kendall explained that the pitchers in Double-A were able to consistently attack Ohlman’s weaknesses in April before the catcher made the proper adjustments. Those early struggles are still reflected by his low batting average, but Orioles management primarily will consider his in-season improvement when they evaluate his potential.

“It’s not so much about where you start, but where you finish,” Kendall said. “You may get off to that slow start, but what the organization is looking for is someone that steadily improves.”

Baysox coaches hope to increase Ohlman’s workload from last season, when he played in 100 games, to at least 115 starts this year. In that time, Ohlman said, he plans to learn from the team’s mix of young and veteran pitchers, and he expects his batting average to keep creeping upward.

“I definitely deserve to be here,” he said. “I’ve proven that I deserve to be here, just like everyone else who’s here. Every step is another level, another learning curve that you have to take in and control.”

alzuniga@baltsun.com

twitter.com/the_zuniga

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Time-lapse from Orioles home opener

    Time-lapse from Orioles home opener

    Baseball returns to Camden Yards as the Orioles take on the Blue Jays in their home opener. (Christopher T. Assaf/Baltimor

  • Orioles in April

    Orioles in April

    Browse pictures of Orioles baseball games in April 2015.

  • Orioles Opening Day at Camden Yards

    Orioles Opening Day at Camden Yards

    Look through photos from Orioles Opening Day festivities at Camden Yards on April 10. The Orioles will face the Toronto Blue Jays in their 62nd home opener in Baltimore. 

  • Orioles player salaries for 2015

    Orioles player salaries for 2015

    With the 2015 baseball season just underway, USA Today has released its annual comprehensive list of player salaries. The publication gathers the data from "documents obtained from the MLB Players Association, club officials and filed with Major League Baseball's central office. Deferred payments...

  • All-Time Greatest Orioles

    All-Time Greatest Orioles

    In the six decades since they returned to the American League, 982 players have suited up for the Orioles. Who are the all-time best? Here are The Baltimore Sun's picks — six men at each position, except outfield and starting pitcher (nine apiece). We ranked the top six managers, too, from 1954...

  • Orioles Season Preview 2015

    Orioles Season Preview 2015

Comments
Loading
77°