Frederick Keys
FrederickKeys.PNG
Keys cap.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassCollegiate summer (2021–present)
Previous classesClass A-Advanced (1989–2020)
LeagueMLB Draft League (2021–present)
Previous leagues
Carolina League (1989–2020)
Major league affiliations
TeamUnaffiliated (2021–present)
Previous teamsBaltimore Orioles (1989–2020)
Minor league titles
League titles (4)
  • 1990
  • 2005
  • 2007
  • 2011
Division titles (5)
  • 1990
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2011
Team data
NameFrederick Keys (1989–present)
MascotKeyote
BallparkNymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium (1990–present)
Previous parks
McCurdy Field (1989)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Attain Sports and Entertainment
General managerAndrew Klein[2]
ManagerDerrick May[1]

The Frederick Keys are a collegiate summer baseball team of the MLB Draft League. The Keys are based in Frederick, Maryland. The franchise is named for "Star-Spangled Banner" writer Francis Scott Key, a native of Frederick County. A new team mascot "Frank Key", short for Francis Scott Key, joined the current mascot, a coyote named Keyote, at the beginning of the 2011 baseball season.[3] The Keys were purchased from Maryland Baseball Holding, LLC by Attain Sports and Entertainment in January 2022.[4] Home games are played at Harry Grove Stadium.

Prior to Major League Baseball's reorganization of the minor leagues following the 2020 season, the Keys were a Minor League Baseball team that served as the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles from 1989 to 2020.[5]

Early professional baseball in Frederick

Frederick was one of the founding members of the Blue Ridge League, which existed from 1915 to 1930.[6] The team, which went by the names of Hustlers, Champs and Warriors, won league championships in 1915 and 1921. Games were played at the Frederick Fairgrounds until 1924 when McCurdy Field was built. With the collapse of the Blue Ridge League in 1931, it would be several decades before professional baseball returned to Frederick.

Frederick players from this era who were major leaguers:

Debut

The team was founded in 1989 when the Baltimore Orioles decided to move their Class A affiliate from Hagerstown, Maryland. The city of Frederick convinced the owners of the then-Hagerstown Suns to move the team to Frederick and promised a 4,000-seat stadium to be built for the 1990 season. For the 1989 season, the Keys played at McCurdy Field, a Babe Ruth League stadium, while waiting for the construction of the new stadium to be completed.[7] The Keys opened by losing both ends of a doubleheader (including a seven-inning perfect game by Dennis Burlingame) against the Durham Bulls.[8] Their first win came on April 11, 1989, with a 3–1 victory over the Kinston Indians in the Keys' first-ever home game.[9]

Only two players in Keys history have been transferred directly from Frederick to the Baltimore Orioles (excluding rehab related transfers). On September 3, 1996, Eugene Kingsale's contract was purchased by the Orioles. On June 11, 2005, Jeff Fiorentino's contract was purchased by the Orioles in order to replace the injured Luis Matos.

The Keys have played in the Carolina League Championship Series, the Mills Cup Series, five times. Four series were against the Kinston Indians, while the series in 2007 was against the Salem Avalanche. They won their first series in 1990, defeating the Indians three games to two. They won their second cup in the 2005 season, defeating Kinston three games to two at historic Grainger Stadium in the best of five series. They were swept by the Indians in 2006, 3 games to 0. They won the 2007 series against the Salem Avalanche three games to one. They defeated Kinston in the 2011 series three games to one.

Playoff history

Notable former Keys

Several Keys alumni have gone on to play in the major leagues. In their inaugural season, the opening day roster featured several future major leaguers: David Segui, Francisco de la Rosa, Luis Mercedes, Jack Voigt, and Pete Rose Jr.[10]

Other Keys alumni include:

Roster

Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • -- Luke Anderson
  • -- Shane Barringer
  • 21 Francois Castillo
  • -- Brodie Cooper-Vassalakis
  • 10 Anthony DeFrancesco
  • -- Jack Enger
  • -- Kamron Fields
  • -- Sean Fisher
  • -- Brady Gavin
  • 19 Brock Gilliam
  • 32 Luis Guerrero
  • 21 Ronan Kopp
  • 31 Dwayne Marshall
  • -- Adam McKillican
  • -- Matt Mulhearn
  • 50 Sebastian Perez
  • -- Chase Plymell
  • -- Walker Powell
  • 7 Darien Smith
  • -- Seth Spencer
  • 39 Will Stevens
  • 28 Nick Stewart
  • -- Dylan TeBrake
  • 40 Peyton Zabel

Catchers

  • -- Zac Fascia
  • -- J.P. Fullerton
  • 15 Cy Kerber
  • 16 Rene Lastres
  • -- Natale Monastra
  • 51 Lucas Torres

Infielders

  • 6 Kordell Brown
  • 26 Tito Fuentes III
  • 13 Nick Hernandez
  • 24 Jack Hines
  • -- Kevin Jimenez
  • 17 Yareb Martinez
  • 14 Eddie McCabe
  • -- BJ Murray
  • 12 Hector G. Nieves
  • -- Payton Robertson
  • 8 Alex Ulloa

Outfielders

  • -- Randy Bednar
  • 1 Dominique Collie
  • 18 Anthony Herron Jr.
  • 28 Max Ryerson
  • -- Tremaine Spears
  • 3 Kameron Wells


Manager

Coaches

  • 49 Glenn Dishman
  • 11 Aaron Levin
  • 23 Terrell Brown


Injury icon 2.svg
7-day injured list

~ Development list
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporarily inactive list
Roster updated December 18, 2020
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • Carolina League

References

  1. ^ Michalski, JJ (April 12, 2021). "Derrick May Named 2021 Manager for Keys Inaugural Draft League Season". MiLB.com (Press release). Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  2. ^ Michalski, JJ (April 12, 2021). "Andrew Klein Promoted to Keys General Manager". MiLB.com (Press release). Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  3. ^ "New Mascot Frank Key Joins Keys". Unlocking the Keys. March 30, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  4. ^ Ruiz, Nathan (January 13, 2022). "Orioles' Double-A team Bowie Baysox, former affiliate Frederick Keys change ownership". The Baltimore Sun.
  5. ^ Cooper, J. J. (December 9, 2020). "Frederick Becomes Sixth Team To Join MLB Draft League". Baseball America.
  6. ^ "Blue Ridge League". Boys of the Blue Ridge, 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
  7. ^ Duggan, Paul (January 12, 1989). "The Boys of Summers Past; Cherished Memories Resurface as Baseball Returns to Frederick". The Washington Post. ProQuest 140085073.
  8. ^ "Perfect Game only Half of Keys' Troubles". The Washington Post. April 10, 1989. pp. C7. ProQuest 140018712.
  9. ^ Eichelberger, Curtis (April 12, 1989). "Keys Find 1st Victory in Home Opener, 3–1". The Washington Post. pp. D4. ProQuest 140024139.
  10. ^ Goff, Steve (April 7, 1989). "Keys, Cannons Ready to Play". The Washington Post. pp. D7. ProQuest 140059670.