Orioles pitching prospect Kyle Bradish began his 2021 season with Double-A Bowie and quickly earned a call-up to Triple-A Norfolk. The right-handed pitcher made his Triple-A debut May 25, helping the Tides capture a 5-4 victory.
The 24-year-old credits his success to the work he did last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. After the pandemic shut down spring training early last year, Bradish focused on his training and searched for ways he could improve at the Orioles’ alternate site in Bowie.
The work paid off. The Arizona native has posted a 1.23 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 35 strikeouts in 22 innings with the Baysox and Tides this season.
“I just wanted to go out there and make the most of it,” Bradish said on Glenn Clark Radio May 28. “A lot of people took the shutdown multiple ways, and I just tried to run with that opportunity. And then going into spring training, I just wanted to go in and prove that I could pitch.”
Bradish wanted to ensure that he was thoroughly prepared for the 2021 season. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Bradish constantly looked for ways that he could ultimately improve the quality of his pitches even before he reported to the alternate site.
“I had to find that fine line of throwing and staying ready and also getting better. But from the throwing standpoint, trying to work on everything,” Bradish said. “Command was a big thing I wanted to focus on and coming to the Orioles to prove that I can throw strikes consistently. That was a big thing.”
Through his hard work and dedication to the game, the former New Mexico State star improved in various aspects, including his changeup and command, once he got to the alternate site.
“You know you’re there to work on things, especially for me being one of the younger guys out there. We were there to get our innings in work on stuff for this next season,” Bradish said. “So yeah, really just trying to throw strikes, working on that changeup and kind of fine-tune my mechanics.”
Bradish currently holds two victories this season in addition to the six he had during the 2019 season in the Los Angeles Angels organization. The Orioles acquired Bradish in a deal that sent right-hander Dylan Bundy the Angels in December 2019. Baltimore also received pitching prospects Kyle Brnovich, Isaac Mattson and Zach Peek in the trade.
Bradish expressed nothing but gratitude toward the Orioles.
“From Day One with the Orioles, they have been very welcoming in saying, ‘We want you to do what you do and do it well,'” Bradish said.
Although he has had success quickly this season, Bradish did not begin his career as a pitcher. He noted that his pitching career did not necessarily take off until he reached New Mexico State. He was a catcher in Little League in Oregon — where he played against Adley Rutschman — and was only his high school’s No. 3 starter in Arizona.
Bradish noted that Rutschman was a player who always stood out among all the others, even in Little League.
“For how hyped he is, he’s one of the most humble people I’ve ever been around,” Bradish said.
Today, Bradish remains grateful for the position that he is in and believes pitching at Triple-A will provide him with a chance to be prepared for the next level.
“I think it will be very beneficial going forward, just seeing the way these guys get in the box. They have a game plan and they don’t get away from it. And I think that’s the difference, a big difference from the lower levels,” Bradish said. “So just getting used to that- being able to pitch around their plans and still using my best stuff to attack, it will be really beneficial.”
For more from Bradish, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Scott Sears