Orioles pitching prospect Kyle Brnovich, now with Double-A Bowie, attributes his success this year to the work he put in at home in Florida during his time off last year.
“I think during COVID, the ways I got creative in throwing bullpens and sort of going about my work at home,” Brnovich said on Glenn Clark Radio July 30 regarding what helped him. “A lot of stuff was shut down during that time. I would throw bullpens into a tire. You know you have to get pretty imaginative on how you kind of go about that.”
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound right-hander was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the eighth round in the 2019 MLB Draft out of Elon University in North Carolina. The 23-year-old was traded to Baltimore by the Los Angeles Angels as part of the Dylan Bundy trade in December 2019.
This season, Brnovich has pitched for High-A Aberdeen and the Baysox. Brnovich had 2.36 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 34.1 innings pitched with the IronBirds earlier this year. Brnovich has a 3.30 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched for Bowie entering play Aug. 6.
In a recent start July 29, Brnovich did not make it very deep into the game, only pitching four innings and allowing two runs.
“Some days you just go out there and you don’t have a feel for your normal motion, your mechanics, whatever it may be,” Brnovich said, “and those are the days you just have to compete.”
While Brnovich is encouraged by the success the entire team has enjoyed this year, he has a particularly special bond with Baysox catcher Adley Rutschman. Brnovich enjoys talking to Rutschman after every inning to discuss improvements he can make down the line.
“I like it,” Brnovich said of Rutschman’s post-inning visits. “At the end of that inning, there’s a lot of stuff going on. There’s a lot to digest and sort of think about and figure out for the next inning. As an example, for some of those conversations, a lot of it is, ‘Hey, do you have this pitch inside?’ Because at the end of the day, he does have that umpire right there behind him. He is able to communicate with him and get some feedback on stuff.”
There are a lot of quality prospects playing for Bowie, including Brnovich and Rutschman. (The catcher is hitting .277/.397/.523 with 18 home runs and 55 RBIs entering play Aug. 6.) Even with the organization’s struggles at the big-league level, Brnovich is excited to be on such strong Baysox with so much talent on it. Brnovich also loves the fan base in Bowie and loves seeing the Orioles fans everywhere he goes.
Brnovich was born in Cincinnati, but he’s moved a lot since then. He has lived seven or eight states because his father is in the car industry.
“It is a perk in many ways getting to experience a lot of different places and different people just all across the country. There are a lot of different personalities and that helped me in pro ball,” Brnovich said.
He now lives in Florida during the offseason — very close to a farmers market that sells crab cakes.
“We have a farmers market down the street from our house. My mom and I will go down there and then we’ll cook some crab cakes,” Brnovich said. “Personally, I’m going to go out and start a debate that our crab cakes in Florida are really close up there with the Baltimore ones.”
For more from Brnovich, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: William Vaughan/Bowie Baysox