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  • Prospect Retrospective: Bailey Ober

    Matthew Lenz

    Twins right-handed pitching prospect, Bailey Ober, made his Major League debut on May 18th against the Chicago White Sox. Unlike his rise to the majors as a 12th round pick, we were a little slow to this but, as they say...better late than never! Let’s take a look back at his rise to the Majors in his prospect retrospective.

    Image courtesy of © Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    He was knocked around a bit in his debut going four innings, allowing six baserunners and four earned runs off of two homeruns while striking out four hitters. In his second start, against the Kansas City Royals on June 6th, he once again went four innings with four strikeouts but kept the ball in the ballpark and allowed just one run.

    Prep Career

    Ober attended Charlotte Chrisitan School in Charlotte, NC where he helped his team win state championships in his Junior (2012) and Senior (2013) years. His bio at the College of Charleston, where he would go on to played for three years, goes onto say that as a Senior he “posted [a] 10-0 record with 0.45 ERA and 99 strikeouts”, and actually played baseball with another local professional athlete:

    Ober started his college career strong as head coach Monte Lee, who is now at Clemson, said “Ober has been our guy. He really commands the strike zone well and doesn’t miss his spot...He spots his fastball well and his changeup is very good. The breaking ball, over time, has become a much better pitch, too” in an Mid Major Spotlight article by Perfect Game. He would go on to be selected as Freshman Pitcher of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association posting a 10-3 record, 1.52 ERA, and 85 strikeouts across 106.2 innings. Unfortunately, Ober was forced to take a redshirt for his true sophomore season as he required season-ending Tommy John surgery. Although he was not as dominant upon his return in his redshirt sophomore, he did well enough to get drafted by the Dodgers in the 23rd round of the MLB Draft but ultimately elected to return to Charleston for his redshirt Junior year where struck out more than one hitter per inning and more than six strikeouts to each walk across 10 starts. That lead to him getting drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 12th round of the 2017 MLB Draft

    Professional Career

    Despite striking out 11.7 batters per nine in his final collegiate season, Ober was drafted being known for his command of the strike zone and having a four-pitch arsenal with great movement. That said, in his first three professional seasons he continued to strikeout more than one batter per inning combined with an elite walk rate of around one per nine. His success lead to a quick ascension through the Minor League system starting the 2019 season with the GCL-Twins and ending the season at AA-Pensacola, where he posted a 0.69 ERA and 11.11 K/BB over 78.2 innings and 13 starts. In 2020, Ober was rated as the 30th best prospect in the organization and moved up to 23rd in 2021 despite losing a second season of competition in six years. Following the 2020 season, Ober was added to the 40-man roster and prior to making his 2021 debut, he had made four starts for AAA-St. Paul with a 2.81 ERA and a 4.20 K/BB. Ober was then called up on May 18th after the Twins moved Michael Pineda to the IL.

    Twins Daily Coverage

    READ: Get To Know Twins RHP Prospect Bailey Ober by Seth Stohs in January of 2018. 

    READ: Bailey Ober on His 2019 Successes by Seth Stohs in September of 2019.

    READ & WATCH: Highlights: 4 Twins Prospects Off to Hot Starts by Tom Froemming in May of 2015.

    READ & WATCH: Twins Spotlight: Episode 9 (Bailey Ober) by Seth Stohs in November of 2020.

    READ: Twins Daily 2021 Top Prospects: 16-20 by Tom Froemming in February of 2021. 

    READ: The Next Minnesota Twins by Steve Lein in April of 2021. 

    READ: Time for a Changing of the Guard by Cody Pirkl in June of 2021. 


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    I still have my doubts he sticks as a starter but I guess we will see.  The control is good but will he be bale to keep the ball in the park and not give up up runs?  He was saved by a triple play and gave up some hard hit balls. I think he is going need to miss more bats to make it IMO.

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