The Blue Crabs signed outfielder Zach Collier for 2020. Collier posted a .237/.325/.405 slash in 54 games with New Britain last season during his first ALPB campaign. Those numbers, combined with Collier’s struggles above high class-A, don’t inspire confidence in a breakout 2020 season. A second season in the Atlantic League may help Zach settle in, but he is still projecting as a below-average bat in the Blue Crabs lineup.
Jason Garcia is a strong recent pickup for the Blue Crabs. Garcia pitched with the Baltimore Orioles in 2015, but more recently performed very well in the American Association. With the Sioux City Explorers, Garcia pitched 79 innings posting an 11-1 record, 2.39 ERA, and a 1.190 WHIP. For the most part, Garcia’s success has coincided with his control. If Garcia finds comfort and consistency on Atlantic League mounds, he could surpass even high-end projections for his 2020 season.
Devin Burke was first drafted by the Somerset Patriots this fall in the New Britain Bees dispersal draft, but was then traded to Southern Maryland for the rights to Pat Dean. Burke has had success in his career, but he has struggled in the Atlantic League, posting a 5.12 ERA and 1.356 WHIP. Despite Burke’s 2019 season being a step worse than 2018, projections actually like Burke to have a bounce-back in 2020.
Adding to their hoard of right-handed starting pitching, the Blue Crabs signed Brandon Barker for 2020. Barker posted a 3.39 ERA with 9.5 K/9 in 2019 with the Can-Am League‘s Trois-Rivieres Aigles, a notable improvement from his 4.85 ERA and 7.1 K/9 with the American Association’s Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks in 2018. Based on this, projections point toward an ERA in the mid-4.00 range, but with potential to drop that number well-below 4.00 if his K/9 pushes closer to 9.0.
Right-hander Brad Markey has been added by the Blue Crabs. After 6 seasons of associated ball, Markey could be a solid mid-rotation arm for the Blue Crabs if he can get some momentum in the Atlantic League. At worst, Markey will be a long-reliever or emergency starter for Southern Maryland who could eat up some innings in a pinch.