Monday, May 17, 2004

Tommy Arko Retires

Tommy Arko has decided to retire. Arko, a third-round selection in the 2000 draft out of Abilene (Texas) Cooper High School, was once considered a decent prospect in the Oriole system. His .152 AVG with 16 strikeouts in 33 at-bats gives you a small indicator of just how poorly things have gone for him since he hit 14 homers in 57 games at rookie-level Bluefield in 2002.

Frederick Keys manager Tom Lawless said, "He's been in the game for five years, and he's been struggling with his hitting. He knew, and we knew, that it just wasn't working out for him. That's just part of the game."

The top catcher in the O's system today is Eli Whiteside, currently at Double-A Bowie hitting .314 with 4 home runs and a .352 on-base percentage through 17 games. The O's hope he can reach the majors in a few years but he doesn't project as anything more than a backup at this point.