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Orioles honer former Keys pitcher

December 03, 1996

BALTIMORE - The Baltimore Orioles named first baseman Calvin Pickering the organization's minor league player of the year and right-hander Nerio Rodriguez pitcher of the year. They will be honored at the annual Tops in Sports banquet Jan. 17 at Towson State University.

Pickering, 20, led the Class A Bluefield Orioles to the Appalachian League championship. He hit .325 in 60 games and led the league in home runs (18), runs batted in (66) and slugging percentage (.675).

Rodriguez, 23, began the year at Class A Frederick, where he went 8-7 in 24 games with a 2.26 earned run average and 114 strikeouts in 111 1/3 innings. Rodriguez was called up to the majors on Aug. 15.

He was optioned to Triple A Rochester on Aug. 29 after posting an 0-1 record and a 4.32 ERA in eight games with Baltimore.

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