The Baltimore Orioles have an unusual number of players coming to spring training this year – so many of them being guys on the fringe of trying to make it for the first time, or others to return to a former position as a regular player in MLB.
Over the offseason we have written about most of these players, but even as the person who has done much of that, there are so many new personnel that I need to often refresh my memory about this or that player. I need a quick reference guide, how about you?
So here is a listing of the position players; yesterday I did the same HERE for pitchers. (I will update this as time goes by with any additions … so you can check back as the Spring wears on.) I will assume most readers are familiar with those players who have been a part of the Orioles in the past, and I’ll just give some brief descriptive comments on those who may be more unfamiliar.
At the moment of this writing there are 29 position players in the major league camp.
Players who are not as well-known (though a couple have had short stints with the O’s):
Michael Almanzar – IF – At age 23, he is the Rule 5 draftee from the Red Sox organization, where he hit .268/.328/.432 last season at AA Portland. He’s a career .250/.302/.373 hitter in six minor league seasons. He would have to be on the Orioles 25-man roster for the season, or be offered back to the Red Sox.
Quintin Berry – OF – At age 29, Berry was a high school teammate of Adam Jones in San Diego. He’s a career .268/.339/.371 hitter in 107 games over parts of two major league seasons with the Tigers and Red Sox. Berry is 29-for-29 in stolen base attempts, including the playoffs. He can play all three OF positions.
Julio Borbon – OF – A minor league phase Rule 5 draftee, he is a career .272 hitter in parts of four major league seasons, and he played for the Rangers in the 2010 World Series.
Steve Clevenger – C – A local Baltimore product, Clevenger came to the Orioles in the trade with the Cubs for Feldman. He is presumed to be the most likely backup catcher choice. He was 4-for-15 with a double in four games with the Orioles.
Ivan De Jesus Jr. – IF – A second-round pick by the Dodgers in 2005, he batted .319 with 27 doubles, three triples, three homers and 32 RBIs in 103 games with Triple-A Indianapolis of the Pirates organization. De Jesus appeared in 48 major league games with the Dodgers and Red Sox during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, batting .205.
Alex Gonzalez – IF – Gonzalez, age 37, batted .177 in 41 games with the Brewers in 2013. He’s a career .246/.290/.396 hitter in 15 major league seasons, the first eight with the Marlins.
Caleb Joseph – C – He had a very good year at AA Bowie – hitting .299 with 31 doubles, two triples, 22 homers and 97 RBIs. It seems that his defense keeps him from advancing in the system.
David Lough – OF – Lough came to the Orioles in a trade for Danny Valencia. He is the presumptive top choice for the most games in LF. He excels on defense, though he hit .286 for KC this past season. The 28-year-old bats from the left side.
Chris Marrero – IF – Age 25, Marrero was the 15th overall pick of the Nationals in the 2006 draft. He has played in 39 MLB games and hit .232. In 2013, he hit .270/.331/.402 with 17 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs and 59 RBIs in 111 games at Triple-A Syracuse. Over eight minor league seasons he has hit .282.
Johnny Monell – C – Monell came from the Giants for cash considerations. Age 27, he a career .267/.351/.456 hitter in seven minor league seasons in the Giants organization. He is only 1-8 in the majors.
Michael Ohlman – C – Ohlman, 23, spent the 2013 season at Frederick and was named the Topps Player of the Year in the Carolina League after batting .313 with 29 doubles, four triples, 13 homers and 53 RBIs in 100 games.
Xavier Paul – OF – The Reds non-tendered Paul, age 28, a career .254/.316/.376 hitter in parts of five major league seasons with the Dodgers, Pirates and Reds. In 2013 he hit .244 with 12 doubles, seven homers and 32 RBIs in 97 games with the Reds. He hits much better against RH pitching.
Francisco Peguero – OF – Peguero, 25, in 2013 batted .316/.354/.408 in 70 games with Triple-A Fresno. He also appeared in 18 games with the Giants, going 6-for-29, but SF non-tendered him. A frequently-mentioned top prospect, he has a career .306 average over eight minor league seasons.
Cord Phelps – IF – Phelps, 26, was claimed off waivers from the Indians … appeared in 53 games for Cleveland over the last three seasons, batting .159. His minor league numbers are decent … has a career .370 on-base percentage in 582 minor league games. But it hasn’t carried over to the majors.
Jonathan Schoop – IF – Considered by most to be the future 2B of the Orioles, Schoop will probably get to experience 2014 in Norfolk to gain necessary experience and skills.
Brian Ward – C – Ward is a 28-year-old catcher who has been in the Orioles farm system since 2009. He has a career batting average of only .236, but has an OBP of .338.
Jemile Weeks – IF – At age 27, was the main component in the Jim Johnson trade… drafted by the A’s in the 1st round in 2008 as the 12th overall pick. Weeks spent most of 2013 at AAA Sacramento of the PCL – with a .271 batting average and OBP of .376. He batted .303 for the A’s in 2011, and the O’s hope to see that guy return.
Delmon Young – OF – Young, 28, was the first overall pick by the Rays in 2003 and is a career .282/.316/.423 hitter with 100 home runs in parts of eight major league seasons. He split last season between the Phillies and Rays, batting .260/.307/.407 with 11 homers and 38 RBIs in 103 games.