Baltimore Orioles: 2014 Season Grades – Infielders

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Today is the second of five total posts where we look back at the 2014 season for the Baltimore Orioles and hand out final grades for the year. The catchers were reviewed yesterday; we will look at outfielders, starting pitchers, and relief pitchers in subsequent posts. Today the focus is upon infielders.

As you scroll through the following pages, we will discuss and grade Chris Davis, Steve Pearce, Jonathan Schoop, J.J. Hardy, Manny Machado, and Ryan Flaherty. Not being specifically discussed and graded are players with fewer at-bats like Steve Lombardozzi (73), Jimmy Paredes (53), Kelly Johnson (39), Christian Walker (18), Jemile Weeks (11), and a few others with single digit plate appearances. Even Nick Markakis was 3-for-8 in a couple of games at first base.

Considering that the Orioles lost their corner infielders for large gaps of time, it was a marginally successful season at the plate for them as a group. The numbers at short stop would be higher with Hardy having a better season for average (though with fewer home runs), second base would be less in average but higher in home runs, third base would not be as good as Manny’s great 2013 season, and of course first base saw the biggest drop with Davis’ season from hell. Pearce did help to salvage some better numbers at that corner.

Before looking at and grading out the six individual infielders, here are some Orioles positional statistics and how they compare in the American League (ranked in parentheses) …

Position Average Hits Doubles Home Runs
1B .221 (12) 131 (11) 26 (12) 35 (1)
2B .216 (15) 125 (15) 16 (15) 21 (2)
SS .268 (5) 164 (6) 36 (2) 10 (6)
3B .250 (8) 156 (7) 34 (4) 20 (4)

The statistics above really do show how much the Orioles live and thrive on the home run. At second base the O’s were dead last until it came to hitting the long ball.

So don’t go away, step through the following six pages of individual players …