Baltimore Orioles: 2014 Season Grades – Infielders

3 of 7

Oct 3, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles first baseman Steve Pearce (28) stretches for the out at first base against Detroit Tigers shortstop Andrew Romine (not pictured) during the third inning of game two of the 2014 ALDS playoff baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles. STEVE PEARCE. A-. . First Base

(I am including Peace with the infielders, as his greater number of at-bats came from playing first base rather than the outfield or designated hitter. He played 415 innings at 1B and 271 in LF and RF.)

The Baltimore Orioles owe a great debt of gratitude to Steve Pearce for being a key element of the great season of 96 wins. And I owe an apology to him – not that he’ll actually see this.

I would not have kept Pearce and would have let him go in free agency. Whereas I could see that he had what Buck calls “professional hitter” skills as a utility player, I would have never believed he could put up the numbers he did this year, even if given the chance to be run out on the field regularly.

Pearce ended up playing in 102 games and batting .293 on the season. To these numbers he added 21 home runs and 26 doubles. Along the way was also displayed some very solid defense and a ton of hustle – even five stolen bases.

Pearce tallied quite a number of big hits for the Orioles, batting .319 with runners in scoring position.

It was a career year for Pearce and he will get a good pay raise for it. He loves the Orioles and the fans love him, and for that he gets a really high grade here at The Baltimore Wire.