Baltimore Orioles: 2014 Season Grades – Outfielders

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Today is the third 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 Monday and the infielders yesterday; and we will look at starting pitchers and relief pitchers in subsequent posts. Today the focus is upon outfielders.

As you scroll through the following pages, we will discuss and grade Nelson Cruz, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Delmon Young, David Lough and Alejandro De Aza.

Steve Pearce was included with the infielders yesterday, though he had 176 plate appearances as an outfielder or designated hitter (194 as an infielder). He hit higher as an OF/DH (.303 to .283) but hit more home runs as a first baseman (13 to 7).

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

Position Average Hits Doubles Home Runs
LF .271 (5) 167 (4) 34 (5) 30 (1)
CF .273 (9) 181 (1) 31 (5) 29 (2)
RF .281 (2) 189 (1) 32 (4) 19 (6)
DH .278 (2) 166 (2) 27 (8) 26 (6)

The number of hits for center field as the most (tied with the Yankees), yet with the ninth-best average is curious. Accounting for this is the propensity for Adam Jones to swing away and gain few walks. As well, the best CF average in the league was only 10 points higher at .283.

But overall, these are really good numbers and demonstrate what a strong outfield the Orioles possess. Add to this the defensive prowess of these players, and it is truly a great asset.

Before you start clicking through, let me ask you this trivia question: What player had the highest batting average for the Baltimore Orioles this year? Hint, this is a trick question, and to encourage you to click through the next six pages, the answer is at the end!