Baltimore Orioles: Predictions that Came True in 2014!

3 of 3

Aug 27, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles mascot stands on the dugout as he leads the fans through the seventh inning stretch against the Tampa Bay Rays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Tampa Bay Rays defeated Baltimore Orioles 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Position Player Predictions

Excellent Production from Designated Hitters – The DH hole will produce among the top three in the AL between primarily Nelson Cruz and Delmon Young against lefties.

The was written at a time when it was presumed that Cruz would DH against right-handers with David Lough in left field, and that Cruz would play in the field against lefties with Young as DH. It turned out that Cruz was in the field more than anticipated. But even so, the DH position for the Orioles was #2 in the AL in batting average at .278, having the second-most number of base hits. O’s designated hitters ranked #6 in home runs. After a couple of years of serious struggle with DH production, the Orioles had a great season indeed from this place in the order.

The Return and Revival of Nick MarkakisNick Markakis is going to have a tremendous comeback year, re-establishing power and hitting for an average as he did before the rash of injuries. The Orioles will either exercise the option for him for another year, or he will leave vindicated by the great season he had.

… Or the Orioles will refuse the option but seek to sign a new contract for several years. In any event, that is what is happening right now because Markakis did have a very solid comeback season. His average tailed off at the end of the season to slightly below his pre-injury numbers, but Nick did hit 14 home runs and looked much like the guy from the past. Many O’s fans had written him off.

A Year of Struggles for Manny MachadoManny Machado will return from injury to begin play in late April. He will be a solid player, especially on defense, but the offseason of rehab will have him behind at the plate, and he will not recover offensively until 2015.

Manny did return to the team on May 1st. He also struggled a great deal for a number of weeks, illustrating that he was indeed not quite up to the speed of the game. However, the part of this prediction that is wrong is that he was on his way to an equal or better performance at the plate when the second knee gave out. He managed to play in 82 games, but hopefully he will recover in every way for a full and excellent 2015.

A Good Year for J.J. HardyJ.J. Hardy will provide a solid year in all respects, with a slight decrease in average and homers.

Hardy did indeed have a solid all-around year, and it has earned him an extension. As predicted, his power numbers dropped … quite a bit in fact. However, his average was up just five points. Hardy batted .268 for the season with nine home runs. Much of the year, however, his average was higher than the final number.

The number that most stands out for me about Hardy’s 2014 season is his average with runners in scoring position – at .315.  In 2013, it was .234; in 2012, it was .264.  That is solid performance.

A Typical Adam Jones Season – Adam Jones will have yet another season on par with recent years in all offensive categories, contributing as always as the soul and heartbeat of the team.

This prediction was completely true, both in attitude and production. You pretty much know what you are going to get from Jones, as his numbers over the last three years are quite consistent.

Year AB Hits 2B HR RBI Avg.
2012 697 186 39 32 82 .287
2013 689 186 35 33 108 .285
2014 682 181 30 29 96 .281

If only those low-and-away sliders did not look so, so good!

More from Baltimore Orioles

The End of the Road for Nolan ReimoldThe Nolan Reimold health issue comes to a sad conclusion as simply unable to be resolved sufficiently.

This may not sound like a huge prediction, but rather more like an inevitability. Unless you had read my daily columns over a long period, you would not know how long I road this horse with optimistic hope. He was a great player when healthy – balls exploded off his bat. But he couldn’t stay that way, and the clock simply ran out. I’m still sad about it. I suppose he could return in some free agent sort of way, but I feel the train has departed the station for good.