Baltimore Orioles 3-Year Analysis: Position by Position

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Jun 24, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles pinch hitter Delmon Young (27) hits a one-run rbi single in the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The White Sox defeated the Orioles 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Designated Hitter

Coming off the 2013 season, the designated hitter role needed a very significant upgrade. The Orioles got it, most particularly in the hands of Nelson Cruz. This was not only one of the big storylines of the season for the Birds, it was a major item that will long be remembered about the 2014 MLB season.

Actually, a total of 11 different Orioles served as the DH in the 152 games with such. Cruz was the man a total of 89 of those times. He hit 20 of the 26 homers tallied by Baltimore designated hitters.

2013 .234 .289 69 21
2014 .278 .332 90 26

So will the Orioles return to the malaise of 2013 and before, now that Cruz is departed? I don’t think so at all, not with Delmon Young likely to fill this hole. Young was the DH is 39 games in 2014. He hit .282 in that role.

The Orioles will likely use some of their left-handed hitting potential against tough righties, so it will be difficult to imagine repeating 26 home runs and 90 RBIs from this position in the order. But I do not see it dropping to the .234 average of 2013.

Looking back rating – “+2” – definitely better.

Looking ahead rating – “-1” – marginally worse.

Next: Rating Totals and Summary