Mar 14, 2015; Sarasota, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles first basemenChris Davis
(19) squares up to attempt a bunt in the first inning of the spring training game against the Tampa Bay Rays atEd Smith
Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Having yesterday written a preview with predictions for the 2015 Baltimore Orioles starting rotation and bullpen, today we will turn to the offensive side of the game. I will lay this out over the next three successive pages (slides) by talking about the infield, the outfield, and finally the catchers.
Not being featured or talked about very much in this series of articles is the defensive side of the game. That is largely assumed to be excellent when talking about the Baltimore Orioles. There are very few weaknesses, as an inability to defend is a disqualifying factor for a player hoping to be a part of this franchise. And of course there are some of the very best defensive players in the game that wear the O’s uniform: people like Manny Machado, J.J. Hardy, Matt Wieters, and Adam Jones.
Looking back at the Baltimore Orioles offense of 2014 and earlier, it is a mixed bag featuring the best power in the game, the worst speed, explosive potential, yet troubling numbers with on base percentage. The O’s performed quite well in clutch hitting categories and were the best in baseball with pinch hitting.
Here are some of the American League rankings from 2014 …
Home Runs – #1 – 211
Batting Average – #5 – .256
Slugging Percentage – #2 – .422
On Base Percentage – #11 – .311
Runs Per Game – #6 – 4.35
Stolen Bases – #15 – 44
Clearly from these rankings it can be seen that it was a team that largely powered their way to whatever offensive success could be achieved. Some of that power in now gone, while there are new players who should help to offset that with more speed and on base percentage. Even so, the Orioles may well lead all of baseball again in home runs, though it could be closer than in the recent past.
So click on through the next three pages to see specific predictions about a host of players and what might be expected of them for 2015.
Next: Will Davis and Machado bounce back?