Baltimore Orioles Preview and Predictions for Position Players

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Mar 25, 2015; Sarasota, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones (10) catches a line drive in the second inning of the spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports


Adam Jones – With Nick Markakis gone, Jones is now even more the face of the franchise. He has been a consistent player year after year. I predict he will continue to chase balls out of the strike zone. Pretty bold, eh? But seriously, his batting average has been dropping just a bit year to year, and that could happen again. I think Buck would do well to give Jones more off days, and there may be some players on this roster than can make that happen better than in the past. I will call for about .279 and 28 home runs.

Alejandro De Aza – The former White Sox outfielder sure made himself comfortable in Baltimore at the end of last season. After a slow spring start he has been coming on strong of late. I don’t see a reason why he cannot have a good season while hitting often at the top of the Orioles order, especially against right-handed pitching. De Aza could put together a .280 season in 125 games.

Travis Snider – This addition is no Nelson Cruz, though Snider might hit for an average as good or better. I am thinking that the healthy O’s clubhouse helps Snider achieve more in line with expectation he had as a high-ranking rookie earlier in his career. Hey, who wouldn’t want to play in Baltimore rather than Pittsburgh?!!  Let’s call a .275 average with 16 home runs in 135 games.

Delmon Young – This is a hitting machine. After putting up numbers in the low .300s, Young will come close to the same this year. Nobody can repeat pinch hitting as he did last year, but look for him to be used in this role again. Young is not going to end up getting quite as many at-bats as perhaps anticipated when he signed this past offseason, but that is not because he won’t do well. Rather it will be because so many others will be playing well and will need to be used instead of Delmon.

Steve Pearce – I am still surprised this has happened. I would have given up on Pearce long before he arrived as a top hitter. At this point, he is established as an offensive threat. He and Young will be predominately the designated hitters on the team and will produce enough to make fans largely forget about the departed Nelson Cruz. Look for Pearce to produce only slightly less than he did in 2014.

Nolan Reimold – There is nothing that looks anything like an injury. The speed is back, and so is Reimold’s total game. Proving that good guys do win in the long run, Reimold starts hot and sticks for the season, providing significant contributions.

David Lough – Sad to say that all of the above does not leave a space for what is a very fine athlete.

Others – Dariel Alvarez, Henry Urrutia, and Julio Borbon will have such good years at AAA that they will be call-ups in September and challenge for starting positions in 2016.

Next: Any hope for success without Wieters?