May 7, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Jimmy Paredes (38) rounds the bases on his home run to right during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
I’m not going to lie and tell you I saw this coming. I’m not going to say that I thought Jimmy Paredes was going to hit like this for the Baltimore Orioles – not even after he had a great spring training, and especially not after the injury just before the season began.
Paredes did it again on Saturday in the O’s 6-2 win over the Yankees. He began the scoring with a solo home run in the third inning, also adding a triple and single in five at-bats.
I’m not shocked he is performing so well; I think he is a very athletic guy. But how long can this bashing of the baseball continue?
First, let’s get the current numbers: Paredes is batting .347 on 25-for-72, with 5 doubles, 2 triples and 5 home runs. He has 15 RBIs, and all of this is in just 17 games. Though he hit .302 in 18 games with the Orioles at the end of last season, his total MLB career over portions of four seasons would not tend toward a high-level expectation. Paredes’ career average before the season began was .242, though his AAA career average over 307 games was .300.
So is this a story of a young guy sort of figuring it out and putting it together? It could be. He is right now age 26, turning 27 in November.
Could it be that the league has just not caught up with how to pitch to him? Perhaps as scouts put together more of a book on him with all the video and analysis that goes into it that Paredes will find himself being pitched-to much differently. To some extent this is certain to happen. It happens with everyone and he will have to adjust.
Maybe he just likes wearing black and orange and eating crab legs. No, it has to be more than that. But there could be much said for a feeling of finally being truly wanted someplace and given a legit shot at making it.
My guess is that the Orioles have gained a good offensive piece. Paredes is not going to hit .347 over a period of years, but he can maybe be a top-tiered offensive contributor. As a good athlete, he should be able to eventually find a place on the field defensively. And honestly, I don’t think he looked that bad at second base.
There is always the DH position. Delmon Young is only signed for this year. Paredes is not even arbitration-eligible until 2017, and not thereby free agent eligible until 2020. So the Orioles could have five years from him if he really does become a big-time offensive threat.
Other Threads of Thought
Chris Davis hit his seventh home run on the day I did a bit of a rant article on him. This always happens. But honestly, the pitch he hit was the closest thing to being put on a tee as any ball you’ll ever see out of a pitcher’s hand. But hey, I’m all for Davis depositing pitching mistakes over the wall.
Alejandro De Aza hit a much more difficult pitch for his two-run shot. The ball really jumps off his bat, and I cannot explain his inconsistencies.
More from Baltimore Orioles
- What other Baltimore Orioles Offseason Storylines will you be interested in seeing?
- Baltimore Orioles to Face Numerous Playoff Contenders Down the Stretch
- Baltimore Orioles Showing Encouraging Signs During Recent Wins
- The Baltimore Orioles and the Expanded September Roster
- Orioles Josh Rogers Expectations in his Major League Debut
Saturday’s start by Wei-Yin Chen was a very good one. After high pitch counts in the first two innings, it was great to see him settle in and get through seven full innings with only a run allowed. He was mostly living on the corners, and games like this will add up to a very fine season for him.
Sunday’s pitching matchup does not look like a positive one for the Orioles. Bud Norris – who has not been especially stellar in 2015 – had chills and was sent out on Saturday. That doesn’t sound good at all. If he is unable to start, some combination of Brad Brach, TJ McFarland and Brian Matusz could likely bridge the Birds to the back end of the bullpen. Extra innings might need Chris Davis! Maybe that is his future!
The Yankees with be going with Michael Pineda – he of the 4-0 record and 2.97 ERA. He is striking out 8.7 batters per nine innings.
It sounds like an ugly matchup, but as we know, that assures nothing. And the Orioles really need another win before returning home on Monday.