Baltimore Orioles: The Ups and Downs of Jimmy Paredes


May 26, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Jimmy Paredes (38) doubles during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Hopefully the Baltimore Orioles’ designated hitter Jimmy Paredes has kept at least one cap from every place he has played baseball over the past nine years. He could put together his own museum from the memorabilia: three major league teams, along with minor leagues and winter leagues too numerous to mention here.

As O’s fans have seen, it is not just the ups and downs of teams and leagues that is a part of the Paredes game, it is also some ups and downs of his production numbers. He alternates between tearing it up and looking like he can’t quite see the ball properly.

As any readers know who follow the local comment boards on varied Orioles sites, there is a very passionate fan of this player out there. He goes by the handle of “JimmyParedesFans” and is quite active with comments, including on this blog in the past. My friend, don’t be offended by what you’ve read so far; this is going to end well … just sayin’.

Originally signed by the Yankees in 2006 at age 18, Paredes bounced through the lower levels of their system with modest success in the .270s and .280s. He was traded to Houston in 2010.

More from Baltimore Orioles

In 2011 Paredes hit .270 with 10 homers in 93 games at Houston’s AA affiliate Corpus Christi of the Texas League, and he was called up in early August to the Astros (of the National League). He performed well, hitting .286 in 46 games.

But in 2012 he did not make the Astros coming out of spring training; but for their AAA affiliate Oklahoma City he batted .318 with 13 homers in 124 games. He also swiped 37 bases. However, a late season call-up only saw him bat .189 in 24 games for Houston.

This same story repeated in 2013. Paredes hit .287 at AAA, but with 48 games at Houston only .192.  This led to him being claimed off waivers in the offseason by the Marlins, then by the Orioles (for two days), and finally by the Royals.

In 2014 the same basic story repeated of hitting well at AAA, but he only played in nine early season games for the Royals, going 2-for-10. Purchased by the O’s in July, he was only hitting .258 at Norfolk when added to the roster for the rest of the Baltimore season. It was fresh air, as Paredes got into 18 games and went 16-for-55 for a .302 average.

All totaled, he has posted a career .300 average in 307 AAA games in three organizations. And coming into this season, his career average was .247 – the typical marginal big leaguer. The ups and downs are evident in this graph:

Year / TeamGamesAt-batsHitsAverage
2011 – Astros4616848.286
2012 – Astros247414.189
2013 – Astros4812524.192
2014 – Royals9102.200
2014 – Orioles185516.302

This past spring training was a coming of age for Paredes. He smoked the ball consistently, and after an injury at the very end of the preseason, he joined the Orioles for good on April 18th.

Paredes picked up right where left off in the spring, hitting .353 for 33 games. But then he went into a nine-game funk where he was just 2-for-32. But yet again, he has picked up his stroke; and in the past 12 games he is a smoking hot .396 (higher than his OBP of .388 – being thrown out extending a hit, and registering no walks over that time). Here is a chart of the 2015 season, breaking out the ups and down …


So what do we make of all of this? I think there are going to be some ups and downs with Jimmy Paredes. It is true of all players to some extent. But the great ones figure out how to bounce out of slumps and make adjustments. They are able to understand how they are being pitched differently, and they learn over time how to make new approaches to deal with the new set of realities literally being thrown at them. How many batting stances did Cal Ripken have over the years?

It would seem that Paredes (at age 26) is a fellow who is indeed “getting it” and putting it together. The down windows are getting shorter and the up-times are getting longer. If so, this could be an incredible boost for the Orioles who have him under team control for another four seasons after this year.

Next: Good things come in threes for the O's