Baltimore Orioles: An All-Former Orioles Team

Apr 10, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) looks on in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) looks on in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

There are quite a few former Baltimore Orioles players who are performing well throughout the rest of Major League Baseball. Could we make an all-former Orioles team out of them?

It really is possible, though a couple of positions will be certainly below average. But the pitching staff would actually be quite good and surely above an MLB average.

A disclaimer here is that this is not an effort to mock the Orioles or to point out how many good players have gone away and are performing better some other place. This is simply for interest and not to make a statement. Any franchise could probably do the same; it is the nature of the game for players to move around for a variety of reasons. And some perform better in one place or another, also due to a variety of reasons.

Let’s begin with a batting order and an imaginary starting lineup (listing each player’s current team) …

  • Nick Markakis – RF – (Atlanta Braves) – Some Orioles fans will never forgive the organization for not making it happen to keep Markakis after the 2014 season. Concerns about his health and a decline in production have not been realized, as Nick hit .296 with a .370 OBP in 2015. He was hitting about the same this year until a recent 3-for-32 slump has dropped him to .257. But who wouldn’t be depressed playing for the 9-28 Braves?
  • Steve Pearce – DH – (Tampa Bay Rays) – Everyone loves Pearce and appreciates his time with the O’s. There were some ups and downs. But the Showalter favorite is really performing well for the Rays. Just last night he hit his sixth home run in 23 games while batting cleanup. He is hitting .288 with an OBP of .370.
  • Gerardo Parra – CF – (Colorado Rockies) – He was a great disappointment last year as a late-season acquisition from the Brewers for Zach Davis – the latter pitching well at the end of last year, though not so this season. Parra is hitting well again now that he is back in the National League, a place he probably belongs and where he leads that circuit currently in doubles with 14.
  • Nelson Cruz – LF – (Seattle Mariners) – As with Markakis, fans resented not seeing Cruz retained. The early performance of Mark Trumbo is helping many forget this loss however. Cruz is hitting reasonably well, though with fewer home runs than three of the O’s. He currently has seven. His average is .265, but tons of walks have his OBP at .363.
  • Danny Valencia – 3B – (Oakland A’s) – Valencia always could hit a baseball, and he is doing it again now with this sixth franchise. With a .333 average and five homers in 20 games, the A’s are going to have to play him more. His five homers were in the last three games!
  • Mark Reynolds

    – 1B – (Colorado Rockies) – Now with his seventh franchise, Reynolds has the strangest stat line (for him) that you’ve ever seen! He is hitting .320 in 32 games. But he only has two home runs … in Colorado!

    More from Baltimore Orioles

  • Nick Hundley – C – (Colorado Rockies) – Not many former Oriole catchers are out there. Hundley is batting a very nice .273 in his 13 games played.
  • Kelly Johnson – 2B – (Atlanta Braves) – It seems like Kelly Johnson has played for 20+ years. Having played for eight franchises, he is back to where he began with the Braves, hitting .240.
  • Ivan De Jesus – SS – (Cincinnati Reds) – It was difficult to find a former O’s shortstop. All I could muster was De Jesus with a .174 average in 19 games.
  • Bench Players, with batting average stats – Catcher Steve Clevenger, Mariners (6-for-32, .188); Alejando De Aza, Mets (7-for-41, .171); David Lough, Phillies (12-for-49, .245).

    Here is a chart of that starting lineup …

    De Jesus19468.1741

    That total batting average of .269 is not bad at all. The MLB median team batting average is .251, so this would be a competitive bunch. The home runs are a bit lower than the league midpoint.

    Did I forget anyone (other than Bautista, whom I chose to not include since he had only 12 plate appearances 12 years ago)?

    We’ll come back in the next post with a pitching staff.