Right field is a position on the Baltimore Orioles roster that has been unsettled for the Orioles since the tough decision to allow Nick Markakis to leave during free agency.
To wrap up 2016, the Baltimore Orioles ranked second at the position, based on the power displayed by Trumbo. With him being considered a DH primarily in 2017, where will the Orioles rank?
Last year, the rankings ended looking like:
5. Tampa Bay Rays
4. New York Yankees
3. Toronto Blue Jays
2. Baltimore Orioles
1. Boston Red Sox
5. New York Yankees
Sure, Steven Souza and the Rays might deserve to go here, because Souza strikes out A LOT. But, so does Judge. In 95 plate appearances in the majors in 2016, Judge struck out a whopping 42 times. He also only hit .179 with a .263 OBP. That’s not okay. Sure, he did hit four home runs, and the power is undeniable.
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The other issue here is the backups. Hicks is a career .223 hitter better used as a defensive replacement. Williams hasn’t been able to breakthrough on the Yankees’ 25-man roster. Tyler Austin is out with a fractured foot.
Sure, Matt Holliday could play right field, but he would be a defensive liability at the position.
Could Judge be much better in his first full year in the majors, if he indeed makes the team? Yes, of course, he is. But, let’s judge that when the year is done.