State Of the Union: The Future Of The 2013 Orioles Roster

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Friday December 21, 2012

Baltimore Orioles

Kyle Holland (MLB Reports Intern):  .

2012 was a breakout year for the Baltimore Orioles and the start of something new. They finished the season with a 93-69 record, a record good enough to land themselves a spot in the WildCard playoff game. This marked the first time since 1997 they were playing October baseball. They took down the Rangers in that very game to advance to the ALDS against AL East foe, the New York Yankees. They gave the Yankees a run for their money sending the series to 5 games, only to lose a heart-breaker 3-1 finale of the matchup.  All of this happening with the Orioles having the 18th largest payroll in the MLB.

There are indeed a few reasons that the Orioles are going to have major success in the future. Pitching, the lineup, and upcoming prospects.

First let’s take a look at their pitching. In 2012 they combined for a very impressive 3.90 ERA plowing through 26 pitchers. Starter Wei-Yin Chen led the team in Wins (12) ERA (4.02_ and S0 (154) through 192.2 Innings Pitched. Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez also had, although short, great seasons. They finished 9-3 and 9-4 respectively, each and starting 15 games and Gonzalez making appearances in 18. Their closer, Jim Johnson finished with 51 Saves and 63 Games Finished. If this isn’t promising for the future then what exactly is? They also have some pitching coming up in their farm system that will be promising in the future.

Contrary to what some might think, their hitting wasn’t even that impressive, but hey, it got the job done.

Adam Jones had his 4th straight improved season for overall numbers in 2012 while hitting .287 with 32 HRs, Driving in 82 RBI and scoring 103 Runs.  Having signed a big contract of 6 Year/ 85 Million Dollar Contract recently, he will need to show a steady improvement going forward.

Adam Jones had his 4th straight improved season for overall numbers in 2012 while hitting .287 with 32 HRs, Driving in 82 RBI and scoring 103 Runs. Having signed a big contract of 6 Year/ 85 Million Dollar Contract recently, he will need to show a steady improvement going forward.

CF Adam Jones led the team in BA hitting .287 in 648 Plate Appearances, with 32 HRs, 82 RBI and scoring 103 Runs.  He finished 6th in AL MVP voting and took home the Gold Glove for his position. Nolan Reimold started off the season very promising. He hit .313 in 16 games before a herniated disk ended his season. Now if he would have continued hitting like this all season who knows what could have happened. The O’s could have clinched the division with this kind of hitting all year from the middle of their lineup. But who knows if this kind of hitting would have continued. Chris Davis unleashed his inner power leading the team with 33 HRs. Rookie Manny Machado hit .262 in 51 games, a promising sign for the future of their lineup. He also showed his skills at third base-only committing 5 errors. He also showed his big league awareness on many different occasions. He will be a great addition to this already promising lineup in future years.  The team will miss Mark Reynolds power of 23 HRs in 457 AB, they will not miss his Strikeouts at nearly 1 every 3 Plate Appearances though.

The Orioles have been said to have the 20th best farm system in the majors. Their system took a big hit at the end of 2012 because of the fact Machado was no longer considered a prospect.

Even with this ranking, the Orioles seem set on their prospects. This includes right-handed pitcher Dylan Bundy, the squad’s #1 prospect. At only 19 years old, now 20, Bundy finished his 2012 minor league season 9-3 with an impressive 2.08 ERA in 103.2 Innings Pitched. This was good enough for a cup of coffee with the big league club. He only made 2 appearances allowing 1 hit and no runs in 1.2 Innings Pitched.

Pedro Strop was 5-2 with a 2.44 ERA in 70 Appearances in relief and 66.1 IP for the  O's.  He was a masterful 1/2 combination with Jim Johnson.  They will need Strop to duplicate his totals in 2013.  He would also be in for a huge pay-raise in 2014 as an Arbitration Eligible Players.

Pedro Strop was 5-2 with a 2.44 ERA in 70 Appearances in relief and 66.1 IP for the O’s. He was a masterful 1/2 combination with Jim Johnson. They will need Strop to duplicate his totals in 2013. He would also be in for a huge pay-raise in 2014 as an Arbitration Eligible Players.

The strength still remains in the bullpen.  The team won all of those extra inning games because of them.  The starters only had to make it to the 7th inning most nights with Jim JohnsonLuis Ayala, Pedro Strop, Darren O’Day and Troy Patton all appearing in 50+ Games and only carrying mid 2.00 ERAs.  Even Tommy Hunter and Brian Matusz were effective with lower ERA’s out of the pen.

Matt Wieters had a nice power hitting season with 23 HRs and 83 RBI as the clubs catcher.  He must continue to improve.  Nick Markakis must steer clear of the injury bug and continue to hit around.300 for the club to remain in contention.

Their top hitting prospect, #3 overall in the organization, is going to need some work if he wants to make it to the big leagues any time soon. This is second baseman Jonathan Schoop. At 21 Years Old he played the 2012 season in the minors for the Bowie Baysox, AA affiliate of the Orioles. He hit only .245 in 124 games. His season also included 14 HRs. Clearly he has much potential, but he should be seeing another 2-3 years in the minors before being big league ready.

This offseason has been very boring so far for the Orioles. Baltimore fans are becoming frustrated with the lack of acquisitions by GM Dan Duquette, who keeps insisting he’s looking to make a trade. Really the only thing done so far is resign Nate McLouth. The Orioles need to pursue an ace starting pitcher, which they have yet to do.  They should look into Shawn Marcum who has AL East pitching experience.  It will not come cheap, but they must sign somebody to compete with the other clubs in their division.

The Orioles obviously broke out onto the scene in 2012 and maybe have a look at it again in 2013, even with the very strong AL East. They must catch a lot of breaks, however they can’t depend on winning every single extra inning game. You have to love the managing job that Buck Showalter did in 2012.  The Orioles should be an exciting team to follow next year no matter what happens and I guarantee you seats won’t be as empty like in past years.

Orioles #1 prospect, Right-Handed pitcher Dylan Bundy.

Orioles #1 prospect, Right-Handed pitcher Dylan Bundy.

(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)

Welcome  to our newest Baseball Intern: Kyle Holland:

a kyle holland

Kyle is a life long baseball fan outside of Boston. He is a sophomore in high school has played baseball since he was 5. Although growing up in one of the best baseball towns in the major leagues, he has been a Giants fan since 2009. He credits his aunt with the Giants being his favorite team as she lives in San Francisco. Some of his favorite players include Buster PoseyStephen DrewTrevor BauerStephen Strasburg, and minor leaguer Danny Hultzen.  You can find Kyle on Twitter .

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Posted on December 21, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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