The Baltimore Orioles finished the 2016 Major League Baseball season with a record of 89-73. The Orioles were second in the American League East behind the Boston Red Sox, but did make the playoffs via a Wild Card berth. Unfortunately, the Orioles season concluded with a loss to the Toronto Blue Jays in the Wild Card Game. The Jays hit a walk-off home run in extra innings to advance to the ALDS.
The 2016 season was a relative success for Baltimore, regardless of the heartbreaking ending. Not a single writer at ESPN picked the Orioles to win the AL East, and just two writers picked Baltimore to snag a Wild Card. The team outperformed expectations and made a trip to the postseason for the third time in five years. Here is a recap of some of the positive and negative performers this season.
Baltimore Orioles 2016 Season Recap
Co-MVP: Manny Machado and Zach Britton
Manny Machado was a cut-above for the Orioles this season. According to Baseball-Reference, Machado led the Orioles with a 6.7 WAR, with no other position player finishing with a WAR above three. He was named an All-Star for the third time in five seasons.
Machado led the Orioles in doubles (40), hits (188), runs (105), OPS+ (128), and total bases (341). He also finished third on the team in home runs (37) and second in RBI (96), batting average (.294), and OBP (.343). Machado starred in the field as well, finishing with a range factor per nine innings of 2.904, fifth highest for a third baseman in all of MLB. Machado just finished his age-23 seasons, but it is clear that he is already the face of the Orioles.
Zach Britton had an incredible season by any standard. Britton appeared in 69 games for the Orioles and finished tied for second in all of MLB with 47 saves. He was named an All-Star for the second straight season. Most impressive, however, was Britton’s 0.54 ERA and 1.94 FIP. Britton was dominant from start to finish in 2016, including going 43 straight appearances without giving up an earned run.
Biggest Surprise: Mark Trumbo
Mark Trumbo had a resurgent 2016 season for the Orioles. Baltimore acquired Trumbo for catcher Steve Clevenger prior to the start of the season. Trumbo was coming off of two disappointing seasons before posting a strong year for the Orioles.
Not only was Trumbo a revelation for Baltimore, he led all of MLB this season with 47 home runs. Trumbo also led the Orioles with 108 RBI and was tied with Machado for the team lead in slugging percentage at .533. For all of 2016, Trumbo posted a slash line of .256/.316/.533 with an OPS of .850. Trumbo will be a free agent this offseason, and it would be wise for the Orioles to aggressively attempt to re-sign him.
Best Moment: Clinching a Wild Card
The Orioles were in a hard-fought playoff race for much of the season. In fact, it took a victory on the final day of the season for Baltimore to make the postseason. Spurred by Matt Wieters at the plate and Kevin Gausman on the mound, the Orioles defeated the New York Yankees 5-2 to clinch the second AL Wild Card. The 2016 season may not have ended with a World Series appearance, but there was plenty for Baltimore fans to cheer about.
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