It is hard to believe that the baseball season is already 25% over. This Baltimore Orioles Progress Report covers the first 47 games of the season. As a team in the midst of a rebuild, there are many new faces involved in the organization. However, some of those new faces have ended up being key contributors so far this season. The Orioles are currently 15-32, good for second to last in all of baseball, and on pace to finish 52-110. This comes a year after finishing with the 15th worst record in the modern era at 47-115.
Baltimore Orioles Progress Report
Manager: Brandon Hyde
Rookie manager Brandon Hyde had big shoes to fill, replacing three-time American League manager of the year, Buck Showalter, who won the award with the Orioles in 2014. Hyde has come in with the intention to evaluate the players, with 39 players getting time on the 25-man active roster through 47 games.
Hyde got off to a questionable start, after pulling David Hess, after 6.1 innings in the midst of a no-hitter in the fourth game of the season. However, between Hyde’s decisions to stick with Chris Davis and his reaction to the Orioles blowing a 6-1 on Monday night, there is a lot to respect. Hyde has been able to push this team to be more competitive than many expected.
Most Valuable Player: Trey Mancini
There’s really not much to say here, as the numbers speak for themselves. Mancini is hitting .303 with 10 home runs, 23 RBI, and is currently eighth in hits in the American League. While Mancini has become the face of the franchise and a leader in the locker room, the Orioles should get a few calls about him as the trade deadline approaches.
Most Valuable Pitcher: John Means
Even the most die heard of Orioles fans may not have known who John Means was before the season. That being said, he has been one of the biggest surprised of the Orioles season so far. Means has a 5-4 record in seven starts, appearing in 11 games total. His ability to both start and come out of the bullpen has proven to be a huge asset. Means is sporting a 2.68 ERA and opponents are hitting .217 against him. Means just misses out as a qualifier, but would be ninth the the AL in ERA.
Breakout Player: Dwight Smith Jr.
Both Mean and Dwight Smith Jr. are 26 years old. The Orioles acquired Smith Jr. from the Blue Jays during spring training for international pool money. In that trade, the Orioles got a quality left fielder who has absolutely torn it up at the plate. Smith Jr. had 27 hits in 92 at-bats (.293) with only two home runs and nine RBI in 47 games across two seasons with the Blue Jays. In 44 games with the Orioles, he is hitting .271 with 10 home runs and 28 RBI, which leads the team. The emergence of Dwight Smith Jr. has been an absolute blessing for the Orioles.
Player to Watch: Mark Trumbo
Mark Trumbo, who has been the Orioles’ primary designated hitter since 2016, underwent season ending knee surgery in September of last year. On May 21st, Trumbo started playing again in extended spring training, which is the next step of his rehab assignment. Trumbo doesn’t currently have a set time to return, with Hyde hoping it will be “relatively soon”.
Progress Report Honorable Mentions
Dylan Bundy, who started the season off a little shaky, has flashed the potential he has shown throughout his career over his last four starts. The 2011 fourth overall pick is 2-2 with a 2.74 ERA in his last four starts, with the two wins being scoreless starts.
Stevie Wilkerson has been another breakout player for the Orioles. Listed as a second baseman, Wilkerson has been finding himself playing time out in center field. Wilkerson can show how inexperienced he is in the outfield, but his athleticism helps bail him out of misreads and poor jumps. If can learn the position on the fly, he could become the Orioles every day center fielder. Wilkerson’s ability at the plate will give him a fairly long leash when it comes to learning the position. He is currently hitting .268 with four home runs and 10 RBI in only 24 games.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images