O’s spring training: The 25 who will make it (#2)

February 16, 2010 | Drew Forrester

Of the 25 players who are figuring on making the Orioles opening day roster, most are obvious slam dunks, some are “just about sure” and a few are “has a pretty decent chance”.

I opened yesterday’s look at the 25 who will make it – in my opinion – with one of the most obvious slam dunks…catcher Matt Wieters.

I’ll stick with the slam dunk category for Day 2: Brian Roberts.

Here’s the lowdown on B-Rob:

Odds he’ll be on the roster at the start of the season:  100%

Odds he’ll be on the roster at the end of the season:  90%

Odds he’ll be an effective contributor in 2010:  95%

Odds his name will be mentioned at the trade deadline in late July:  80%

Summary:  There’s an argument that no one in franchise history has had a better O’s career at 2nd base than Roberts.  All he does every year is serve as one of the A.L.’s best lead-off hitters, plays a steady if not often-spectacular defensive game and continues to be a model of consistency that all young players in the O’s locker room should model themselves after.  You can expect some team in need of a lead-off hitter to sniff around at the deadline and inquire about Roberts.  It happens nearly every summer.  The O’s would be reluctant to trade him for sure – and with his $8 million-plus salary, he might be tough to deal – but they’d probably at least LISTEN to the offer from a desperate team in July.

Quirky stat or two about B-Rob:

  • Has upped his doubles total from the previous season in four straight campaigns, with 56 a season ago.
  • Had 16 home runs last year.  4 at home and 12 on the road
  • Hit .348 in games the O’s won last season – and .240 in losses.

Drew’s projections for Roberts in 2010:

* .290 batting average

* 13 HR

* 68 RBI

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