In the coming weeks, I will be doing a four part 2013 Orioles season preview in which I will tell you what you can expect from every player who played significant time for the Orioles or another team last season. I will be dividing the series into starting pitchers, relief pitchers, infielders (and catchers), and this editions subject, the outfielders. Hope you enjoy!
2013 Orioles Outfielders Preview
Nate McLouth – McLouth was arguably the biggest surprise for the Orioles last season. Starting the season at Norfolk (after having disappointing campaigns in Pittsburgh and Atlanta), McLouth was eventually brought up due to injuries to Nick Markakis and Nolan Reimold. He had a solid season of 55 games for the team and was a huge part of the playoff run, even batting third and leadoff at some points in the season. However, we’ve seen this type of production from Nate before, only to have a disappointing follow up season. McLouth will have to fight for a starting job with Nolan Reimold this season in order to prove that he can be a consistent contributor.
Last season’s numbers (in 55 games): .268 BA, 7 HR, 18 RBI
2013 Prediction: .262 BA, 16 HR, 70 RBI
Nick Markakis – It was frustrating watching Markakis sit on the bench during key games down the stretch and throughout the ALDS. Knowing what a tremendous season Nick had had during the regular season filling in at the leadoff spot, will always have fans wondering what could have been if he had played during the playoffs. Nonetheless, those injuries were rare instances (one being a cheap shot from C.C. Sabathia) and Markakis is expecting to play a full season even though he is dealing with a minor neck injury. It remains to be seen where Markakis will bat in the lineup. It all depends on what the Orioles can get out of Brian Roberts or Nolan Reimold at the leadoff spot. It is however, nice to know that Markakis can be a valuable fill in at that spot if needed.
Last season’s numbers (in 104 games): .298 BA, 13 HR, 54 RBI
2013 Prediction: .289 BA, 16 HR, 75 RBI
Nolan Reimold – Reimold played a mere 16 games last season but in that time showed the potential he has shown throughout his time in Baltimore. It’s been injuries that have held Nolan back. In those 16 games last season, Reimold was on a tear. He was on pace for 45 homers and was batting .313. Obviously no one expecting that kind of season from him but it would be nice to see what he can do in a full season. If he can stay healthy, I expect him to take over the left field job at some point in the season.
Last season’s number (in 16 games): .313 BA, 5 HR, 10 RBI
2013 Prediction: .270 BA, 15 HR, 55 RBI
Xavier Avery – Avery was a pleasant surprise last season and filled in nicely during his short time in the big leagues. He added some needed speed and base stealing prowess (stealing 6 bases) to a team devoid of both last year. At only 23 years old, I don’t expect him to get much playing time this year unless the injury bug hits the Orioles again but it’s good to see such potential in a young player.
Last season’s numbers (in 32 games): .223, 1 HR, 6 RBI
2013 Prediction: .240, 2 HR, 15 RBI
Adam Jones – I guess this is the one you all have been waiting for. After signing his long term deal last season, Adam went into a bit of a slump which carried into a postseason in which he had two hits and batted an abysmal .077. However he had a stellar first half of the season which kept his numbers afloat throughout the season. Let’s hope the post season let down and experience makes Adam “stay hungry” this year. He is the face of the franchise now and he needs to be the leader both off the diamond and on it. The biggest positive we can take from his 2012 season is that he played every single game. You do not find that much anymore and that is huge impact no matter how you are playing.
Last season’s numbers (162 games): .287 BA (career high), 32 HR (career high), 82 RBI
2013 Prediction: .290 BA, 30 HR, 90 RBI