With Opening Day nearly upon us, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2017 Orioles every day as they try to return to the postseason for the fourth time in six years.
Hyun Soo Kim
OF Craig Gentry
Opening Day age: 33
Contract status: Under contract through the 2017 season
2016 stats (with the Los Angeles Angels): .147/.237/.176, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 0 SB, 39 PA
Why to be impressed: Gentry was arguably the best story of Baltimore’s spring as he hit .321 with two home runs, seven stolen bases, and a .957 on-base plus slugging percentage to make the club as a non-roster invitee. He also brings an impressive defensive track record to the Orioles as he’s accumulated 48 defensive runs saved in the outfield over his major league career.
Why to be concerned: Concussions and other injuries have derailed Gentry’s career over the last few years, making it difficult for the Orioles to be able to count on him to hold down a meaningful role for an entire season. Given his age and that his career-high OPS was an unspectacular .759 in 2013, his gaudy numbers in spring training should be taken with cautious optimism at best.
2017 outlook: It appears that manager Buck Showalter is poised to use Gentry in a platoon role against left-handed pitching and as a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch runner. Considering he’s played a total of 40 major league games over the last two seasons, the veteran outfielder is unlikely to stay healthy for a full 162 games, but he does offer skills that the Orioles need on their current roster.
Not-so-scientific projections for 2017: .231/.296/.355, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 15 R, 4 SB, 116 PA