With Opening Day less than two weeks away, 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.
OF Mark Trumbo
Opening Day age: 31
Contract status: Under contract through the 2019 season
2016 stats: .256/.316/.533, 47 HR, 108 RBI, 94 R, 2 SB, 667 PA
Why to be impressed: The slugger had the best season of his career at the plate, setting new highs in home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage, runs scored, extra-base hits, OPS, and offensive wins above replacement. A big reason for this improvement was better plate discipline as Trumbo swung at fewer pitches outside the zone and had his lowest swinging-strike percentage since 2011.
Why to be concerned: After earning his first invitation to the All-Star Game since 2012, Trumbo struggled with a .214 batting average and .754 OPS in the second half of the season. He entered 2016 with fairly similar career numbers against right-handed pitching and left-handers, but he managed just a .173 average and .608 OPS against southpaws, which is something to keep an eye on this season.
2017 outlook: Expecting Trumbo to repeat what he did in the first half of 2016 would be asking a ton, but his .216 batting average on balls in play after the All-Star break indicates some bad luck being at work. He may not flirt with 50 home runs again and needs to serve primarily as the designated hitter to maximize his value, but his ideal fit at Camden Yards will keep his power numbers at an impressive level.
Not-so-scientific projections for 2017: .249/.308/.494, 35 HR, 92 RBI, 87 R, 1 SB, 634 PA