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Could our offense be above average next year?

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Right now, the O’s rank 14th/15 in runs per game, at 4.11 (league average is 4.58).    But could the O’s take a big step forward next year?

First of all, there’s something of a disconnect between the O’s OPS (.708, 11th in the league) and the runs per game.   The runs should be better, but the team has had a very bad year with RISP (.649 OPS, last in the league by a wide margin).   The league actually does slightly better in RISP situations (.758) than overall (.728).   So even if our overall hitting didn’t improve, I’d expect to score some more runs just based on sequencing.   

Second, we are a relatively young team (3rd youngest batters in the league, at 26.9).   It’s reasonable to think that relatively inexperienced players like Mountcastle, Hays, McKenna, Mateo, Urias and even Stewart could improve, as a group.   It’s probably asking too much for Mullins to improve (indeed, he may trend the other direction), but even Santander is still on the right side of the learning curve.   

Third, there’s the Rutschman factor.  Severino has hit well in the second half, but I think it’s fair to expect Rutschman to outpace the .690 OPS he’s put up by a good margin.   And if the O’s acquire a new backup, that player would be hard pressed not to hit better than Wynns’ .492.

And finally, we got so little out of guys like Franco (.608 OPS), Ruiz (.550), Valaika (.531), I just have to think we’ll do better at 2B and 3B then we did this year.   Hopefully, Elias will spend a few bucks on some upgrades.   

Bottom line, it’s not hard to imagine the 2022 offense improving a good bit, maybe to the point of being average or better next year.  

I wish I could say that about the pitching.  
 

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12 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

Not without making at least one significant addition to the offense, besides Adley.

Im more worried about defense at SS and 3B to help our Starters. I think the lineup with Adley could come close to above average. 

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Add AR and Bryant to Mountcastle and Mullins.  That's a nice top 4.  

Some combination of Santander, Hays, Mancini, Urias, Mateo to follow.

Bench of, well, whomever.  Add some call-ups during the season.

Yeah, that could be a nice offense.  

The pitching on the other hand is terrifying.

 

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11 minutes ago, Aristotelian said:

Bring up Rutschman and sign a 3B. I think you'd have a decent offense.

Mullins CF, Urias 2B, Rutschman C, Mountcastle 1B, Santander RF, Mancini DH, 3B, Hays LF, Mateo SS. I think that's a decent offense. 

I'd love for Mateo to pass his SS audition here but im not betting he will. He has some plate displine issues which you could look past if the glove was better. Great athlete though, might be better suited for 2B. 

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Just now, jabba72 said:

I'd love for Mateo to pass his SS audition here but im not betting he will. He has some plate displine issues which you could look past if the glove was better. Great athlete though, might be better suited for 2B. 

You certainly don’t pencil him as a starter. 

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I keep saying that we'll surprise a lot of people next year. We have a lot of talent, and it should only get better. I'm not saying we'll go from Worst-to-First, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are rumors of us acquiring players for a playoff run instead of being sellers... 

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13 minutes ago, BohKnowsBmore said:

I think he’s a pretty darn good option as utility IF / late inning pinch runner on days he sits. 

He definitely has earned a spot on the team, so far at least.

Im just not writing him in as a starter. We shouldn’t go into 2022 relying on him to be anything more than the guy you just described.

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I think it is very possible.  I want to watch Urias and Mateo for another month to get a stronger feel for how badly we need IF help.

AR, Mullins, Mountcastle, Mancini, Hays, Santander is clearly the outlines of an above average offense.

The answer to your question is:

1) Health.  How much of the time do you get your best players on the field?  Mullins, Hays, and Santander.  That outfield looks to be above average offensively- but if McKenna and Stewart are going to get 500 abs between them, considerably less so.  The same is true of how much does AR catch and when does he come up.  I expect him to make an impact, because he's not just taking abs from Severino (whom I expect to stay) but also Sisco and Wynns.  That's 200 abs of 40 ops+ we don't need to see next year.  However, I do not expect AR to immediately become a middle order type of bat.

2) Production from 2B, SS, and 3B.  This is obvious to all of us.  I want to see more of Urias and Mateo before I would decide just how much leash I give them next year, and what kind of contingency plans I would need to make.

That said, this is where the opportunity cost comes on.  And I rarely see this appreciated when discussing the calculation of rebuilding.

Signing Kris Bryant would be great.

Throwing a dozen Craig Worthingtons at the wall until one is Justin Turner is better.

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3 hours ago, jabba72 said:

I'd love for Mateo to pass his SS audition here but im not betting he will. He has some plate displine issues which you could look past if the glove was better. Great athlete though, might be better suited for 2B. 

Agreed, I have him in the 9th spot just as a placeholder. If we get a Galvis/Iglesias type then the lineup is even better. 

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There is going to be so much that goes into this.

1). What is the Mullins regression like? Is it a big drop or a small drop?

2) When is Adley actually called up?  We know they will save the service time, if that is still a thing but do they go all the way to waiting to get past super 2?

3) Do they add anyone of real significance to the team?

4) What are you getting from  the IF And COers?

5) Did you keep Trey and if so, how much better is he his second year back?

This offense was built on the COers, CIers and DH.  That is where we thought production would come from heading into the season.  As it turns out, Franco was terrible but Mullins has been great.  The COers have been hurt and inconsistent.  Mancini has been up and down and Mountcastle was awful for long stretches, especially in the beginning of the season.  
 

As we end it, the COers are producing better, Mountcastle is back and we are now getting something out of the MI and even Severino has been ok.

I don’t think anything that happens in Sept will change the feeling entering the offseason.  You could argue that if Mateo keeps hitting, that is something to rely on but I think that would be foolish.  It’s a SSS And he hasn’t been good before.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Aristotelian said:

Bring up Rutschman and sign a 3B. I think you'd have a decent offense.

Mullins CF, Urias 2B, Rutschman C, Mountcastle 1B, Santander RF, Mancini DH, 3B, Hays LF, Mateo SS. I think that's a decent offense. 

Mateo should not stop the Orioles from getting one of the SS available this off season.

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