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My 21st Century Orioles All Star Team


Frobby

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25 minutes ago, Frobby said:

Need a distraction from the current state of the O’s?  This weekend I decided to pick my 21st century Orioles all-star team, both based on single-season results and Orioles 21st century career.    So that my posts won’t get too long, I’ll divide them into single season batters, career batters, single season pitchers, and career pitchers.    When I say “career,” only the seasons played in the 21st century count.    So, Cal and Mussina don’t get to show up on the career list just because the tail end of their time with the Orioles spilled into the 21st century.

For my single season hitters list, I picked two players at each position (including DH) and one “utility” player.  I made a rule that a player could only make the team once.  Also, a player could only be listed at the position at which he played the most games that season.  Here’s that list, and some commentary:

Catcher

1.  Matt Wieters, 2011: 5.2 rWAR, .262/.328/.450, 110 OPS+, 22 HR, 68 RBI.   Was an all star and won his first Gold Glove.

2.  Javy Lopez, 2004: 4.8 rWAR, .316/.370/.503, 127 OPS+, 23 HR, 86 RBI.  Better than Wieters offensively but nowhere near as good defensively.

Comment: Pretty easy choices here.   Ramon Hernandez was very good in 2006 (4.2 rWAR).   You could also argue that Wieters’ best season was 2012 (4.1 rWAR but had 23 HR, 83 RBI and repeated as an all-star and Gold Glover).  

First Base

1.  Chris Davis, 2013: 7.1 rWAR, .286/.370/.634, 168 OPS+, 53 HR, 138 RBI.   Was an all-star, 3rd in MVP voting, won the Silver Slugger at 1B, led the league in homers and RBI.

2.  Jeff Conine, 2001: 2.9 rWAR, .311/.386/.443, 123 OPS+, 14 HR, 97 RBI.   Obviously, a very distant second.

Comment: Davis’ 2015 season would have been second if he qualified.   And at least by rWAR, his 2016 season would have been 3rd even though it was somewhat disappointing.  Not a lot at 1B beyond Davis.

Second Base

1.  Brian Roberts, 2005: 7.3 rWAR, .313/.387/.515, 139 OPS+, 18 HR, 73 RBI, 27 SB.   Was an all star and finished 18th in MVP voting.   Could have racked up even higher numbers, but he got hurt in September.

2.  Jonathan Schoop, 2017: 6.5 rWAR, .293/.338/.503, 124 OPS+, 32 HR 105 RBI.

Comment:  Very easy choices here.   Roberts had some other very good seasons, but they didn’t threaten Schoop’s.

 Third Base

1.  Manny Machado, 2015: 7.5 rWAR, .286/.359/.502, 132 OPS+, 35 HR, 86 RBI, 20 SB.   Was an all star, won the Gold Glove, finished 4th in the MVP voting.

2.  Melvin Mora, 2004: 5.6 rWAR, .340/.419/.562, 155 OPS+, 27 HR, 104 RBI, 11 SB.   Won the Silver Slugger and was 18th in MVP voting.

Comment: You could argue for Manny’s 2016 season (7.3rWAR), which featured more HR and RBI, a higher BA and OPS, but slightly lower OPS+ and lower defensive numbers.  You could also argue for his 2013 season (5.9 rWAR), possibly the best defensive season by any Oriole ever.

Shortstop

1.  Miguel Tejada, 2004: 7.4 rWAR, .311/.360/.534, 34 HR, 150 RBI.   Was an all-star, won the Silver Slugger, led the league in RBI while setting the single-season RBI record for the Orioles.

2.  J.J. Hardy, 2011: 4.1 rWAR, .269/.310/.492, 30 HR, 80 RBI.   Missed almost a month at the beginning of the season and excelled after that.

Comment: Tejada’s 2005-06 seasons probably outrank Hardy’s.   It’s kind of ironic that Hardy’s best year came while the Orioles were still bad and he got no recognition whatsoever on the awards front.

 Left Field

1.  Nolan Reimold, 2009: 2.6 rWAR, .279/.365/.466, 116 OPS+, 14 HR, 45 RBI

2.  Luke Scott, 2008: 2.6 rWAR, .257/.336/.472, 111 OPS+, 23 HR, 65 RBI.

Comment: By far the weakest position on the field for the Orioles.    The only other candidate was B.J. Surhoff, who collected 2.6 rWAR in 2000 before being traded to the Braves at the deadline.

Center Field

1.  Adam Jones 2013: 4.8 rWAR, .285/.318/.493, 118 OPS+, 33 HR, 108 RBI.   All star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, finished 13th in MVP voting.

2.  Corey Patterson, 4.2 rWAR, .276/.314/.443, 94 OPS+, 16 HR, 53 RBI, 53 SB vs. only 9 CS.

Comment: You could argue for Jones’ 2014 season (4.8 rWAR) or 2012 (4.1 rWAR, 6th in MVP voting) as well.   Believe it or not, Luis Matos also had a 4.0 rWAR season in 2003.

Right Field

1.  Nick Markakis, 2008: 7.4 rWAR, .306/.406/.491, 136 OPS+, 20 HR, 87 RBI, 10 SB.   No recognition for Nicky’s top-rated season.

2.  Trey Mancini, 2019, 3.9 rWAR, .291/.364/.535, 136 OPS+, 35 HR, 97 RBI.

Comment: Nick’s 2007 season was very strong (4.1 rWAR) and he had other solid seasons.   Mark Trumbo had a 40-HR season playing mostly RF in 2016 but it was worth only 2.1 rWAR due to his defense.

Designated Hitter

1.  Nelson Cruz, 2014: 4.5 rWAR, .271/.333/.525, 137 OPS+. 40 HR, 108 RBI.  All star, 7th in MVP voting.

2.  Aubrey Huff, 2008: 4.1 rWAR, .304/.360/.552, 137 OPS+, 32 HR, 108 RBI.  16th in MVP voting, Silver Slugger.

Comment:  No other serious candidates here.

Utility

1.  Steve Pearce, 2014: 5.8 rWAR, .293/.373/.556, 157 OPS+, 21 HR, 49 RBI.  Started 47 games at 1B, 31 in LF, 8 at DH, 4 in RF and came in defensively in 13 other games.   Also pinch hit in 13 games.   A very underrated piece to that 2013 team.

So, did I leave out anyone?   Would you have picked a different season for Wieters, Jones, Hardy or Markakis?

I'll post my career hitters' list later today.    Spoiler alert: it's almost entirely the same players, with a few notable exceptions.

 

I know Nate Mclouth was never a superstar but I loved watching him play. In 146 games in 2013, he was worth only 2.3 fWAR, but I thought he was great. Very glad we had him.

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1 hour ago, Philip said:

I know Nate Mclouth was never a superstar but I loved watching him play. In 146 games in 2013, he was worth only 2.3 fWAR, but I thought he was great. Very glad we had him.

I enjoyed McLouth, too.   I must say, Dan Duquette had perfect timing on that one, as he did nothing in the years immediately preceding or following his 2012-13 run with the O’s.   He fit that team extremely well because we didn’t have a ton of speed and his OBP was pretty good.   

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5 minutes ago, Bahama O's Fan said:

I meant the whole staff 

I’m getting to that, if you read the intro to my OP.   First the hitters based on their 21st century career, then I’ll turn to the pitchers.   But maybe not today, as I’m running short on time.  

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The 21st Century Career Position Players List

As explained, only stats from the 21st Century were taken into account for this list.   Here is the list.  References to games played refer to games at any position, not just the named spot.

Catcher

1.  Matt Wieters, 2009-16: 882 games, 18.2 rWAR, .256/.318/.421, 99 OPS+, 117 HR, 437 RBI.   Was a four-time all star and won two Gold Gloves.

2.  Ramon Hernandez, 2006-08: 383 games, 7.3 rWAR, .264/.328/.427, 97 OPS+, 47 HR, 218 RBI.  Comment: Very easy pecking order between the two here.   The decision between Hernandez and Javy Lopez for no. 2 was close.

First Base

1.  Chris Davis, 2011-20: 1151 games played, 12.2 rWAR, .230/.318/.459, 106 OPS+, 253 HR, 656 RBI.   One-time all star, had two great seasons and a couple of other decent ones. 

2.  Jeff Conine, 2000-03, 2006: 612 games played, 5.5 rWAR, .286/.346/.440, 106 OPS+, 66 HR, 335 RBI.   Again a very distant second and it’s pretty sad that he’s no. 2.

Comment:  It’s amazing that Davis is easily the best 1B the O’s have had this century while simultaneously being the worst player on the team for several years in a row.

Second Base

1.  Brian Roberts, 2001-13: 1327 games played, 28.8 rWAR, .278/.349/.412, 102 OPS+, 92 HR, 528 RBI, 278 SB.   Was a two-time all star and finished 18th in MVP voting in 2005.   His concussion problems and other injuries prevented him from having an even more impressive career.

2.  Jonathan Schoop, 2013-18: 635 games played, 15.2 rWAR, .261/.296/.450, 100 OPS+, 32 HR 105 RBI.

Comment:  Very easy choices here.  These two cover almost the entire period.

Third Base

1.  Manny Machado, 2012-18: 860 games played, 31.9 rWAR, .283/.335/.487, 121OPS+, 162 HR, 481 RBI.   Was a four time all star, won two Gold Gloves (one a Platinum Glove), finished 4th, 5th and 9th in the MVP voting.

2.  Melvin Mora, 2000-09: 1256 games played, 29.1 rWAR, .280/.335/.481, 109 OPS+, 158 HR, 662 RBI.   Was a two-time all star, won the Silver Slugger and was 18th in MVP voting in 2004.

Comment:  I kind of forgot how good Melvin Mora was.    He’s pretty underappreciated IMO.

Shortstop

1.  Miguel Tejada, 2004-07, 2010: 716 games played 19.5 rWAR, .305/.354/.534, 119 OPS+, 109 HR, 468 RBI.   Was a three time all-star, won two Silver Slugger, finished 5th, 15th and 20th in the MVP voting, and set the single-season RBI record for the Orioles.

2.  J.J. Hardy, 2011-17: 889 games played, 15.7 rWAR, .256/.305/.408, 107 HR, 385 RBI.   Won three Gold Gloves while anchoring an excellent defense during the O’s 2012-16 run.

Comment:  I was tempted to put Hardy above Tejada because he was so important to a winning team, but in the end I couldn’t ignore Miggy’s offense.

Left Field

1.  Trey Mancini, 2016-19: 462 games played, 7.4 rWAR, .276/.335/.412, 119 OPS+, 86 HR, 238 RBI.   Trey’s best season came playing mostly RF, but he has played more games in LF than anywhere else at this point.  He finished 3rd for Rookie of the Year playing mostly LF.

2.  B.J. Surhoff, 2000, 2003-05: 387 games played, 4.6 rWAR, .289/.335/.412, 96 OPS+, 31 HR, 182 RBI.  Another guy who played several positions, but LF more than anywhere else in this time period.

Comment: LF has been a constant sore thumb for the Orioles.   As best I can tell, nobody has played more than 258 games there this century, a testament to how weak and unstable it has been.   And neither Mancini nor Surhoff played the most games there this century.   Can you guess who did?

Center Field

1.  Adam Jones 2008-18: 1613 games played, 32.5 rWAR, .279/.319/.459, 109 OPS+, 303 HR, 1251 RBI.   Five time all star, four time Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, finished 6th 13th and 14th MVP voting.  Leads the team in almost all cumulative stats this century.

2.  Corey Patterson, 2006-07, 2010: 357 games played, 7.2 rWAR, .272/.311/.412, 90 OPS+, 32 HR, 103 RBI, 103 SB.

Comment:  Big drop here from Jones to Patterson, which is fine considering Jones was the starter for 11 years.

Right Field

1.  Nick Markakis, 2006-14: 1,365 games played, 26.0 rWAR, .290/.358/.435, 113 OPS+, 141 HR, 658 RBI.   The other haf of 2110 Eutaw Street that we enjoyed for 7 of his 9 years with the team.  Two Gold Gloves, finished 6th for Rookie of the Year.

2.  Jay Gibbons, 2001-07: 779 games played, 6.1 rWAR, .260/.314/.453, 101 OPS+, 121 HR, 445 RBI.  People forget he was our regular RF for several year before Nick came along.

Comment: RF was a pretty stable position until Nick left.   Since then, a revolving door

Designated Hitter

1.  Luke Scott, 2008-11: 471 games played, 7.9 rWAR, .260/.342/.485, 118 OPS+, 84 HR, 236 RBI.   Played more DH than anywhere else, including during his best season.

2.  Nelson Cruz, 2014: 159 games played, 4.5 rWAR, .271/.333/.525, 137 OPS+. 40 HR, 108 RBI.  All star, 7th in MVP voting.

Comment:  Yep, Cruz accumulated more rWAR in his one Oriole season than any other DH candidate besides Scott.    A pretty sad statement.

Utility

1.  Steve Pearce, 2012-16: 6.9 rWAR, .255/.337/.473, 120 OPS+, 46 HR, 122 RBI.  He played 1B, 2B, LF, RF and DH for us, and frequently pinch hit.

This list has a lot of holes in it, particularly in the no. 2 slot.   Let's hope some players now on the team or coming soon will fill in those gaps.

Not sure I will have time for pitchers today.   Needless to say, it's slim pickings.

 

 

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