Baltimore_Orioles4

Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…Tony Pente, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Baltimore Orioles!

2016 Baltimore Orioles Depth Chart & Projections

Starting Lineup

Order Pos Player AB R HR RBI SB AVG
1 LF Hyun-Soo Kim 512 103 28 121 11 0.328
2 3B Manny Machado 603 91 27 88 14 0.285
3 1B Chris Davis 540 85 38 97 3 0.245
4 CF Adam Jones 608 78 28 92 5 0.272
5 DH Mark Trumbo 503 65 25 74 2 0.252
6 C Matt Wieters 377 45 14 49 1 0.244
7 2B Jonathan Schoop 466 54 20 62 3 0.249
8 SS J.J. Hardy 416 42 11 45 1 0.239
9 RF Henry Urrutia 129 15 3 15 1 0.276

*Note: Hyun-Soo Kim’s stats are from 2015 KBO. No Steamer projection on him yet.

Bench

Pos Player AB R HR RBI SB AVG
OF/DH Jimmy Paredes 294 32 7 31 6 0.253
OF Nolan Reimold 241 29 7 28 3 0.241
IF Ryan Flaherty 213 25 7 25 2 0.224
1B/3B Christian Walker 182 22 7 24 1 0.253
C Caleb Joseph 173 19 5 20 1 0.232

Starting Rotation

Role Player W SV IP K ERA WHIP
1 Chris Tillman 11 0 193 142 4.33 1.36
2 Miguel Gonzalez 8 0 149 108 4.51 1.36
3 Ubaldo Jimenez 10 0 181 157 4.22 1.36
4 Kevin Gausman 10 0 161 141 3.86 1.26
5 Mike Wright 2 0 45 31 4.73 1.40
6 Dylan Bundy 5 0 94 80 4.11 1.32

Bullpen

Role Player W SV IP K ERA WHIP
CL Zach Britton 4 34 65 71 2.51 1.14
SU Darren O’Day 3 3 65 68 3.27 1.15
MID T.J. McFarland 1 0 30 22 3.66 1.33
MID Brian Matusz 3 2 55 55 3.52 1.24
MID Brad Brach 3 1 55 58 3.6 1.27
MID Chaz Roe 1 0 15 13 3.91 1.33
LR Mychal Givens 2 0 45 46 3.7 1.29
LR Oliver Drake 1 0 10 11 3.46 1.26
LR Tyler Wilson 6 0 100 62 4.57 1.39

Note: Projections provided by Steamer. Since article was submitted, Orioles signed Yovanni Gallardo, who projects to slot into the SP rotation.

 

And now we specifically want to get to the specifics. So, let’s bring in Tony Pente from Orioles Hangout to give us the low down on Baltimore in 2016.

Baltimore seemed to bid against itself in locking up slugger Chris Davis to a long-term deal. While he commanded quite a price tag (7/$161M), he also commands the home run lead in baseball over the last four seasons with 159. That’s a healthy dose of nearly 40 per. After a blip in his ISO in 2014 (.209), he charged back up to an astronomical .300 ISO last season. Trending the right way. ZiPS has his projection at 42 HR, which would make him worthy of that contract, but also a top-20 pick (I currently rank him as #27 overall). Over or under the 42 number for Crush in 2016?

Tony Pente: The best part of the Davis seal is that $42 million of it is deferred, which means he’s only counting $17 million against the pay roll during the seven years of this contract. Davis is an interesting player, because there are few players like him throughout the history of baseball when it comes to the success he’s had to go along with the amount of miss in his bat. Saying that, let’s face it…the guy has light tower power, can homer to all fields, and, when he’s hot, there are few who can mash a baseball as far as him. Steamer projections has him for 38 dingers, but he’s going to get over 600 PAs this year. With that, I don’t see any reason he won’t hit over 40, so I’d take the over.

That’s a strong number for Davis, but he’s not the only strong point in the Orioles lineup. I could talk Manny Machado all day long, but it’s the other top Baltimore slugger that needs some attention: Adam Jones. An arguable first-round pick the last two seasons, Jones saw a dip in his number in 2015. He’s never been a great OBP guy (career BB rate of 4.3%), but he balanced that with a consistent AVG hovering around .285 and strong power numbers; Jones was as reliable an OF as you’d find. However, outside of his 27 HR, the rest of his stats dropped in 2015 from the past 4 years. Was that simply due to his shoulder injury, or is it the start of regression for the almost 31 year old?

Tony Pente: Jones was banged up for much of the second half of last year and you almost have to tie to the bench for him not to play; he played a lot when he probably should not have. Jones will play most of this season at 30-years old (turns 31 in August), so he’s right in the middle of his peak and I don’t think age is an issue for him. The issue is for him to stay healthy. If the Orioles sign Dexter Fowler (as of this writing a deal appears pretty close) he can take more time off and allow Fowler to patrol center when a break is needed. I don’t see any reason to be concerned with Adam Jones improving on last year’s numbers. A 30 homer, .280 BA, .800 OPS year is a pretty good over under for him.

Injuries like Jones’ hurt Baltimore’s chances last year. The Orioles deflated to 81 wins after tallying 96 the year before. The only time -15 is viewed as a good number is in golf, yet that’s the dropoff. This also occurred in the midst of Davis leading the majors in HR and Machado emerging as an MVP-threat. See what’s missing in this convo so far, though? Pitching. The Baltimore rotation looks like the trailer for The Lone Ranger: ‘Johnny Depp as a caricature and that dude with the baking soda name winning the Wild West? Sold!’ Then it plays out with nothing but underwhelming performances. Someone’s gotta step up. Which SP emerges this year?

Tony Pente: You definitely hit the ball on the nose with your evaluation of what happened last year. Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez were pretty disappointing last year, and there is hope that they will rebound. I’m not sure anyone saw Bud Norris going from a guy you counted on in a playoff rotation to one of the worse starters in the majors, but that’s what happened. This year’s rotation will include Kevin Gausman for a full season and replace the departed Wei Yin Chen with Yovanni Gallardo, which is about a wash. There are a lot of  ‘ifs’ in this rotation: if Tillman and Gonzalez can come back to their career norms, if Ubaldo Jiminez can find any kind of consistency, if Gausman can take that step forward, and if Gallardo can replace Chen’s numbers, then you have a decent enough rotation that should keep the team competitive due it’s great bullpen and lineup.

That’s a lot of question marks, and another one resides in the left field. During the winter the Orioles made a sneaky addition to the team by adding Hyun-soo Kim at a very affordable contract. He displayed great patience, legit power and high hit rates in the KBO, but we’ve yet to see a player with similar background come over and immediately replicate his numbers from across the Pacific. Does Kim win the LF job out of spring training? If so, and he gets, let’s say, 550 at bats, what’s a reasonable expectation of his stat line?

Tony Pente: Jung Ho Kang made the transition last year with the Pirates, and he and Kim had similar stats in the KBO, though Kang has more power. Kim is more of a line drive hitter who will take a walk; exactly what the Orioles lineup really needs since it clearly has enough power. Kim is going to get every opportunity to win a corner outfield spot, and with limited other options, he’s going to have to implode or get hurt this spring not to win a full time job. If he ends up getting 500+ PAs, I could see him a 8-10 homer, .285/.350/.410 guy.

Now to one of the more surreal moments in sports occurred last season when the Orioles held a fanless home game against the White Sox due to the civil unrest in the city. On TV it almost didn’t seem real. Can you compare that moment to anything else you’ve exerienced in sports? (Side note, the Orioles won the game, but Caleb Joseph won the day.)

Tony Pente: I was there for that game in the press box and it was quite surreal. Hearing major league players call for balls in the outfield and cheer for each other in the dugout made it seem more like watching a high school game with really good players. I interviewed several players after the game and Joseph had the best quote when he said, “It was so quiet I could hear the radio announcers and I was thinking to myself, “I hope they don’t say anything bad about me.” It was a wild experience.

Awesome! I appreciate the insight, and thanks for the conversation about the Baltimore Orioles in 2016! Make sure to catch more of Tony’s writings at Orioles Hangout and keep checking back! More 2016 Team Previews to come!

  1. Jim Wiser says:
    (link)

    I believe you’re dreaming with those stats for Kim!

    • Jay

      Jay says:
      (link)

      @Jim Wiser: I don’t want to wake up.

      • @Jay: Haha, there’s ZERO chance he does that. Ok, maybe not zero chance…but about the same percentage that Joc Pederson hits .330 with a 9% K rate. There’s a little * under the projections saying those were his KBO stats. At the time of compiling this article Kim’s Steamer projections weren’t available yet. That’s a measure of how good he was overseas. If he totals 60% of those counting stats it’d be a great year.

  2. Leonard Kalfayan says:
    (link)

    Where did you get those numbers for Kim? is that in error??

    • @Leonard Kalfayan: Nope! Check the comments above yours, and the asterisk below the hitting projections. Those are his 2015 KBO numbers. But sweet mercy, wouldn’t it be incredible if he did that in 2016?

  3. gangreen says:
    (link)

    Last day for keepers. Pls pick two grey. Boagarts9$, cory seager5$, marcel ozuna9$, yasmani 9$, kris davis9$, papelbon9$ 16team leage points with obp

    • gangreen says:
      (link)

      @gangreen: one utility

      • @gangreen: Grey may not check it, but Bogaerts and Seager are the choices. Points make it trickier, but Ozuna, Davis and Yasmani all K too much. And give me hitters over closers all day.

  4. oldmanoldman says:
    (link)

    The big issue, that no one is talking about w Davis, is DOES HE HAVE AN ADERALL EXEMPTION FOR THIS SEASON?!?!???

    If he does those projections are pretty solid. If not, he will be much worse. Does anybody have this info?

  5. ChicagoOriole says:
    (link)

    Prior to the current downgrades, the Orioles were a team that needed luck to make the playoffs. Now they are a team that needs luck to be 0.500. The team remains committed to driving a hard bargain when buying pitching, but the price of doing that is that they take on pitchers more flawed than the price they pay (Jimenez and Gallardo). With the owner buying Chris Davis with the next owner’s money and showing an inability to lead the organization to develop its own talent you have a team that refuses to bring wins in the door. But I am not bitter.

    • @ChicagoOriole: No…bitter’s the wrong word. You just sound salty. Need some pretzels?

      May be tough to reclaim the strong record from a few years back with that pitching staff. Oh, Arrieta, why must you blossom after leaving the Charm City?

      • ChicagoOriole says:
        (link)

        @[email protected]: If they could only get ground ball pitchers to go with their infield defense, at least the pitching staff would make sense. They could have had batters grounding balls to a healthy Hardy and Machado for a few years there and missed their chance. They can’t even get the parts to work together well.

  6. Regan says:
    (link)

    Bet they wish they still had Arrieta and Edwardo Rodriguez. Nice job GM!

    Can we please talk about Wieters and Shoop for a bit. Wieters seems like a nice bounce back candidate after last years injury. Think he could be a big bargain at C and he is going super late.

    Grey is super crazy for Shoop! Got Shoop for brians! What do you think about the free hacking kid? I’m not sure I can get behind his projections of 76/26/85 and 93 overall. This doesn’t pass the smell test. Those are middle of the order numbers. Can’t see him batting higher than 7 in this lineup. Plus with a 9-1 k/bb % i could see pitchers just throwing him junk off the plate.

    • @Regan: I tend to agree a little on the Schoop projection; may be a little high. Gasp! Yep, went against Grey. But listen, if I’m following anyone’s projections in this industry it’s his. Learned that well enough over the past 5 years. Let his belief in Schoop just be a banner for his coming breakout. Even if he doesn’t reach those marks it will be a big improvement and a quality steal in drafts for where he’s going.

    • ChicagoOriole says:
      (link)

      @Regan: Schoop is a bright spot for the organization even at your discount of the projections. It isn’t like the farm system has been cranking players out but Schoop was never supposed to be somebody and looks to contribute for years. He just can’t make up for all the missed early round picks.

Comments are closed.