Orioles hitting coach Terry Crowley, calling into Friday night's edition of the Hot Stove Show on 105.7 The Fan and ESPN 1300, heaped a lot of praise on the young talent on the roster, including right fielder Nick Markakis.
"I feel like Nicky's due for an All-Star season," Crowley said. "Actually, for me, he had four All-Star seasons, but the general public has to recognize that one of these years and he'll be on an All-Star team. And Adam Jones in center - strong defensively. It's too bad he got banged up a little last year, but I'm looking for him to rehab. He's a good worker during the off-season, he's a real good worker during the season, so he'll be ready. Nolan Reimold came on the scene and did a real good job for us in left field. Unfortunately, it got to the point where we didn't want to take any more chances with his Achilles tendon, so we put him on the shelf. Historically, Reimold is the type of guy who does better the second year he repeats a league or goes back and gets comfortable, so I look for him to have a big year for us. And knocking on the door in the outfield is Felix Pie. I think he's got a world of talent."
Asked more about Reimold, Crowley said, "When he hits the ball, it carries a lot further than most people with the same amount of contact. He has big-time power. He's the kind of guy that, when he gets comfortable hitting some home runs, they'll be in the 490-, 500-foot range. Usually, those guys take a little longer to develop. Nolan came on the scene last year and did a good job. And for a big guy, he runs particularly well. He can keep his batting average up with his leg hits, and he can knock in some runs with his power."
Crowley noted that Pie showed him "flashes of Markakis-type of ability."
"I spoke to Andy (MacPhail) a couple times during the off-season, and he said everybody talked about wanting to acquire Felix Pie from us. That's the only time you get to be a good organization, when other people want your players. And this particular player might not even be a starting player to start the season. I'm not giving the job to anybody else, but if things go right, he might be the fourth outfielder. Then again, he might be the third. You never know. But he's not penciled in for sure, and a whole bunch of teams want him, so that tells you the organization is going in the right direction."
Here are some leftovers from Reimold:
On a potential logjam in the outfield: "If I'm worrying about that, then I'm driving myself crazy. It's good to have a lot of talent at any position and we all get along and pull for each other. I'm sure everything will sort itself out and everything will be fine."
On adjusting to left field: "The first time I played left field was the fall league two years ago. It took a little while to get used to. I've had a whole year under my belt, so no excuses, I guess. I know I made some mistakes here and there, but I'll be working my hardest to cut down on those or eliminate those next season. I'll do whatever I need to do to get better, and I look forward to it."
Reimold said he always preferred batting fifth in the minors, but he'll hit anywhere the Orioles put him.