It is just one stat, but not a bad one to look at for any hitter - OPS. That is on base percentage plus slugging added together. Anything .800 or above, as we know, is a strong number. The high 700s are not too shabby.
Among qualifying hitters, there were 37 players in the American League that posted an OPS of .800 or better this year. That list includes two Orioles, as Jonathan Schoop was 22nd at .841 and Trey Mancini was 26th at .826.
But for this blog, I expand that a bit and will compare how the Orioles did at each position this season compared to the American League average. I’ll list not just OPS, but also the traditional slash lines for each - that is batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage - and list the OPS as the fourth and final stat.
AL average at catcher: .242/.309/.406/.714
Orioles at catcher: .275/.313/.478/.791
AL average at first base: .260/.336/.469/.804
Orioles at first base: .246/.322/.467/.789
AL average at second base: .261/323/.427/.750
Orioles at second base: .285/.322/.487/.819
AL average at shortstop: .267/.315/.418/.734
Orioles at shortstop: .252/.296/.386/.682
AL average at third base: .256/.324/.449/.773
Orioles at third base: .258/.308/.471/.779
AL average at left field: .255/.325/.416/.740
Orioles at left field: .255/.314/.388/.702
AL average at center field: .260/.329/.421/.750
Orioles at center field: .279/.316/.450/.766
AL average at right field: .263/.341/.453/.794
Orioles at right field: .274/.326/.433/.759
AL average at DH: .243/.317/.419/.735
Orioles at DH: .226/.289/.379/.668
Here is a ranking of position by highest average OPS and how many points above or below average for the Orioles:
.804 at first base: O’s minus 15 points
.794 at right field: O’s minus 35 points
.773 at third base: O’s plus 6 points
.750 at second base: O’s plus 69 points
.750 at center field: O’s plus 16 points
.740 at left field: O’s minus 38 points
.735 at DH: O’s minus 67 points
.734 at shortstop: O’s minus 52 points
.714 at catcher: O’s plus 77 points
By this comparison, the Orioles ranked above average at four positions and below average at five others. Orioles catchers were 77 points above OPS average, while O’s designated hitters ranked 67 points below league average. Welington Castillo, with 86, made the most starts at catcher, while Mark Trumbo, with 110, had the most DH starts.
For all the criticism Chris Davis got this season, the Orioles ranked just 15 points below average in OPS at first base. Mancini made 35 starts at first to help those numbers.
Nats fall in Game 5: It was long, wild, amazing, crazy and many other words we could use to describe it. The Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 9-8 in Game 5 of their National League Division Series on Thursday night.
The Nationals have still never won a playoff series and their franchise and fans suffer more playoff heartache. With as wild as that game was, you almost had the feeling something crazy would happen in the last of the ninth to produce a walk-off win. But it didn’t and the Nats are 0-8 in one-run games in the playoffs since 2014.
I feel bad for their fans. That was a brutal way to lose. Both teams played some ugly baseball and there were controversial replay reviews. That one will sting for a long while.