I am a bit of an old-school baseball fan. I appreciate the small aspects of the game like hitting behind the runner, the hit-and-run, the sacrifice bunt and the stolen base. Many of the small things seem to have left the game, and while I understand the numbers behind it, part of me still misses them. When it comes to the Orioles, the stolen base has been as missing in action as their offense as a whole has been this year, but down at Single-A Delmarva, second baseman Kirvin Moesquit is stealing a lot of bases.
Moesquit, 23, was selected by the Orioles in the 24th round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Seminole (Fla.) State College.
After spending the last two seasons with the short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds, Moesquit made the jump to the low Single-A Shorebirds for his first taste of full-season affiliate baseball. He has not disappointed, either. Over 61 games, Moesquit is hitting .269 with eight doubles, two triples, three home runs, 19 RBIs and 44 runs. He has also posted a .342 OBP and has walked 25 times atop of the Shorebirds batting order.
But let's face it, the obvious topic of this blog is about Moesquit's ability to steal bases, so let's do that.
This season he has already swiped 31 bags at the halfway point of the season. For you math aficionados out there, it's pretty easy to realize that if he keeps this pace, he could steal 60 bases this year. The Orioles stole 32 bases in all of 2017.
It should not come as a surprise that Moesquit leads all Orioles organizational players in stolen bases - and it's not even close. Cole Billingsley and Cedric Mullins are tied for second with 13. In addition, Moesquit also holds a huge lead in the stolen base category in the South Atlantic League, with the next closest player having 18. It doesn't end there though, in all of minor league baseball, Moesquit's 31 stolen bases are tied for the fourth-most.
The switch-hitting Moesquit, originally from Curacao, has a solid glove at second, but has also expanded his repertoire this season. He has played 10 games in center field for the Shorebirds and has an assist while not committing a single error. Obviously, his speed plays in center, and from what I have seen, he can track the ball pretty well.
Moesquit's bat is solid, but does not bring one aspect (other than his speed of course) that will overwhelm you. But he has shown a consistent ability to draw walks and keep his OBP at very respectable levels. If he can continue to do just that, as well as steal bases at the rate and success he has, there are certainly needs for a player like that in the big leagues. Whether the Orioles adjust their philosophy on the steal by the time he would be knocking on the door is another question.
Josh Michael blogs about the Orioles for Baby Birdland. Follow him on Twitter: @BabyBirdland. His opinions on the Orioles will appear here as part of MASNsports.com's longstanding initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our pages. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.