With consistently loud exit velocities, Ryan O'Hearn has had big year for Orioles

Ryan O'Hearn

ANAHEIM - Some of us probably don’t notice it much. But Ryan O’Hearn’s 4.5 walk rate is lowest among the 10 Orioles with 200 or more plate appearances in 2023. We don’t notice it because he is productive and thriving in so many other areas.

He hits the ball about as consistently hard as anyone on the team and has the stats to prove that. But O’Hearn won’t take all the credit for his big offense this year. Not even close. He praises the O’s hitting coaches and even notes the shift ban helping him too.

“I’ve always hit the ball hard,” O’Hearn said in an interview at Angels Stadium. “I just think the direction of where the ball is going is better now. That’s God-given and I have always put the work in. There is no secret to it – just hard work.

“I’ve probably hit the ball harder in year’s past. The hardest ball I’ve ever hit was in 2019, but I beat a lot of balls into the ground. When you do that with the shift, you don’t get many results. Guys playing short right field would throw you out.

“I think it’s a combination of the shift going away and just becoming a more complete hitter. Hitting the ball all over the field. Better launch angles have made me more consistent and able to put up better numbers.”

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