Versatile Vavra makes strong early impression in O's camp

He is still officially a rookie, but a versatile one with the glove and a player that had some nice moments during his Orioles' debut in 2022.

That might give Terrin Vavra a leg up on his chance to grab a bench role on the 2023 Orioles. They need a player that can play multiple positions and Vavra spent all winter working on that after he started 11 games last year at second base and 10 in the outfield – nine in left and one in right field.

Already this spring he made a start at third base, entered the opening game at second base and yesterday in Bradenton got the start in left field and batted leadoff.

He knows there is plenty of good competition and some of the highly-ranked prospect young bucks are close to getting to Baltimore.

“You can’t shy away from it (competition), you have to embrace it and attack it head on,” he told us during Birdland Caravan.

But he knows he has to bring what he can and Vavra, 25, is very ready to do just that.

“I think I can play anywhere,” he said. “I think I can contribute in the lineup. Bring a different toolset, you know how I go about my at-bats is probably a little different than some other people. I think that is something that bodes in my favor. Getting on base and setting up those big hitters behind me goes a long way.”

Staying versatile with the glove and honing his ability to play multiple positions was a big part of his winter work.

“Just being able to play everywhere. You know there are not a lot of holes in the lineup and I want to be able to help out when my name is called. Whether that is playing first base, second base, outfield, wherever, I want to be able to do that," he said.

If they want to add him to the mix for a backup first base spot he is very ready.

“Been working everywhere. First base for sure. I know that is an area where they want to have a left-handed option so I want to show I can do that. I’ll play anywhere.”

Vavra got off to a hot-hitting start this spring. He went 2-for-3 as a reserve in Saturday’s spring opener, with a double and two-run homer against the Twins. Sunday in Lakeland he was 2-for-3 with a two-run single so he's batting .667 with four RBIs through two games. Yesterday he was 1-for-3 with a fifth-inning single. So through four games, Vavra is batting .556 with an OPS of 1.556. He is 5-for-9 with a team-leading five hits and is tied with Lewin Díaz for the team RBI lead with four.

In 40 big league games last year he hit .258/.340/.337/.697 producing a 94 OPS+ in 103 plate appearances. He posted an 11.7 walk rate and 18.5 strikeout rate after his first big league callup on July 26. 

Vavra is currently ranked as the No. 17 O's prospect via Baseball America but is not ranked in the new top 30 out yesterday. BA gives him a 50 fielding grade and 45 for his arm.

In 243 career minor league games he hit .306/.409/.469/.878 and hit more homers than you might think with 21. He hit .324 last year at Triple-A Norfolk and won the South Atlantic League MVP award in Low-A ball in 2019 while still with Colorado. 

Now he looks around the Baltimore clubhouse and sees plenty of young talent in almost every corner and part of the room. 

“It’s so exciting. Not only to be around those guys but you know what is coming behind you. You want to be part of a winning team and culture and there are guys to help provide that. Injuries happen and people have to step up," said Vavra. 




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