Vavra learning on the fly in new position

Terrin Vavra is an infielder.

His father was an infielder. His brother was an infielder. His other brother was an infielder.

But when the Orioles approached him about adding center field to a resume that had previously listed only second base and shortstop, Vavra jumped at the opportunity.

“It’s a new experience for me but something that I think I can attack and succeed with,” he said in a recent Zoom interview with “MASN All Access.”

The applicant certainly has skills that fit the job description, even if the experience is lacking.

In 2019, Vavra’s speed helped him steal 18 bases with the Asheville Tourists, the Single-A affiliate of the Rockies, and his glove earned high marks in the infield.

After receiving Vavra as a piece in the Mychal Givens trade in August 2020, the Orioles decided to tinker.

Vavra-Playing-Infield-Asheville-Sidebar.jpg“It’s something that after the trade they talked to me about,” Vavra said. “I think they saw me move around out on the field and they saw that it might be a good opportunity for me to be able to contribute and get in the lineup and help the team win.”

Vavra’s spot in the lineup was never in doubt with the Tourists. The 2018 third-round pick hit .318 with 10 home runs and 32 doubles in 102 games.

It probably helps to be the son of a former minor league player and manager. Joe Vavra, who served as the Tigers hitting coach in 2020, saw all three of his sons - Tanner, Trey and Terrin - go on to have minor league careers of their own.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have my dad and my brothers to lead the way and set a good foundation for me and it worked out,” Terrin said.

Vavra’s numbers paint the picture of a complete hitter with an advanced plate approach.

Despite missing the final four weeks of the season due to injury, Vavra racked up 62 walks in 2019, tied for sixth in the South Atlantic League. He hit 37.8 percent of his balls the opposite way and drove 30.5 percent up the middle, per FanGraphs.com.

“I think the middle is where I’m trying to hit the ball every time,” he said. “Line drive up the middle. That way you can react to pitches inside, outside, wherever they are and try to do damage wherever the ball is pitched. That’s what I try to do and I think it’s helped me so far.”

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