Josh Bell: Some good and not so good right now

So, is Josh Bell a nugget or not?

Too early to know.

He really needed a hit and got two big ones on Friday in the O’s win over the Angels. He didn’t start, but came on when Brian Roberts left with a hip strain.

I thought Bell would take off a bit after his two-homer game a week ago today vs. Cliff Lee.

But he was 1 for 14 with seven strikeouts after that, before Friday’s game.

On the plus side, Bell looks more comfortable now in the field. He made a real nice backhand stop last night. His throws are much more accurate than before and his arm is surely strong.

On the down side is a 35 to 2 strikeout to walks ratio. He has fanned 35 times in 94 at bats and has an on base percentage of just .250.

He fanned 78 times in 81 Triple-A games and had an on base of .328 at Norfolk.

Bell is chasing off speed pitches right now when he gets behind in the count. A lot of hitters do that. Those that can avoid it are usually pretty good hitters.

I think Bell will improve this over time, but he really needs to cut down on those strikeouts.

Other stats that are more impressive right now are that he is 6 for 20 with runners in scoring position. Plus, he is hitting better from the right side right now (.276) than the left side (.215). All in a very small sample size.

Still, he’s an intriguing prospect. He’s got the power potential and you can see why some feel he’s the future Orioles third baseman.

Despite some of those poor stats he’s just starting his Major League career. It could be that he goes back to Triple-A next year with more to work on.

But he’s showing enough right now for me to want to see more.

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