In a recent post, I took a look at the Orioles’ solid pitching rotation and how some of the hurlers fared during the 2014 season.
Today, here are some notes and stats looking back on some of the key Orioles position players from 2014.
Chris Davis: While he hit nearly 100 points lower in 2014 (.196 after .286 in 2013), Davis hit under .200 against both left- (.188) and right-handed pitching (.199). He also hit under .200 both before (.199) and after (.189) the All-Star break. Davis hit two grand slams in last season, the first of which was his 100th career homer as an Oriole on June 17 at Tampa Bay.
Jonathan Schoop: The rookie second baseman hit a little better against right-handed pitchers with an average of .212 and OPS of .625 compared to .200/.529 against left-handers. The Orioles went 14-1 in games in which he homered and list of pitchers he connected against included Kyle Lohse, Francisco Rodriguez, Mark Buehrle, Jeff Samardzija, R.A. Dickey, Dellin Betances and Masahiro Tanaka twice.
J.J. Hardy: Hardy did not homer in April, May or September, but he hit nine total over June, July and August. He hit .315/.362/.413 with 42 RBIs in 107 plate appearances with runners in scoring position.
Manny Machado: Machado produced 51 doubles in 222 career minor league games and has 73 in 289 major league games. He averaged a double every 16.3 at-bats in the minors and one every 16.2 at-bats in the majors.
Matt Wieters: Wieters’ OPS had been trending down every year from 2011 until an increase last season, going from .778 to .764 to .704. Then it was .839 in 26 games in 2014.
Alejandro De Aza: Had a slash line of .243/.309/.354 in 122 games with the White Sox and .293/.341/.537 in 20 games as an Oriole. The Orioles went 14-6 in the 20 games he played.
Adam Jones: Jones cleaned up on left-handed pitching, batting .344 with an OPS of 1.003 against southpaws and .261/.709 against right-handed pitchers. Jones hit 11 of his 29 homers in the first inning. He is one of nine big leaguers to play in at least 150 games in each of the last four seasons.
Steve Pearce: Pearce hit .327 with an OPS of 1.109 versus left-handers. He hit .329/1.016 at home and he hit .319/.960 with runners in scoring position. Pearce, Jones and Nelson Cruz were the only Orioles with 20-double and 20-homer seasons.
Caleb Jospeh: He threw out 38.2 percent of attempted base stealers (21-for-55). He fell three games short of qualifying, but his caught stealing percentage would have led the American League and been second in the majors. Joseph homered in five straight games, Aug. 2-9, setting the Orioles’ record for a catcher. The previous record was four by Ramon Hernandez (June 22-28, 2006) and Gus Triandos (June 13-19, 1959).
Delmon Young: In his first season as an Oriole, Young made the playoffs for the sixth straight season with his fourth different club since 2009. He led the majors (minimum 10 plate appearances), batting .500 (10-for-20) as a pinch hitter, adding a .565 OBP and .800 slugging percentage. His triple as a pinch-hitter on Sept. 19 against Boston was his first since since Sept. 1, 2012.
The top 10: This story from CBSSports.com lists the top 10 remaining free agents, and Colby Rasmus is rated third with Nori Aoki fourth. There is a big drop-off after the top two pitchers, Max Scherzer and James Shields.
We’ve spent some time here in recent days discussing Rasmus and Aoki. So today the question for readers is very simple: Which player do you prefer and why?