It is a topic that has come up a few times over the winter, and it’s a question I’ve been asked a few times in the last week or so: What will make for a successful season for the Orioles?
As always, I’m going to seek your input on this one as well.
Well, since the won-loss record is expected to be poor again, and since most fans seem accepting of that as the rebuild truly begins, what are we looking for here?
For one, the building of what Mike Elias has called the “elite talent pipeline.” Elias has been part of two organizations that produced such a pipeline in St. Louis and Houston. And the Orioles’ future basically depends on him being part of this again. The Orioles are going to need to produce a player development machine and keep it cranking for years to get where they want to go.
Of course, we’d like to see the use of analytics help the club from the major league clubhouse to those on the farm and also in player evaluations in both the pro and amateur ranks.
We want to see the club continue to make scouting additions on the international front and begin to spend money like their direct competitors on international teenagers. This will be imperative to truly produce that elite talent pipeline.
But one thing that hopefully becomes a given for the 2019 Orioles is intensity and effort. Will they bring it every night? Can they become a club that, while outmanned by many opponents, still beats some of them and becomes a pain in the butt for others. You want to hear opposing players on other top teams appreciating how hard the Orioles play the game.
Effort and hustle should show up every game, right? Especially on a younger team that may be filled with players trying to show they belong in the majors. Every day, every inning, every pitch matters for them.
Baltimore fans love hustle and they always have. They appreciate seeing a great effort and a team that plays such a way may keep them interested even if losses mount.
What say you, O’s fans? Would a team playing all out like it’s in a pennant race every day win over some fans?