30/30 BRKDWN – Baltimore Orioles

Drake Mann
MLB Analyst

“Adapt or die”-Moneyball

The 2021 MLB season will be here before we know it. Pitchers and catchers reported on time, Spring Training is underway and we might have a full 162 game season with fans — hopefully. Between now and Opening Day, we plan to BRKDWN each team’s offseason reviews and what to look forward to this upcoming season. Next, the Baltimore Orioles.


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Key Additions:

Garrett Stallings (Trade with Angels)

Jean Pinto (Trade with Angels)

Freddy Galvis (Free Agent)

Matt Harvey (Free Agent)

Felix Hernandez (Free Agent)

Jahmai Jones (Trade with Angels)

Key Subtractions:

Jose Iglesias (Trade with Angels)

Hanser Alberto (Free Agent)

Alex Cobb (Trade with Angels)

Renato Nunez (Free Agent)

2020 Look Back

25-35 .417 W% 15 Games back in the AL East and 7 Games back of a Wildcard spot

Runs: Hanser Alberto (35)

Home Runs: Renato Nunez (12)

Avg.: Jose Iglesias (.373)

Slg.: Anthony Santander (.575)

ERA: Tanner Scott (1.31)

K’s: John Means (42)

WHIP: John Means (0.98)

Opp. Avg.: Tanner Scott (.164)*

*Min 20 IP

Projected 2021 Season

Well Orioles fans, at least you still have great crab cakes. The Orioles released some of the more talented players on their roster this offseason. Almost all those leaders in the hitting categories above? They’re all gone. Iglesias was traded to the Angels while Nunez and Alberto didn’t have their contracts renewed for the 2021 season. It’ll be another miserable season for the Orioles but the future couldn’t be brighter with their top prospect list. Look for them to only muster 60-65 wins in 2021. They are +10,000 to win the World Series, +4,000 to win the AL Pennant, and +5,200 to win the AL East.

Projected Lineup

LF – Cedric Mullins

CF – Austin Hays

DH – Trey Mancini

3B – Maikel Franco

1B – Ryan Mountcastle

RF – Anthony Santander

C – Chance Sisco

SS – Freddy Galvis

2B – Pat Valaika

Projected Rotation

LHP John Means

RHP Matt Harvey

RHP Felix Hernandez

RHP Dean Kremer

RHP Jorge Lopez

Offense:

Offense: 274 Runs (16th), 77 Home Runs (15th), .258 Team AVG. (7th), .429 SLG (13th)

The Orioles have a nice combination in the middle of their lineup in Trey Mancini and Ryan Mountcastle. Adding Galvis provides a veteran presence in this lineup but what’s impressive is the defense that he’ll provide at short. The Orioles went from Jose Iglesias to Freddy Galvis at shortstop, that’s an incredible defensive replacement and could be a solid hitter for them. On the other end, this team will struggle to continue to produce consistent runs in 2021 and this lineup is going to strike out a lot. The wildcard to watch here is the duo of Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays, they can form a dangerous duo that gets on-base and makes things happen ahead of the middle of the lineup.

Pitching:

Pitching: Team ERA: 5.53 (28th), 197K’s (27th), 1.41 Team WHIP (9th), .249 Opp. Avg (13th)

After trading Alex Cobb to the Angels for Jahmai Jones, the Orioles lost a much needed innings eater for this young rotation. However, adding Matt Harvey and Felix Hernandez on short term deals will eat some innings for the young rotation. Plus, if they do well, these two could be trade bait ahead of the 2021 trade deadline. John Means looks to be the ace of this staff but even he comes with certain risk with his injury history. The Orioles pitching is ultimately the problem here, and in the end this will sink this team in 2021. The wildcard here is pitchers DL Hall and Grayson Rodriguez, both could potentially be called up in 2021 but this is one nasty duo that will help the Orioles in the near future.

Top 10 Prospects (Via MLB.com)

  1. Adley Rutschman C ETA: 2022 (2nd Overall)
  2. Grayson Rodriguez RHP ETA: 2022 (29th Overall)
  3. Heston Kjerstad OF ETA: 2023 (30th Overall)
  4. DL Hall LHP ETA: 2022
  5. Ryan Mountcastle 1B ETA: 2021
  6. Gunnar Henderson SS ETA: 2023
  7. Jordan Westburg SS ETA: 2023
  8. Dean Kremer RHP ETA: 2021
  9. MIke Baumann RHP ETA: 2021
  10. Yusniel Diaz OF ETA: 2021

There’s so much potential here for the Orioles and it’ll just get better with them picking in the top five in the 2021 draft. One of my favorite players in this system is Hudson Haskin, he was drafted in the second round in 2020. Haskin is a high energy player that’ll have an above average hit tool when fully developed. He has awkward hitting mechanics but will continue to impress as he matures. Expect him to start appearing across Orioles top 10 prospects lists soon.

Moves that need to happen

1. Do something … anything with Chris Davis

We all know how much excitement the Orioles had after they signed Davis to a 7-year, 161 million dollar extension. Now, not so much, this has been one of the biggest declines in recent memory as Davis is more of a liability than an asset. At this point, the Orioles need to figure something out with Davis. Now I’m not saying any other team would take him in a trade, but crazier things have happened in baseball. Maybe he might start turning his career around and could become a trade piece? I might just be dreaming at this point.

2. Continue with the rebuild

The Orioles could have a nice deadline in 2021. They’ll be sellers, but they have many players who could net some more prospect depth to add to their farm system. Guys like Freddy Galvis, Tanner Scott, and John Means are major trade chips for a contender. Usually, teams tend to overpay at the deadline for the late season run. The Orioles could use this to their advantage.

Final Thoughts

Well Orioles fans, sit back and enjoy another losing season in 2021. The Orioles aren’t going to be competitive yet again in 2021. However, they are starting to show a positive direction towards the future. But hey … you have Adley Rutschman and Heston Kjerstad to be excited about.