In case you haven’t noticed yet, Baseball’s Statcast is tracking all catches this year by using their Catch Probability method. It’s a pretty simple system that gives you an idea of how well your outfielders are catching balls compared to other outfielders. They use a simple five star breakdown that looks like this:

5 Star Ranking Breakdown:
5 Star: 0 – 25%, 4 Star: 26 – 50%, 3 Star: 51 – 75%, 2 Star: 76 – 90%, 1 Star: 91 – 95%

If you want to know how they came up with this breakdown go here for more information:

So how are the Orioles outfielder doing?

Outfielder 5 Star Outs  Opp  4 Star Outs  Opp  3 Star Outs  Opp  2 Star Outs  Opp  1 Star Outs  Opp  %
Seth Smith 0 7 0 1 3 33.3 4 4 100 2 2 100 5 5 100
Adam Jones 0 12 0 1 5 20 6 10 60 6 7 85.7 10 10 100
Hyun Soo Kim 0 2 0 0 1 0 2 3 66.7 2 2 100 4 4 100
Joey Rickard 0 2 0 0 1 0 2 3 66.7 1 3 33.3 6 6 100
Trey Mancini 0 6 0 0 1 0 0 4 0 3 5 60 5 5 100
Mark Trumbo 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 2 50 5 7 71.4
Total 0 30 0.0% 2 13 15.4% 14 24 58.3% 15 21 71.4% 35 37 94.6%
MLB AVG 43 682 6.3% 137 388 35.3% 292 431 67.7% 410 510 80.4% 953 1018 93.6%

Let’s just say the numbers pretty much confirm what most scouts and pundits think of the Orioles below average outfield defense. They are below major league average in every category except 1 star catches.

Most striking is that the Orioles outfield almost never makes those 4 and 5 star catches catching only two in 43 chances (4.6%) while major league average is 16.8% (180 in 1070 chances) overall.

Perhaps most disappointing is the play of center fielder Adam Jones who is below average in 3-star catches and above making only one in 17 chances of 4-star catches and above. That’s just not getting it done from your center fielder and highlights the need to move Jones to right field at some point in the future. He’s still clearly the best the Orioles have to put in center, but his range is clearly below average at this point in his career.

Seth Smith is the only Orioles outfielder to make all of his 3-star catches and below (11 for 11) while Mark Trumbo‘s numbers show his outfield time should be limited to “break glass in case of emergency”.

The Orioles lack of range in their outfielders is certainly highlighted by their almost non existent four and five star catches and even in their below average three star catches. I doubt this comes as a surprise to any Orioles fan that has been watching the outfield defense this year, but it’s always interesting to see the stats back up the eyes.

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Tony Pente
Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.