by Sports Guy
For me, I am focused in on these 15 players(in no particular order) for this season:
Its not that prospects like Delmonico aren't on my radar, its just that these guys are important for many reasons.
BMat: One of the single most important players in this whole organization. This team needs him to establish himself as a solid #2 starter...Someone we can count of to give us close to 200 IP and a sub 4 ERA. He is capable of that. Now, he doesn't have to do that this year but he needs to get back to where he was pre 2011.
Arrieta: It is important for this team to know where they stand with him by the end of this season. He could be a mid rotation guy, a dominant closer or just a normal reliever. The Orioles need this figured out this year. We can't go into next year with the same questions about him that we have had for the last few years.
Britton: Does he pitch this year? If so, how many ML innings can he throw and does he end the year healthy and ready to go for a good offseason workout to be ready to really establish himself in 2013?
Bundy: How quickly does he move and does he stay healthy? He starts in Delmarva but if he is as good as we all think he is, he will not be there by June. He should end the year with 150ish IP and hopefully in Bowie but that seems unlikely with him starting in Delmarva unless he is in Frederick by May. Either way, healthy year and looking like he could be a MLer in 2013 would be great.
Machado: Similar to Bundy. Establish yourself at the lower level, move quickly into Bowie and be prime for a ML roster spot next year. His growth could spur a Hardy trade as well.
Schoop: What position does he end up in? Can he show at the higher levels that his offensive game will still be strong? He has a chance, IMO, of being the starting second or third baseman in 2013...does he cease that?
Markakis: With the lack of an offseason workout program(which he desperately needs..go work with Brady please), I don't expect a big jump in Nick's game this year. However, can he get back to the 40+ doubles, 20ish HR and 370ish OBP guy? If he can, he should have an 800-820 OPS, while playing solid defense. That makes him a valuable player although one that we aren't likely going to have at a bargain price.
Wieters: The most important of all of these guys on the ML roster. Its time for him to put it together offensively. He needs to take that big leap that he was showing at the end of last year. Can he finally be that 850ish OPS guy we all thought/hoped he could be? Or, is he just going to be Yadier Molina with another 40 points of OPS?
Jones: You could argue that he is more important to the future than Wieters because a big first half by him makes him very valuable at the deadline. Will this team trade him? Who knows. But a big year by Jones this year really helps this organization out if they do trade him.
Johnson: If JJ can establish himself as a solid closer, his trade value goes way up and at his salary and with his service time, he could be worth a lot this July or even in the offseason. This team can't worry about the closer position long term just yet, so trading him for a very nice package could prove to be huge for us.
Reimold: Can he take the LF job? The talent is there for him to have one of, if not the highest OPS on the team. He has a very good power + plate discipline combo. He is a right handed version of Luke Scott but with a little more speed but not quite as good defensively. He isn't young but he is young enough where he could be a LF answer for the next 3-5 years, while making very little money.
Reynolds: As Chris talked about, can he improve his defense? Before getting here, he was never even average at third...HOWEVER, he was improving and he wasn't far from average and then he took a big step back last year on routine plays. He has good agility around third...he has a good arm. But the routine plays were problematic for him last year. Improving on that while providing a normal offensive year really jumps his trade value and makes you feel good about picking up his 2013 option if you still have that hole at third.
Hardy: Would like to see him stay healthy and be a little bit better with his OBP. The power should be there although I wouldn't expect 30 bombs again. But, when healthy, he is one of the best SS in baseball. He could have a lot of trade value or, if you keep him, you have a top flight SS for cheap.
Davis: Will he be DFA'd by June or will he get 500 at bats? My guess is he doesn't make it but this team has got to find out. He has the upside of being our Carlos Pena...a guy who just explodes and has a monster year despite the Ks. But he is more likely to fail. If he explodes, having him for very little money is huge for this team going forward.
Tillman: He is in better shape and the velocity is back. Will working with Peterson change him? Will he get back to the prospect level he was before? If so, that's a huge lift to the whole organization. At the very least, perhaps he ends up being a reliever and could be our closer if JJ is traded and Arrieta appears set in the rotation. Either way, him becoming a major contributor to this team helps out the payroll so much.
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