• Aug

    Is Nate McLouth a nugget?

    Is Nate McLouth a nugget?

    When the Orioles took a flier in the former All-Star after his release by the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this year, most of us hoped he could maybe find his stroke enough to come up and be a 4th outfielder or bat off the bench.

    He started off slow down in Norfolk before finally catching fire to the point the Orioles brought him up when Jim Thome was placed on the disabled list.

    Since coming back to the show, McClouth has shown me that he might just be more than we hoped for. Although he's not a true number three hitter, he might be the team's best option as a number two hitter since he bats left-handed, gets on base, and has a little speed.

    After 23 games with the Orioles though, I'm now starting to wonder, can McLouth, who is just 29-years old, be a nugget for not just this year but in the future as well?

    If we extend what McLouth has done with the Orioles over 162 games, he would hit 35 doubles, 14 home runs, 62 walks, and 42 stolen bases to go along with his .337 OBP and .762 OPS.  On top of it all, he's been a plus defender in left field which is something Nolan Reimold or Chris Davis is never going to be able to provide.

    Now there are questions about whether McClouth can hit lefties well enough consistently to be an everyday guy but with Reimold due back and LJ Hoes hitting well in AAA this year, he might not have to hit them very often.

    Obviously McLouth would be the perfect guy to be at least a fourth outfielder on this team in the future, but there is some questions as to whether he's a guy who can be effective in a part-time role.

    So the question is, can McLouth be a nugget for the future and if he is, is he a fourth outfielder or regular/platoon left fielder?

    Talk about here.

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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.