Baltimore Orioles Spring Training: Ranking the Top 5 Early Standouts
Baltimore Orioles: Ranking the Top Five Early Spring Training Standouts
While Spring Training results doesn't always translate into regular season success, it does give a team a chance to evaluate their roster. The Orioles are already starting to see some of their players perform, and there are a lot of positive signs. The Orioles are off to a fast start at 4-2, and some of their players are having an excellent start to the season.
The Orioles have many key positional battles this spring, so individual performances this spring will be critical. The Orioles have Ryan Flaherty, Jemile Weeks and Jonathan Schoop all vying for the starting job at second base. Whoever performs the best the spring will likely start for the Orioles on Opening Day. The Orioles also have a crowded outfield. In addition to Adam Jones and Nelson Cruz, they have David Lough, Steve Pearce, Henry Urrutia and Nolan Reimold fighting for at-bats.
Spring training performances also give the Orioles a chance to evaluate of their veteran players. Many will be watching newly-acquired Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz to see how they will perform. While it is still very early in Spring Training, some players are starting to stand out. In the following slides, I included the top five standout players. The list includes both young and veteran players.
5. Chris Tillman
Tillman won 16 games last season with a 3.73 ERA, and was selected as an All-Star. He will look to have another solid season in 2014, and is off to a great start this spring. In two starts, Tillman owns a 2.08 ERA and has struck out five in four innings pitched.
4. Chris Davis
Davis is one of the games most dangerous hitters, and he led the majors in home runs and RBI last season. Davis has two hits in six at-bats this spring with a double, home run and three RBIs.
3. Nick Markakis
After a poor 2013 season, Markakis is looking to turn things around this year. Markakis is healthy this spring and appears to be in great shape. He has three hits in six at-bats so far, and has also recorded a stolen base.
2. Jonathan Schoop
Schoop is one of the Orioles' top prospects, and he has been very impressive this Spring Training. In five games, Schoop has four hits in eight at bats with three RBIs. If he can continue his strong performance, Schoop could possibly make the Opening Day roster.
1. David Lough
The Orioles acquired Lough in a trade with the Royals this offseason, and he has been the most impressive player this spring. He has shown he can play excellent defense, and has recorded four hits in seven at-bats. While Lough did not receive a lot attention when the Orioles acquired him, he can be a key factor in 2014.