M.V.O.: Most Valuable Oriole (and Runner-Ups)


About a week or so before the season ended, Showalter handed out the annual M.V.O. aka Most Valuable Oriole.

There were definitely a few players in the running, none of them being pitchers, but in the end it was an “old” face who got the award.

Adam Jones was named M.V.O. despite not leading the club in any of the obvious stats such as home runs, RBI, etc. With that said, he had a career year.

He hit career-highs in almost every offensive category. He finished with 25 home runs (his previous high was 19), 83 RBI (70), 26 doubles (25), and a .466 slugging percentage (.457). The numbers in parentheses are his previous season-high. He hit a .280 average, just .004 points behind his career high of .284 from last season. He also had his second highest OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of .785 (.792 was previous high). Surprisingly, he had a down year fielding wise. Well, that’s not exactly true. However, he committed 8 errors, one more than his previous season-high of 7 last year. He finished with a .980 fielding percentage. Yet, he still had 5 double plays and 16 assists. Those are very good numbers. He will most definitely be in the running for a Gold Glove but I doubt he’ll get it with the 8 errors, unfortunately.

J.J. Hardy came in a close second. This guy had a career year as well but not so quietly. He made headlines quite a few times, especially around here. We know how much of a breakout year he had and know he probably won’t reach these numbers again, but he definitely helped out the offense this season. He finished with a .269 average, 30 home runs, 80 RBI, 27 doubles, and a .310 on-base percentage. The 30 homers was a career high and the 80 RBI tied his career-high. Defensively, he was arguably even better. I’m not saying Andino or Izturis weren’t good defensive shortstops, but J.J. was definitely a huge improvement. He only had 6 errors, the second lowest in his career. His career low was 2 but he only played in 32 games. He earned a career-high fielding percentage at .990. He’s definitely in the running for both a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award. Oh and it’s really unfortunate that I thought of this nickname for him so late since I couldn’t use it all season but for next year….J.J. Yardy! Ha! Get it?

Finally, the 3rd runner up was Buck’s favorite, Matt Wieters. Showalter has made it no secret how much he loves this guy. His passion, his defensive skills, his offensive coming-out, and his witty humor. Yet again, another career year for an Oriole. He set career-highs in the most categories out of the three. The one category he didn’t set a career-high in was batting average; however, he had a very respectable one at .262. He most improved in the longball category, doubling his total last year from 11 to 22. Everyone had started throwing around the term “bust” but he started proving all those haters (including myself a bit) wrong this season. Along with his 22 homers, he had a career 68 RBI (55 was previous career-high), 72 runs scored (37), 28 doubles (22), .450 slugging (.412), and a .778 OPS (.752). More good news: he’s showing great signs of plate maturity as he set a career-low in strikeouts with 84 (his rookie year he struck out 86 times and last season 94) and a season-high in walks with 48 (47 last season). Wheaties has definitely come into his own and I’m very excited to see what he can do next year. And I can’t talk about him without talking about defense. He set a career-high fielding percentage with .995. He’s been consistent as far as errors go because each of his three seasons, he’s committed 5 errors. He contributed to 14 double plays, another career-high, and only one passed ball, a career-low. Onto the most important stuff: runners caught stealing. He caught 34 runners this season, an increase of 10 from last season, with a .370 caught stealing percentage. I can’t see how he doesn’t win a Gold Glove this season. The only catcher in all of baseball with a higher caught stealing percentage was Miguel Montero with the Diamondbacks in the NL.

I’ll do another post discussing which Orioles could possibly win any awards which will definitely include these three guys and more about them.

Personally, I would have liked to see Yardy get the M.V.O. He was the most consistent player in the line-up and probably on the field as well. My M.V.O. would definitely be between these three, but I’d probably have Hardy and then Jones and then Wieters.