Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Orioles acquired their veteran outfielder they were searching for on Tuesday, January 27th when they traded Class-A left-hander Stephen Tarpley to Pittsburgh for Travis Snider.
In 2014, Snider played in 140 games, which was the most he has played in a single season during his seven-year career. He batted .264/.338/.438 with 15 doubles, 13 home runs and 38 RBI.
Defensively, Snider plays above average defense in both left and right field with a .986 fielding percentage in right field and a .978 fielding percentage in left field. Snider will bring both excitement and competitiveness to the outfield during spring training.
The only outfielder whose position is locked up is Adam Jones in center field. Other than No. 10, left and right field are up for grabs.
For those two positions, the Orioles have five players who will be competing come this spring:
- Alejandro De Aza
- David Lough
- Steve Pearce
- Travis Snider
- Dariel Alvarez
Plans are for De Aza to be the Orioles’ leadoff hitter in 2015 so he will most probably be Baltimore’s left fielder with a .983 fielding percentage.
Right field is a little more difficult to try and guess who will be starting there come Opening Day. On one hand, Lough really found his swing in the second half of the 2014 season and has played exceptional defense in his major league career.
On the other hand, Snider has some pop in his bat that could be complimented by playing in a ballpark like Camden Yards for an entire season.
Dariel Alvarez is a player who may fly under the radar at spring training. Last season, Alvarez batted .306/.330/.472 with 37 doubles, 15 home runs and 87 RBI between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. Alvarez found his power stroke in 2014 as he only hit four home runs the previous season.
Whoever catches manager Buck Showalter’s eye during spring training, the outfield will be something to look out for come this March.