Will the Baltimore Orioles steal more bases in 2015?
By Mike Franz
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Orioles are not the most aggressive along the base paths, nor do they pretend to be. It is no secret that Baltimore lives and dies by home runs. While the 2014 Orioles were first in the major leagues in home runs, they were also last in stolen bases with only 44 stolen bags all season.
Compared to Kansas City who had 153 stolen bases, the Orioles’ statistic in this aspect of the game was lower than usual.
During the 2013 season the Orioles successfully stole 79 bases with Nate McLouth stealing 30 of them and Adam Jones with 14 of his own. In 2012, the team had 58 stolen bases with Jones stealing 16 bases that time around and McLouth having 12 as well.
Fast forward to 2014 with McLouth off the roster, no Orioles player had 10 or more stolen bases all year.
Here is the breakdown of which Orioles stole how many bases:
- David Lough- 8
- Adam Jones- 7
- Steve Pearce- 5
- Nick Markakis- 4
- Nelson Cruz- 4
- Chris Davis- 2
- Jonathan Schoop- 2
- Manny Machado- 2
- Delmon Young- 2
- Alejandro De Aza- 2
- Jimmy Paredes- 2
- Ryan Flaherty- 1
- Nick Hundley- 1
- Steve Lombardozzi- 1
- Quintin Berry- 1
As you can see the Orioles did not have boundless amounts of speed on their roster last season. However, there is reason to be hopeful in 2015 for all you fans wanting to see the team steal more.
Looking at returning players, the Orioles will most likely see David Lough get more starts in the outfield with both Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis gone. This makes for more opportunities for Lough to get on base and exhibit his speed. The team also has Alejandro De Aza returning for his first full season with the Orioles which means more stolen bags for him.
Although I do not see Travis Snider contributing more than 3-4 stolen bases, the Orioles will be able to showcase new speed on the team with both off-season pick ups and minor league call ups.
Infielder Rey Navarro has potential to be a threat on the bases and outfielder Dariel Alvarez can contribute 8-9 stolen bases if given the opportunity.
Also, do not forget about the Orioles’ greatest weapon on the bases who is currently playing in Double-A Bowie and had 18 stolen bases in 2014- Mike Yastrzemski. “Yaz” may very well be up with the time shortly after the All-Star Break if he continues to develop as a player at this rapid pace. And he will certainly add a boat load of speed to the team.
I am not saying this team is going to steal 153 bases in 2015, but look for the Orioles to reach around 75-80 stolen bases this upcoming season.