Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
During the 2014 regular season, Nelson Cruz was the only player on the Baltimore Orioles’ roster to hit at least 30 home runs. With Cruz now in Seattle with the Mariners, which Oriole will step up and hit at least 30 bombs over the fence in 2015?
The front runner choice for that question is the face of the franchise: Adam Jones. Last season, Jones missed the 30 home run-mark by one with 29 round trippers. Before that, he hit at least 30 homers in the two previous seasons–33 in 2013 and 32 in 2012.
Jones is a fan of hitting in Camden Yards with 87 career home runs in the Yard. With his smooth power stroke, expect Jones to reach the 30 home run mark as he will take it upon himself to make up for the power lost by Cruz. Jones will not be alone with this quest.
He will have the help of players like Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy. Davis is another easy guess for who could hit 30 home runs for the Orioles in 2015. Despite a bad year in 2014, he still managed to hit 26 home runs. In 2013, he had a career year with a league-leading and franchise record in home runs with 53.
He also hit 33 of them in 2012 with the “Buckle Up Birds.” Davis is no stranger to the long ball and, if he can stay healthy and in the lineup, then expect Davis to put at least 30 baseballs over the fence in 2015.
Hardy is an interesting pick. He did hit 30 home runs during his first year with the Orioles in 2011. Although he had a tough time finding that power stroke for the first few months of the 2014 season, Hardy’s power is still intact. He had back-to-back-to-back seasons from 2011-2013 with at least 22 home runs.
While he will have to find his power swing and timing early on in the season for him to have a shot at 30 home runs in 2015, it is certainly not an unattainable goal.
What do you think? Do you think I forgot about any players on the Orioles’ roster? If so, comment below with your picks for the 30 home run club in 2015.