Baltimore Orioles: What to Make of Jimmy Paredes’ 2015 Season


So how awesome were those ‘Hit Paredes’ puns back in April, right guys? Jimmy Paredes was that dude. Baltimore Orioles fans remember — you all remember, right? You remember his .314 batting average through May. And the power and clutch hitting of our promising 26-year-old DH.

Or maybe you don’t. It seems like over a season ago that Jimmy Paredes was winning over the hearts of fans to go along with the AL batting title. His 2015 season has been less like a roller coaster than it has been a shooting star — a giant boom that quickly faded into nothingness. Some may have even forgot it was ever there.

But here’s the weird part: statistics say that Jimmy Paredes has been one of the best hitters on the Baltimore Orioles this year. Feel free to re-read that sentence. It’s that time of the year where we assess players and look to see their value going into the next season. We start with the curious case of Jimmy Paredes.

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We can start with batting average, which is one of the best and simplest ways to measure hitting. How often has Jimmy gotten hits? As of now, Paredes’ batting average is .280, which is higher than Adam Jones, Chris Davis, Caleb Joseph, and many more Orioles. Basically more than anyone not-named Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop.

It’s not like he’s a specialized hitter either, who only hits against right-handers or left-handers. Against rightys he hits .283, while batting .263 against left-handed pitchers.

He has a few less at-bats than a lot of those guys, yes. But whose fault is that?

To continue, Paredes has the same exact on-base percentage as Adam Jones, at .313, and an Offensive WAR of 0.9. That WAR number puts him ahead of Wieters, Flaherty, Pearce, Reimold, Clevenger, Hardy, and Parra. Doesn’t seem so bad.

His weakness, of course, is the strikeout. So far this year, Paredes has K’d in 28.3% of his at-bats. The only Oriole to strike out at a higher rate is Chris Davis — and we don’t get as angry at him because of the whole 40+ home runs thing. Jimmy’s walk percentage is also very low, at 4.8%, putting him around 3% below the league average.

With all the talk of his lack of plate discipline, however, lies a statistic that is very interesting. Jimmy Paredes batting average on balls in play is .371. To those unfamiliar with BABIP, this statistic measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits. It, of course, excludes strikeouts, but it also does not count for home runs.

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Only six MLB players have a higher BABIP than Jimmy Paredes, and three of them are Miguel Cabrera, Bryce Harper, and Paul Goldschmidt. Makes you wonder what could come of him if he learned to cut down on the strikeouts.

Now to defense. The 2015 season has led us to a very important question: does Jimmy Paredes even own a glove? He’s only played 70 innings (around 8 full games) in the field this year, with most of them coming at second base. And in those games he has reminded us why we don’t see him with a glove very often.

In his nine innings at third base, he has made three errors. His play in left and right field have been error-free, but not blunder-free. In the small sample size, there have been more than a few plays that it looked like Jimmy Paredes certainly could have made, but did not.

So what do the Baltimore Orioles do with him in 2016? I think, for Paredes to have any sort of value to the team, he needs to learn how to play the field. Even if he spends the whole winter without a bat in his hand, I think it is of utmost importance that he figures it out.

Once that is out of the way, it all comes down to plate discipline — limiting the strikeouts. I think Paredes is a respectable hitter currently, but to be an everyday guy, he’ll need to figure his way around the plate just a little bit better.

The O’s could lose a lot of talent this offseason, and having a productive Jimmy Paredes (even coming off the bench) could be very important. What do you guys think?