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Baltimore Orioles
BALTIMORE, MD – AUGUST 06: Joey Rickard /

Joey Rickard deserves a chance at the right field job

Professional baseball is full of Quad-A hitters — players who are too advanced for Triple-A, but usually overmatched by major league pitching.

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Want an example from the Orioles organization? Look no further than Joey Rickard, an outfielder selected in the ninth round of the 2012 draft. For his career, the Arizona product has slashed .301/.412/.428 in Triple-A but just .254/.301/.359 in the big leagues, putting him in a frustrating limbo between Baltimore and Norfolk.

But despite his unimpressive career line, the Nevada native has made the most of his opportunities this year. On Sunday, playing in just his third MLB game of the season, Rickard went 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs, good for the finest offensive line in a game that featured plenty of hits.

With that performance, Rickard’s slash line is up to a gaudy .400/.538/1.000. That’s obviously unsustainable, but it does go to show the extent to which the 26-year-old has seized the moment this year.

That’s why Rickard should get an extended look as the Orioles’ starting right fielder. The sample size is too small to make any judgements about how he’d perform, but Baltimore right fielders, mostly Anthony Santander and Craig Gentry, have slashed just .188/.248/.283 this year, the weakest line of any position on the team. It’s not like cutting their playing time would hurt the team, and beyond that, it’s time to see if Rickard can rise above his Quad-A reputation.

Next: The top 5 home run hitters in Orioles history

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