Baltimore Orioles: The 5 best second basemen in Orioles history
No. 1 – Brian Roberts
The longest tenured second baseman in franchise history, Brian Roberts remains one of the best players the Orioles have had at the position.
Alright, maybe this is a complete homer pick because Roberts was one of the more frustrating Orioles to watch throughout his time in Baltimore. Roberts dealt with injuries for the entirety of his career, and only had four fully healthy seasons. But when Roberts was on, he was as fun to watch as anyone.
In his career with the Orioles, Roberts hit .278/.349/.412 with 92 homers and 278 stolen bases. He had 521 RBI in Baltimore and finished his career with a 101 OPS+ and 30.4 bWAR. He’s nowhere near qualified for the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, but he was elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame this past year.
Roberts was a very good defender, posting a career .987 fielding percentage with 21 DRS and a 23.8 UZR. His 29.2 fWAR is good for 12th all-time with the Orioles, just behind Adam Jones. Roberts’ 50 stolen bases in 2007 led the majors, and he led the league in doubles twice, in 2004 and 2009. He made two All-Star appearances for the Orioles, both in 2005 and in 2007.
Roberts’ last full season was in 2009, though he played in parts of the following five seasons. He couldn’t stay healthy during the latter half of his career, suffering multiple injuries including a herniated disc, groin and knee injuries, and a self-induced concussion.
Despite the injuries that plagued his career, Roberts still earned his place in the Orioles Hall of Fame, and his spot on this list. Roberts played the game the right way, and we’ll remember that more than we’ll remember those terrible Orioles teams.
Roberto Alomar was snubbed because he played just three seasons in Baltimore. He’s arguably the best second baseman to have played with the Orioles, but he’s also arguably not one of the Orioles’ best second basemen. Billy Ripken was snubbed because he wasn’t a great baseball player. Feel free to let us know how wrong this list is in the comments!