Baltimore Orioles: Most Explosive Rookie Debuts In Franchise History

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BALTIMORE, MD – APRIL 06: Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta #34 of the Baltimore Orioles delivers the first pitch of opening day to batter Denard Span #2 of the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 6, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

1) Infielder Bobby Grich- 6.0 bWAR (1972)

A six-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner, Bobby Grich was a first-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in the 1967 draft, completing the most successful rookie season in Orioles’ history a few seasons later in 1972.

Grich appeared in 133 games, slashing .278/.358/.415/.773 with 12 home runs, 21 doubles, 50 runs driven in, and three triples. He played mainly at shortstop during the 1972 season before transitioning to second base for much of his 17-year MLB career. Grich was not only an All-Star as a rookie but also earned himself a handful of MVP votes, finishing 14th in voting, just behind teammate Jim Palmer.

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He finished second on the team in hits (11 behind Brooks Robinson‘s 139), home runs (nine behind Boog Powell‘s 21) and led the team in batting average and on-base percentage.

He’s one of the top second basemen to ever play the game, but you won’t find him in the Hall of Fame. After receiving 2.6% of the vote in 1992, his first season of eligibility, Grich was dropped from the ballot. Graham Womack of The Sporting News discussed Grich’s impressive career in a read worth your time a few years ago.

Across 17 years with the Baltimore Orioles and Angels, Grich was a career .266 hitter, finishing with 1,833 hits, a .371 on-base percentage, and 71.1 bWAR. Unfortunately, Hall of Fame voters don’t appreciate advanced defensive metrics, something that highlights just how special of a player Grich was.

Next. Top Second Basemen In Orioles History. dark

Do you have a fond memory of another Orioles’ rookie season? Tell us about it in the comments below!