Baltimore Orioles: Five Bold Predictions For The 2019 Season

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 28: Chris Davis #19 of the Baltimore Orioles watches the game during the second inning against the Houston Astros at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 28, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 28: Chris Davis #19 of the Baltimore Orioles watches the game during the second inning against the Houston Astros at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 28, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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How many bases will the Baltimore Orioles steal in 2019?  A lot more than we have seen in recent history.

For four-straight seasons (2014-2017), the Baltimore Orioles ranked dead last among all Major League Baseball teams in stolen bases, swiping 44 bags twice and as few as 19 in a full season. That number jumped significantly in 2018 as the Orioles finished with 81 stolen bases, good for 12th in the majors.

Adam Jones, Jace Peterson, Craig Gentry, and Manny Machado accounted for 40 of those steals, none of whom are returning to the lineup this season (Peterson may, but he won’t start out with the big league team).

Bold prediction number one- the Baltimore Orioles will do something they haven’t done since 2007 (144 SBs) and steal more than 100 bases. Let’s put the mark at 125.

Villar stole 35 bases last season and as many as 62 when he led the league in 2016. Cedric Mullins has 51 stolen bases in his last two seasons down on the farm, while Rule 5 picks Richie Martin and Drew Jackson combined for 47 last year in AA ball.

There is plenty of speed on this roster and the Orioles have showcased it during spring training. Manager Brandon Hyde has already stated that he would reel it in when the regular season starts, but what does this team have to lose? Why not run wild, push the luck a little bit, and see what these players are truly capable of?

Blue Jays, Rays, and Yankees catchers were all below league-average as a team in caught-stealing percentage. Test those arms in 2019 and run wild.