Baltimore Orioles: Five Things We Want To See In The 2020 Season
Which Baltimore Orioles outfielder no named Austin Hays steps up?
As we recently discussed, if there’s one specific position group that we hope shows improvements in 2020, it’s the outfield. We’re putting a lot of faith into an oft-injured Austin Hays who played fantastic September baseball, but he’s earned it. A healthy, consistent Austin Hays should have a tremendous ripple effect in the outfield and in the lineup.
It would still be nice to see one more outfielder step up and make sorting out the outfield a difficult job. Between Anthony Santander, DJ Stewart, Dwight Smith, Jr, and Cedric Mullins, will one of them step up and be a consistent contributor in the lineup?
Santander seems the most likely. In 93 games this year, Santander logged 20 home runs, posted a wRC+ of 97, and was worth 0.7 fWAR. Like John Means, it’s going to be important to see how Santander responds in year two and in a full season of play.
DJ Stewart is already starting behind the competition after having offseason surgery. He won’t resume baseball activities until late-spring training, meaning it could be April/May before he’s fully healthy and ready to go in Triple-A.
Cedric Mullins struggled in the bigs and in Triple-A before finding his groove late in the year in Double-A. The organization is refusing to give up on him. His speed and defensive abilities could be valuable as a reserve outfielder who can play all three positions. He just needs to hit the ball.
Dwight Smith Jr was atrocious in the field and less than stellar on the basepaths, but he showed stretches of having a solid bat, with the ability to rack up the extra-base hits. However, can he do enough to keep a roster spot? He has options remaining and will have to really show up in spring training to avoid a trip to Triple-A, although, Stewart’s injury does play in his favor.