Baltimore Orioles: Who is the Must-Have Player for 2020?
People on social media have been playing some outrageous games lately, and this one got my brain thinking about the Baltimore Orioles.
The Baltimore Orioles are loaded with a bunch of young guys, looking for their break-out moment, but very few whose absence would impact the team.
So, I pondered the question, and came up with one result.
Here’s the question, from Dan Szymborski of Fangraphs:
My answer was Trey Mancini. But, the power-hitting outfielder is already out in 2020 as he is treating cancer. So, the answer now becomes tougher.
Who is the one must-have player in 2020? (If the Orioles hit the field this season?)
It’s easy to figure out who it isn’t. Even though Chris Davis is the stalwart first basemen, his last few seasons where bad – he had the lowest oWAR of anyone on team (-1.0). Jose Iglesias could turn into something magical for the O’s, but he hasn’t had a chance to show them.
Maybe Hanser Alberto? But’s he’s not quite ready to be the “Face of the Team” and the other infielders certainly aren’t that guy. The catchers are easily replaceable – especially since they combined for an oWAR of 2.9. The outfield is in the same position. Yes, there are some players who could break out any day now, like Anthony Santander, Stevie Wilkerson, and Dwight Smith Jr. But, they aren’t that guy.
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So, who is it? I was considering a relief pitcher like Miguel Castro or Mychal Givens. A good closer is tough to replace and Givens is pretty good at his job – 11 saves on a team that finished with a record of 54-108 is respectable. And Castro is a reliable guy with a decent arm who will pitch any time, any place. But, nope, not them.
This leaves the only one who is a must-have – other than Mancini – John Means. The Orioles pitching staff is so bad, that if he was traded before the season the Orioles would be not just bad, but very, very bad. He’s the teams only left-handed starter, assuming Keegan Akin is spending the season at Triple-A. And, he was the O’s only All-Star in 2019.
I’m hoping that he’ll get a more respectable number in 2020, as 67 is so “I’m the new guy.” That’s it. John Means, the one player the Orioles cannot live without in 2020.
If you’ve got a different guy in mind, leave your answer in the comments below.