3 under the radar Orioles to watch in 2024

These three Orioles will have a bigger impact then you may think in 2024.

Division Series - Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two
Division Series - Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two / Greg Fiume/GettyImages
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Jorge Mateo, UTIL

I understand if your expectations for Mateo aren't the highest, but I do think Mateo has a chance to make a big impact on the team. I'll start by saying it won't be as an "every day," player because he simply doesn't have the bat for it. Last season, Mateo had an OPS+ of just 70, meaning he was 30% worse than the average MLB hitter. But even with his poor offensive play, Mateo still has value.

Jorge Mateo, Jonah Heim
Division Series - Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

Mateo does two things extremely well, he runs the bases as well as anyone, and he plays good defense. The infield is filling up, but Mateo is rumored to be getting more action in the outfield. Mateo is reportedly playing more centerfield, which would allow him to be a super utility player for the O's. That is certainly valuable, and it doesn't hurt that he has also stolen 30+ bases in each of the last two seasons.

With all of this being said, I think the area of Mateo's game that is being overlooked is his offense. Mateo struggles against righties, and I'm not claiming that will change. He could end up being a very nice platoon bat for Brandon Hyde off of the bench.

Last season Mateo slashed .276/.328/.417 with 3 of his 7 home runs against lefties. These aren't eye-popping numbers, but if he can be an above average hitter against lefties and be an elite defender and base runner, Mateo is going to get some playing time.

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