Orioles Player of the Week: Veteran slugger edges out young ace

The Baltimore Orioles got off to a solid start in 2024 and this veteran was the best of them all.
Los Angeles Angels v Baltimore Orioles
Los Angeles Angels v Baltimore Orioles / Greg Fiume/GettyImages
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The Baltimore Orioles have just finished their third series of the season and are 5-4 through the first nine games. They sit in third place in the American League East behind the rival New York Yankees and the surprise Boston Red Sox, who've gotten off to a better start than many imagined. Not everything has gone to plan at the start of the season for the Birds, but they're far from being in any trouble.

The Orioles had several players that were considered for Birds Watcher's Player of the Week honors for the first week of the season (the first week is actually a week and a half due to Opening Day being on a Thursday). Both Jordan Westburg and James McCann had walk-off hits, and Corbin Burnes had a great outing in his Orioles debut. Grayson Rodriguez had two dominant appearances, going 2-0 with 16 strikeouts, but he fell just shy. Our inaugural Oriole of the Week award goes to Ryan Mountcastle.

Orioles Player of the Week, Week 1: Ryan Mountcastle

Through the first nine games of the season, Mountcastle either leads or is close to the lead in most of the Orioles' offensive categories. Mounty is second on the team in batting average (.294), RBI (8), OBP (.350), and walks (4), and he leads the team in slugging (.529), OPS (.879), hits (10), and doubles (5). He's gotten a hit in six games, been on base in seven, and already has three multi-hit performances. Mountcastle also has one of the team's nine home runs, a 408-foot blast that cleared the big left field wall (after he was denied by the wall earlier in the game).

Mountcastle has always been an offense-first player, but it was his defense that put him over the top this week. Coming off of his first nomination for a Gold Glove a year ago, Mountcastle has made several highlight reel plays at first base. It's only the first week, but if Mountcastle can continue this type of play, he should get to make his first All-Star appearance.

Mountcastle has had a great start to the season on both sides of the ball. Gunnar Henderson has locked down the shortstop position, Westburg has been a solid producer all around and the inevitable call-ups of top prospects Jackson Holliday and Coby Mayo have O's fans dreaming of a star-studded infield for years to come.

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