We are officially in the full swing of things for the Baltimore Orioles' spring training, with almost constant Grapefruit League action until opening day on March 30. While a lot of talk in camp so far has been on the O's pitching staff, infielder Terrin Vavra is having a dominant start to spring at the plate and also in the field.
In the first game on the Orioles' Grapefruit league slate, Vavra showcased a rare jolt of power, doubling and homering to get the spring started. The next day, Vavra had two singles and two RBI's, making him 4-for-6 with four RBI's through two spring games.
Vavra went 2 for his next 5 after that, currently standing at 6-for-11 in four games entering play on Saturday. That's a .545 batting average. He has one triple, one double, one home run, four RBI's, and three runs scored at the plate this spring, which is certainly a strong case to get a bench spot on the roster to start the season. Brandon Hyde talked to MASN about Vavra, saying this:
"We have spots open. We like what he did last year. Got a little bit of a taste of the big leagues and now he’s back and having a great camp. He’s definitely added some versatility to us, the left-handed bat’s a big thing. If he can take at-bats like that against left-handed pitching, that’s enormous. He’s showing well right now."
It's pretty clear from last season and this spring that the Orioles are molding Vavra into a swiss army type utility player, able to play all over the diamond. He's been taking ground balls at first base, which is a spot of competition at Orioles camp. In game action, he's played second base, third base, and left field this spring.
He's had quite a showing defensively at the hot corner, the first time he's played there since a rehab assignment last year with High A Aberdeen. Vavra took away hits from Riley Greene of the Detroit Tigers twice in a game last Sunday, making both a diving backhand grab and a lunging grab to his left.
There is still a lot of work left for Vavra despite the pretty encouraging early returns. The competition for the final bench spot is pretty fierce, with a lot of players vying for one spot. Vavra has certainly put himself in a good position to start the spring, but there's a lot of time left for either someone to overtake him or for Vavra to run away with it convincingly. This is a situation to monitor this spring for sure.