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Baltimore Orioles 2011 Bold Predictions: Luke Scott

Luke Scott has become a fan favorite in Baltimore since he came to the Orioles from the Houston Astros in 2008.

In 2010, Scott was one of Baltimore’s most consistent hitters and helped carry Baltimore late in the season after Buck Showalter came aboard.

5. Luke Scott, LF

Luke Scott, 32, enters the 2011 season penciled in fifth in Baltimore’s projected lineup. The Orioles’ designated hitter the past two years will be moving over to left field after Baltimore signed Vladimir Guerrero to a one-year deal.

He is no stranger to left field either; in 2008 he started 100 games in left field, though he is three years older though now.

Although Scott does not have the biggest arm, he has always been very reliable outfielder for the Orioles.

In 2008, he committed only two errors in over 840 innings in left field and a  RF/9 of 2.17, which was third in the American League.

Not to mention he was one of Baltimore’s more reliable hitters in 2010, at the plate he hit .284/.368/.535 with 27 home runs.

Luke has also provided the Orioles with consistent power bats the past couple of years—Scott has hit 75 home runs in his three years with the O’s.

Even with his improved overall average, Scott is still far off from being an elite hitter in the American League East. 

In 2010, the designated hitter hit .214/.307 /.375 with RISP, compared to 2009 when he hit a more manageable .271/.378/.523 with RISP.

He also struggled against power pitchers and according to, Scott hit .178/.290/.267 against pitchers who ranked in the top third in strikeouts and walks.

Although  having limited success with RISP and against power pitchers in 2010, Scott still managed to find consistency at the plate in other situations. In years past fans became familiar with the “Luke Scott” that would would go on a power surge for two or three weeks only to follow with a slump that would last upward to months.

Along with the rest of the team, Luke was able to fight off the dog days of August—Scott finished strong in the second half of 2010 hitting .295 with 15 home runs.

It should also be noted that with the addition of Derrek Lee, Vladimir Guerrero and Mark Reynolds, Scott will have a tremendous burden of being Baltimore’s lone power bat taken off his shoulders in 2011.

With the added protection, it is not unreasonable to expect him to see better pitches with RISP in 2011.

The upcoming season is setting up to be exciting years for the Baltimore Orioles with added depth in the Orioles lineup-Luke Scott should flourish offensively.


Prediction: .285 AVG, 33 HR, 90 RBI

On Deck: Mark Reynolds

In the Hole: Adam Jones

Previous predictions: Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Derrek Lee, Vladimir Guerrero

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2011 Baltimore Orioles Predictions: Vladimir Guerrero

The Baltimore Orioles’ offseason appeared to be pretty much wrapped up after the signing of veteran pitcher Justin Duchscherer when it was announced that the Orioles would once again go after Vladimir Guerrero.

The Orioles made an attempt to lure Guerrero to Baltimore back in 2004 but Guerrero scoffed at the idea.

With the news that the Orioles were in on the free agent designated hitter, word came out that Baltimore had offered Guerrero a one-year contract for about $5 million.

It was not surprising when Guerrero’s agency reported a supposed “eight” million dollar offer from an unknown team.

If things could not get any more depressing for Oriole fans, it appeared that the Orioles were not only going to lose out on the big bat for the middle of their order, but they would have to watch a free agent laugh at the idea of playing for the Orioles and get humiliated in the process as well.

Yet Andy MacPhail, the Orioles general manager, shocked the baseball world after agreeing upon a one-year, $8 million contract.

Baltimore put together the final touches to its team, and for the first time in a long time, there was a buzz in Baltimore about baseball.


4.Vladimir Guerrero, DH

Baltimore’s new designated hitter and clean-up hitter was finally officially introduced to the media in Sarasota, Florida after Guerrero passed his physical.

The 36-year-old slugger will sport No. 27 for the Orioles and has become the center-piece to the Orioles’ 2011 lineup.

In 2010, Guerrero signed a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers and helped lead to the Rangers to a playoff berth.

Although the Rangers made the playoffs, 2010 was a up-and-down year for the Vladimir Guerrero.

In Vladimir Guerrero’s first few months with the Rangers, Guerrero hit .339/.384/ .574 with 18 home runs through June. The rest of the year was almost forgettable for Guerrero, as he hit .263/.309/.418.

The sharp drop off the second half of the season has fueled those in opposition to signing Guerrero, but when you look at Guerrero’s statistics as a whole, you cannot find one person who produced better at the plate last year than Guerrero.

Vladimir Guerrero finished the 2010 regular season hitting .300/.345/.496 with 29 home runs and 115 RBI.

In regards to Vladimir Guerrero’s new home, Camden Yards, Guerrero has hit .333/.400/.611 with nine home runs and 30 RBI in 32 games.

As for Guerrero’s production in opposing AL East ball parks, Guerrero has a .325 average with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 118 games.

At 36 years-old, Guerrero is not getting younger as his OPS has not been higher than .900 since 2007, but Guerrero still has shown that he can still produce at a competitive level.

And with his $8 million price tag, he could very well turn out to be a huge bargain for the Orioles in 2011.

2011 Prediction: .315, 32 HR, 112 RBI



On Deck: Luke Scott

In the Hole: Mark Reynolds

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Baltimore Orioles Predictions: Derrek Lee

Derrek Lee, 1B

The Baltimore Orioles entered the 2011 offseason with first base in their sights as a position that needed to be addressed for the upcoming season. After failing to lure Victor Martinez to Baltimore, the Orioles quickly took no chances and locked up first base by signing veteran first baseman Derrek Lee.

The Orioles failure to sign Martinez could pay great dividends as Baltimore avoided being tied down to a ridiculous contract with an aging Martinez. Also, with Baltimore’s new first baseman, the Orioles can still look to upgrade at first whether before the trading deadline in July or when next year’s free agency rolls around and potential free agents Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols hit the market.

But with the 2011 season in focus, Derrek Lee gives Baltimore its first complete first baseman since Rafael Palmeiro during the ’90s.

Lee, 35 year-old, the long-time Florida Marlin and Chicago Cub’s will help bring a winning mentality to the Orioles lineup and help secure the “3” spot in the Orioles lineup, which has been almost as much of a mystery for the Orioles as the cleanup spot has been.

In 2010, Derrek Lee was traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Atlanta Braves. The trade never panned out for Lee or the Braves, as Derrek Lee was unable to produce at the plate for power.

Although, Derrek Lee only hit three home runs with the Braves before hitting 16 with the Cubs in 109 games, Lee did hit .287/.384/.465 in 39 games with the Braves compared to 251/.335/ .416 with the Cubs in 2010.

Lee has hit .282/.367/.498 with 312 home runs and 1,019 RBI.

Although Lee has shown that he can produce consistent numbers in the National League, Lee has yet to play in the American League East and will have to deal with some of the American League’s top-tier pitchers. 

However, with that said Lee will most likely not be pitched around as much as he was while in the NL.  Playing in the American League, Lee will benefit from having an extra bat and with a more balanced lineup in 2011; Baltimore will not have to worry about its best players being pitched around as much.

Pin-pointing Lee’s exact statistics could become tough because of what is noted above, but with a more balanced  top-to-bottom lineup, Lee will not be relied upon to carry the load as he has in past. With all that said my predictions for Derrek Lee in 2011 are:

Prediction: .279 AVG/ 25 HR/ 88 RBI

On Deck: Vladimir Guerrero

In the Hole: Luke Scott

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Baltimore Orioles Predictions: The Resurgence of Brian Roberts

Pitchers and catchers have just recently reported to Sarasota, Fla., for the start of the Orioles‘ 2011 Spring Training.

With a busy offseason by Orioles general manger Andy MacPhail, for the first time since 2004, a sense of excitement has returned to Baltimore this spring.

With the Orioles’ first Spring Training game just weeks away and Opening Day within sight, it is time for some bold predictions for the upcoming 2011 Baltimore Orioles.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will focus on almost every potential member of Baltimore’s 25-man roster.


Leading Off

1.  Brian Roberts, 2B

It is almost hard to believe that 10 years ago, Brian Roberts, a small shortstop from North Carolina, emerged to become Baltimore’s future second baseman and longest tenured Oriole in the organization.

During his 10 years with the Orioles, Roberts has never experienced the playoffs, let alone a winning season.

With the start of the 2011 on the horizon, Roberts will be more valuable to Baltimore’s lineup more than ever. Last year did not get off to how the second baseman had hoped.

Roberts re-injured his back, which kept him sidelined for almost the entire Spring Training, and he did not return to the Orioles until late July.

Baltimore tried countless experiments to fill their leadoff void that had been secured for the past eight years for the Orioles, yet none were able to pan out. After returning from the DL, Roberts hit .278/.354/.391.  

Roberts helped anchor the front side of the lineup outside of Nick Markakis and Luke Scott, was unable to produce consistently.

Roberts, along with new manager Buck Showalter and a refocused starting rotation, was a key factor in the Orioles turning around the second half for Baltimore.

The second baseman has stated that he is finally healthy and is ready to help lead the Orioles in 2011, according to Dan Connelly of The Baltimore Sun.

Although Baltimore’s recent offseason moves have made the Orioles better than last season, the fate of the 2011 Orioles will lie upon their leadoff hitter.

Roberts not only brings with him a good glove at second, but he is also one of the better doubles hitters in the league.

Roberts has twice led the league in doubles (2004 with 50 and 2009 with 56) and a healthy Roberts will set up more RBI opportunities for Nick Markakis.

If Roberts is able to stay healthy in 2011, there is no reason to doubt more runs from the revamped Orioles lineup.

Prediction: .279 AVG, 13 HR, 48 doubles, 28 SB

On Deck: Nick Markakis

In the Hole: Derrek Lee

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Why Not: Making a Case For Buck Showalter For 2010 AL Manager of the Year

Manager of the year in baseball, like many leagues, is often given to a manager able to lead his team to the playoffs. However, what if in 2011 the AL Manager of the Year was given to a manager who’s team has a 62-95 record entering Sept. 29.

Bring in Buck Showalter. Although Showalter has little chance of winning the AL Manager of the Year Award for the third time, the question I ask, that the 1989 Orioles coined, “Why Not?”

Weeks before the Orioles hired Showalter, it had been long speculated that Buck was the next in line to lead the Orioles out of the cellar in the AL East and back to playoffs for the first time since ’97.

Before Showalter had even managed a game for the Orioles there was hope for the first time in charm city in recent years.

Showalter had been credited with building the Yankee dynasty in the early 90’s and built both the Diamondback’s and Rangers. Showalter won AL Manager of the Year in 1994 with the Yankees. Ten years later Showalter won his second AL Manager of the Year trophy with the Texas Rangers.

In between, Showalter led the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 100-62 record in 1999. Showalter spent three years with the Diamondbacks from 1998-2000.

Although some might argue that records are not that important, winning is something Baltimore has not been accustomed to over the past decade. The Baltimore Orioles have not had a winning record in 13 years, and with a fading fan-base a proven winner was needed in the club house.

Showalter brought a 882-833 record along with him to Baltimore.

Showalter’s initial presence was felt immediately throughout the club house and even into the city itself. Baltimore reeled off four straight victories under Buck, and won nine of their first 11 games.

Showalter’s no non-sense style of ball has been a blessing for the Orioles. For the first time there has been accountability and leadership inside the Orioles locker room.

Showalter led the Orioles through August with a 17-11 winning record for the first time since 1997.

Baltimore compiled a 4-3-1 series record in August, and swept the the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim twice.

September so far has been equally as successful for the Orioles. Baltimore holds a 13-12 record with two games left in September.

All of Baltimore’s games in September have come against opponents with winning records and only one opponent wasn’t from the AL East (Detroit).

The Orioles went on to win four of their first five series, which included wins over Tampa, New York, Detroit, and a sweep of Toronto.

Baltimore enters tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays with a 62-95 record, and yesterday watched Tampa celebrate after clinching a spot into the playoffs. Baltimore managed to postpone the celebration after taking the first game in the series but could not overcome an eight inning, eight strikeout performance from David Price.

A win tonight against Tampa would lock up Baltimore’s sixth series win of the month, which in recent years is more games then they usually won in August and September.

Whether or not the Orioles can carry over the late success into 2011 is still uncertain. Baltimore is desperately in need of a middle of the order threat from both sides of the plate, and could still use one if not two top of the rotation starters to anchor a very young pitching staff.

Since his first game with the O’s, Showalter has compiled a 30-22 record, overall his record stands at 912-855.

Although Baltimore might not be going to the postseason any time soon, and it’s unknown when Baltimore will have a winning team; Buck Showalter has revamped a once hopeless club.

Showalter has done as good of a job if not better than anyone could have hoped for given the situation.

With all that said, why not give it to the guy who might not have the flashiest team but has a team that under him are willing to buckle down and finally win some games for once.

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