Archive for Henry Urrutia

Minor League Recap: April 20-May 3

Posted in Minor Leagues, Offense, Pitching, Prospects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2015 by oriolesprovingground

Last week’s Minor League Recap never got completed, so this “week’s” version will combine the last two weeks of baseball. Think of it as “two for the price of one”! Although, I don’t think that’s accurate because it’s still only one post. “Double for your money” is probably a better assessment of this installment of the recap. So not only are two weeks rolled into one post, but it’s also arriving a day later than usual because I had some podcast duties on Monday night for Camden Depot. If you’re reading this because you like the Orioles minor league baseball, then check out the podcast (it’s linked in the previous post on this website) because we talk to Camden Depot’s Joe Reisel, who is our man down at Norfolk. He sees anywhere from 30-40 games per year and has great insight on the AAA squad.

Weekly Summary

Norfolk (AAA): 5-8 (W-L), 33 Runs Scored, 40 Runs Against

Bowie (AA): 8-4, 61 RS, 37 RA

Frederick (High-A): 6-7, 49 RS, 67 RA Continue reading

Minor League Recap: March 31-April 6

Posted in Minor Leagues, Offense, Pitching, Prospects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

With the new season back in full swing, it’s time for the return of the weekly installment of the Minor League Recap, which looks at the performances of Baltimore’s AAA (Norfolk Tides), AA (Bowie Baysox), and High-A (Frederick Keys) minor league affiliates. Since this was an idea that came to me with 2 weeks remaining in the 2013 minor league season, there have only been 2 previous installments. However, I’m planning on making it a weekly post in 2014. This first week is a light one, with each of the team’s playing only 4 games.  If you remember back to when I began doing these posts last season, the following is based on a player’s on-field performance for the current week only, and is not to be considered a list of prospects or future major league contributors.

Weekly Summary

Norfolk (AAA): 1-4 (W-L), 7 RS, 10 RA

Bowie (AA): 4-0, 35 RS, 14 RA

Frederick (High-A): 2-2, 20 RS, 14 RA

The Good:


Norfolk (AAA): 2B Jemile Weeks – 6/12 (H/AB), 2 3B’s, 2 BB’s, 2 SO’s

Weeks was in the mix to make the opening day roster as the starting second baseman or the backup middle infielder.  He landed in Norfolk instead, despite the extra roster spot in Baltimore due to Manny Machado’s knee rehab placing him on the DL to start the season.  Weeks is off to a hot start in the first few games, even getting a start in CF.  He has a good chance to be the first player called up if J.J. Hardy hits the DL or Ryan Flaherty continues to struggle. Continue reading

Projecting the 2014 Orioles: Offense

Posted in Offense, Offseason, Projections with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

Following a surprise playoff appearance in 2012, the Baltimore Orioles finished the 2013 season with an 85-77 record, 12 games out of first place in the American League East and 7 games out of the wild card spot.  Despite not making the playoffs, the 2013 team was arguably more talented than the 2012 team, due to reasons that we’ve discussed before. This offseason was relatively quiet until around the start of spring training when the team made several moves to improve roster holes leftover from 2013 (starting rotation and designated hitter). Despite what looks to be an upgraded team, the Zips Projection System at Fangraphs currently sees them finishing the 2014 season at the bottom of the AL East with a record of 78-84. Let’s take a closer look at how Zips came to that conclusion.*  This is more informative than actual analysis, but I think it is still be a worthwhile exercise.

*Note: this post as written before Zips made its final projections for the season, so things will probably change slightly in the next week.


2014 Zips Projection

2014 Zips Projection

In 2013, Baltimore catchers produced a total of 1.9 fWAR, which placed them 18th in all of baseball. The bulk of that production came from Matt Wieters (2.4 fWAR), but the backups added -0.5 wins in only 101 plate appearances.  Offensively, Zips sees Wieters improving on his disappointing 2013 season, while once again playing a lot at the position.*  I personally believe that the projection for Wieters is slightly on the low side, and that he has a decent chance to exceed it.

Continue reading

Minor League Recap: August 19-25

Posted in Minor Leagues, Offense, Pitching, Prospects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

Recently, as I was thinking of potential topics to write about, it occurred to me that Orioles Proving Ground has not dealt much with the minor league system of the Baltimore Orioles.  This is somewhat strange considering that the name of the blog was partially meant to invoke images of players in the minors proving their worth and graduating to the major leagues.  That has not really happened to date, other than maybe a couple of posts.  In order to change this, I thought we would start a weekly feature that looks at the best and worst individual performances of Baltimore’s top three minor league affiliates (AAA, AA, and Hi-A).  Conveniently, the minor league season will be coming to a close in the next week, so there will only be two installments of this series in 2013, after which it will hopefully pick up again during the 2014 season.  For the most part this is just a recap, but some analysis may be given where appropriate.

Just a note.  As I do not have much scouting experience and have not attended many minor league games this summer, these posts will look at on field performance only and are not meant to be used as scouting reports.

Continue reading

Taking a Look at Mark Reynolds

Posted in Offense with tags , , , , on August 14, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

Last week, the Cleveland Indians designated Mark Reynolds for assignment.  Orioles fans should be familiar with Reynolds, as he spent all of 2011 and 2012 with Baltimore, coming over in a trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks.  During his two years in Baltimore, he accumulated -0.2 fWAR.  Most of that was a function of the fact that he plays terrible defense (at any position) and doesn’t run the bases effectively.  Despite the negative WAR, he was an above average hitter during his time in Baltimore, with a cumulative line of .221/.328/.458 (AVG/OBP/SLG), and a 112 OPS+ (meaning he was 12% better than the average hitter, who has an OPS+ of 100).

If you’ve read this blog at all, you should know that the Orioles have had trouble getting production out of the DH spot in 2013, since we’ve talked about it a couple of times.  If you haven’t been reading this blog, you can find those discussions here and here.  Baltimore’s designated hitters have combined for a .230/.275/.385 triple slash line, and a .288 wOBA, good for 14th in the American League.  With that in mind, it would seem like the recently available Reynolds could provide an upgrade for Baltimore’s DH spot.

Through 99 games with the Indians this year, Reynolds has a triple slash line of .215/.307/.373, and a wOBA of .303.  While Reynolds’ production this year would have been an upgrade over what the Orioles have gotten out of DH, it wouldn’t be much of one.  Additionally, we don’t care about the past, we care about the future.  Would Mark Reynolds provide more offense for the Orioles in their final 44 games than anything they already have available?

Overall, Reynolds’ season isn’t too far off from his career numbers.  His AVG, OBP, BB%, K%, and BABIP are all at or around his career averages.  The biggest difference in 2013 has been his lack of power.  His current ISO of .158 is easily the lowest of his career, in addition to it being under .200 for the first time.

Reynolds has experienced two different seasons in 2013.  There is the month of April, and then there is everything else.  Take a look.

Provided by Generated 8/13/2013.

Provided by
Generated 8/13/2013.

That’s not trending downward, that’s falling off the cliff.  The Indians stuck with Reynolds as long as they could, but they severely cut his playing time in July and eventually just took him off the roster completely.

Prior to their recent trip through the National League West, the Orioles have been using a mix of mostly Henry Urrutia, Danny Valencia, and Steve Pearce at the DH position.  They have been deployed in a platoon, with the left-handed Urrutia getting most of the at-bats.  There are small sample size issues with each player’s performance.  Pearce leads all three in PA’s, with just 102 on the season.  Despite that, let’s look at how they’ve done this year.

Henry Urrutia (47 PA’s)                 .298/.298/.340
Danny Valencia (78 PA’s)              .216/.256/.500
Steve Pearce (102 PA’s)                 .261/.333/.402

Pearce owns the best triple slash line of the group and has Reynolds beat in every category.  However, the majority of Pearce’s PA’s have come against left-handed pitching.  He’s completely ineffective against right-handers and because of that, he can’t be counted on as an everyday DH.  Urrutia, who has faced right handed pitchers almost exclusively since being called up, has an impressive average, but only has one extra base hit (a triple), and has not walked once.  Valencia has hit for some power, but not much else.  His average may be held down by his .216 BABIP (despite a line drive percentage around the league average), but his slugging percentage has been buoyed by his lofty 18.5% HR/FB rate, approximately 10% higher than his career level.

So where does that leave us?  It leaves us with 4 terrible options at DH.  While Dan Szymborski’s Zips projection system at Fangraphs sees Reynolds as a slightly above average hitter the remainder of the season, the depths of his terribleness in June and July make me think Zips is a little too optimistic.  However, Baltimore fans know that Reynolds can occasionally go on one hell of a hot streak, which could make him very valuable to the Orioles down the stretch.  If Reynolds is able to pass through waivers without getting claimed (VERY likely), the Orioles could roll the dice on him for basically nothing more than the cost of a roster spot.  Given the limitations of Baltimore’s current options, it’s probably worth a shot.

Orioles Trade Options: Designated Hitter

Posted in Offense, Trades with tags , , on July 24, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

Most of our recent time here at Orioles Proving Ground has been focused on the trade deadline, and ways the Orioles could improve their team for a run at the playoffs.  Last week, I took a rather lengthy look at trading for Chase Utley, while Doug looked at fortifying the bullpen with a trade for the Mariners’ Oliver Perez.

Next up, I take a look at potential trade options for designated hitter over at Camden Depot, considering certain financial limitations that have recently come to light.

Direct link to article –> Orioles Trade Options: Designated Hitter