Camden Yards is the home the next team we take a look at in the Orioles. Baltimore has been near the bottom of the league for the past few years and they look to be once again after what was an uneventful offseason.
Key Additions: Freddy Galvis
Key Subtractions: Hanser Alberto, Renato Núñez, José Iglesias
Baltimore was largely underwhelming in 2020 and they’ll more than likely be that once again this time around. To put it plainly, they’re not very good at all. The Orioles have one of the younger rosters in all of baseball so if you’re a fan of prospects and guys finding their way this may be the team for you.
Realistically, the only thing I will be watching for is when Adley Rutschman gets called up. Adley is one of the very best prospects in baseball and should make his debut sometime in 2021. It may be delayed due to service time manipulation by the team, but he’ll be up at some point. Rutschman is a switch-hitting catcher with the skills to be a stand-out player both at and behind the plate. His blend of hitting prowess with power from both sides of the dish could make him one of the more feared hitters in the league regardless of position. Defensively, Adley holds his own and then some. He moves well behind the plate and has a strong, accurate arm. He shows the ability to control the game beyond his years, making him the perfect leader. People of Baltimore, this is your savior.
Of course, there is more in Baltimore to watch than just Adley. Ryan Mountcastle was amazing on his debut, Anthony Santander was arguably the best player on the team, and the bullpen was better than expected. This team won’t compete for a playoff spot or anything, but they’ve got more talent than what some realize. If the young talent continues to grow and the franchise makes a few moves to compete more they could be a difficult matchup by the end of the year.
One of the better storylines in baseball this season will be the return of Trey Mancini. The former Fighting Irish has been through a lot over the course of the past year or so as Mancini missed all of 2020 due to colon cancer. Trey was able to win the fight and return to action. He made his spring debut on Sunday, February 28th and was met with a standing ovation before singling in his first at-bat in nearly a year. To overcome what he has and be able to return to play is a special thing. I know some may be dreading what may lies ahead for the Orioles in 2021 but I’m sure Trey is just happy to have the chance to play.