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Baltimore Orioles 2018: Scouting, Projected Lineup, Expert Insight

Jonathan Schoop

Jonathan Schoop

After making the playoffs in three of the previous five seasons, the Orioles took a nasty spill into last place in 2017 and are in danger of staying there due to the improvements of the powers above them and their own deficiencies in the rotation. The Orioles will score runs, and their bullpen could remain a strength despite closer Zach Britton’s ruptured Achilles tendon. But there’s only so much that it can do to prop up a rotation that posted the worst ERA in franchise history last summer at 5.70. This team is closer to rebuilding than contending. 

Opposing Scouts Size Up the ORIOLES

“As bleak as it looks, you know one thing: However many wins you think they’ll get, add a few more because of Buck Showalter. He gets the most out of every team he has, and he’s a master at building a bullpen. They’ve got a lot of different looks out there, and Brad Brach covers them at closer until Zach Britton comes back from his ruptured Achilles. The rotation, though, will continue to crush this team. They’ve invested so much hope in Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy, and while they’re good, they’re not consistent enough to be the aces the Orioles need. There’s not much behind them, either. Jonathan Schoop had a breakout year at second base last season, with more consistent power than ever, and at 26, he’ll probably continue to get better. Tim Beckham was a great find by Dan Duquette. Classic change-of-scenery guy — he’s playing free and easy and letting his talent take over. Schoop, Beckham and Trey Mancini give them some under-30 stars to build around.”

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20 Bombs

For the second time in club history, the Orioles had seven players with 20 or more home runs — Adam Jones, Welington Castillo, Mark Trumbo, Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Chris Davis and Trey Mancini. It also happened in 1996. The 2017 team was the sixth in MLB history and first since the 2010 Toronto Blue Jays.

Run Producer

Schoop became the fastest Oriole to reach 100 RBIs — doing it on Aug. 31 — since Chris Davis in 2013 (Aug. 1). Schoop’s 105 RBIs were a career high and the most ever by an Orioles second baseman.


Mancini crafted a 17-game hitting streak in September, the longest by a rookie in club history. It also was the longest by any rookie in the majors and tied for the fifth longest by any player.

Heating Up

In 29 August games, the Orioles led the majors with a .306 average, .534 slugging percentage and 57 home runs. The home runs set a major league record for the month, breaking their own mark of 55 set in 2016.


The Orioles reached 10,000 regular-season home runs in club history as Tim Beckham hit a solo shot in the eighth inning on Aug. 5. They’re among four teams with 10,000 homers since 1954, joining the Yankees, Tigers and Red Sox. Beckham was acquired from the Rays on July 31, making him an unlikely candidate to deliver the milestone shot. 

Hit the Showers

Jones was ejected for the first two times in a big-league career that spans parts of 12 seasons and a total of 1,541 games. Plate umpire Sam Holbrook tossed Jones on May 3 for arguing balls and strikes. Plate umpire Pat Hoberg ejected Jones in the first inning of a Sept. 1 game against the Blue Jays at Camden Yards for arguing balls and strikes in the dugout.

Let it Rain

Nineteen of Baltimore’s games were delayed by rain, with postponements against the Nationals on May 11 in D.C. and Sept. 6 against the Yankees at Camden Yards. They lost both makeups but went 10–9 in delayed games.

Projected Lineup

3B     Tim Beckham (R)
SS     Manny Machado (R)
2B     Jonathan Schoop (R)
1B     Chris Davis (L)
CF     Adam Jones (R)
DH     Mark Trumbo (R)
LF     Trey Mancini (R)
C     Caleb Joseph (R)
RF     Austin Hays (R)
C     Chance Sisco (L)
OF     Anthony Santander (S)
INF     Ruben Tejada (R)
OF     Joey Rickard (R)
RHP     Dylan Bundy
RHP     Kevin Gausman
RHP     Miguel Castro
RHP     Mike Wright
LHP     Nestor Cortes
RHP     Brad Brach
RHP     Darren O’Day
RHP     Mychal Givens 
LHP     Richard Bleier
LHP     Donnie Hart
RHP     Jimmy Yacabonis
RHP     Gabriel Ynoa