Nolan Reimold could get lost on the Orioles. Most talk of the outfield centers around Nick Markakis in right or Adam Jones in center and when it comes to rookies on the club last year it was Matt Wieters catching all the headlines.
Oh but with a name like Nolan you know this has to be good. Last season as a rookie Reimold put together a pretty good run before having to undergo Achilles tendon surgery in September. On the year he finished with a .279/.365/.466 line along with 15 homers, 45 RBI and eight stolen bases in 358 at-bats.
Throw in another 150 at-bats or so and it’s easy to imagine the outfielder reaching 20-plus homers and double digit steals.
Through his climb though the minors Reimold showed a knack for drawling walks, hitting for good average and did himself some good by finding some power in his swing. As it stands now Reimold is the kind of player that fantasy players like to see, throw in a few more steals and he’ll be considered one of the better draft day picks this year.
Reimold says he’ll be ready for the start of the year and if that’s true watch out. The biggest obsticle for him to overcome may be where manager Dave Trembley opts to place him in the lineup. Last year he was hitting in the bottom half of the order. Below is a breakdown of his at-bats by spot in the order.
#2 – 46
#3 – 29
#4 – 15
#5 – 133
#6 – 48
#7 – 64
#8 – 19
His numbers were close no matter where he hit and despite the fact he hit .400 as the four hitter you have to note that was in 15 at-bats. His 133 at-bats as the fifth place hitter was two times the amount he got as the seventh, and three times the amount he gathered at second and sixth.
The Orioles addition of Miguel Tejada may move Reimold down a spot as may the signing of Garret Atkins.
Brian Roberts will again lead off the club and Adam Jones who hit an eye popping .305/.362/.520 will bat second. Markakis shall continue to hit third and then things get a little dicey for the Orioles. Luke Scott played mostly in the sixth spot last year but that was because the Orioles had the under performing Aubrey Huff batting fourth and Melim Mora batting fifth most of the year ahead of him.
Will the Orioles move up Scott or give Tejada a better spot in the order since he’s a veteran? Will Atkins get similar treatment?
Here’s what I would roughly guess the Orioles lineup to be.
Though this is the Orioles so I’m not sure I’d be surprised if Tejada some how came out of camp hitting third. I’d guess Wieters to hit eighth to keep the pressure off of him.
If the lineup above is correct Miguel Tejada and Garret Atkins would likely have the biggest impact on Reimold’s season. Tejada has shown that his on base percentage can change upwards of 30 points from one year to the next. Last season it was .340 which is what you’d have to guess the Orioles are expecting to get out of him this year. As for Atkins it’s unclear if he has anything left but considering the money the Orioles are paying him they will have to keep trotting him out much the same way they did with Aubrey Huff last year. If that turns out to be true Reimold will likely be pitched around a lot which will ultimately see his RBI and run totals down.
Last year based on 550 at-bats Reimold was on pace for 70 RBI and 75 runs scored. With some luck from the guys around him in the lineup should cross into the 20 homer, 75 RBI, 85 run category. Of course those numbers may be exceeded should he find his way up the lineup.