Matt Wieters has made consecutive All-Star teams and won back-to-back Gold Gloves.With Baseball Tonight visiting Baltimore Orioles spring training camp today, here’s a look at notable “Stats to Know” about the team that was among baseball’s biggest surprises last season.
No Star Power
The Orioles won last year without a superstar everyday player. Their Wins Above Replacement leader among position players was Adam Jones (3.4).
The Orioles WAR leader among pitchers was Jason Hammel (2.9), making Baltimore one of 10 teams that had no pitchers with a WAR of 3.0 or better. Of those, only the Orioles and Brewers (83-79) had winning records.
Tough to replicate this
The Orioles will be challenged to replicate their success in close games last season.
They went 29-9 (.763) in one-run games, the best winning percentage in baseball history among teams to play at least 30 one-run games. They also went 16-2 in extra-inning games, had 24 last at-bat wins (most in the majors), only five last at-bat losses (fewest in the majors), and went 74-0 in games in which they led after seven innings.
What a relief!
The Orioles got the most out of their bullpen last season. Baltimore was the only team in baseball that ranked in the top five in both innings pitched and lowest ERA by relievers in 2012.
The Wieters effect
Matt Wieters has been very valuable to the Orioles, not just for his offense, but for his work behind the plate.
Wieters has made consecutive All-Star teams and won back-to-back Gold Gloves. His 31 Defensive Runs Saved since 2009 are second-most in the majors among catchers behind Yadier Molina.
Over the last two seasons, Orioles pitchers have a 4.15 ERA with Wieters catching and a 5.33 ERA with others behind the plate.
Highest Slugging Pct by 3rd Basemen
Age-20 Season or Younger
Player to watch: Manny Machado
Expectations are high for third baseman Manny Machado, who was valued at 1.5 Wins Above Replacement for his 51-game stint late last season.
Perhaps most impressive was the power he displayed at age 19. Since 1920, only three third basemen had a higher slugging percentage than Machado (.445) during their age-20 season or younger and among them are Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx and Eddie Mathews.
Pitcher to watch: Miguel Gonzalez
Miguel Gonzalez, who didn’t make his debut with the Orioles until late May, was one of the team’s best starting pitchers down the stretch.
Miguel Gonzalez - 2012 Season
Gonzalez was 4-1 with a 2.35 ERA in his last seven starts of the season (including his playoff start against the Yankees).
Gonzalez significantly improved the areas in which he had the most control, as noted in the chart on the right.