O’s First-Half Report Card: Position Players

Mark Trumbo of the Orioles follows through on a swing.
GulfBird Photo/Craig Landefeld

Now that we’ve graded out the main four components of the team, it’s time to hand out the report cards for each cog in the Orioles machine.

We’ll jump right into it and start out with the positional players. For a lot of them, the numbers as a whole don’t look so bad. However, consistency has evaded almost everyone on this list, so that factor played a part in the grading process. If they can just hit top form and stay there, a lot of C’s and C+’s could easily turn into B’s, and so forth.

And that folks, will be a crucial factor going forward as the Orioles look to force their way back into the playoff picture. Anyway, let’s get this party started!

Welington Castillo of the Orioles in his catcher's crouch behind home plate.

C Welington Castillo

Castillo has endured a topsy-turvy first season in Birdland. Despite battling the injury bug in the early goings this season, he still managed to get through the first two months of the season hitting .317 with four homers and 17 RBI. After returning to the team in early June, he’s struggled to replicate his early season success and has hit just .161 since. He’s batting .258 with six doubles, eight home runs, 25 RBI and a .298 OBP at the break.

Grade: C

Caleb Joseph swings.

C Caleb Joseph

Despite playing second fiddle to Castillo, Joseph has shrugged off a nightmare 2016 season by capitalizing on every opportunity that comes his way. After batting .277 with six doubles, one homer and eight RBI in May, he’s been on absolute fire and owns a sparkling .333 batting average with three doubles, one homer and seven RBI since June 1st. On the year, the fan favorite is hitting .286 with ten doubles, three homers and seventeen RBI.

Grade: C+

Chris Davis of the Orioles rounds the bases.

1B Chris Davis

Sidelined since June 12th with a strained oblique, Davis was on pace for a third straight season with 200+ strikeouts and was batting just .226. His saving grace was hitting 14 homers and racking up 26 RBI, which still rank tied for third and fifth on the team, respectively. His stellar defensive play at first has also been sorely missed.

Grade: D+

Trey Mancini of the Orioles leans forward in sunglasses.

1B Trey Mancini

Highlighted by a sensational .342 with two homers and twelve RBI in May, which he followed up by hitting .340 with seven homers and 19 RBI in of June, Mancini has been undoubtedly the runner-up to Jonathan Schoop for team MVP this season. He leads the team with a .312 batting average and a .354 OBP, ranks fourth in doubles (15), and is tied for third on the team in home runs (14) and RBI (44).

Grade: A

Jonathan Schoop rounds the bases.

2B Jonathan Schoop

The Orioles’ undisputed MVP through the first half of 2017, Schoop has been on fire all season long. He hit .288 with five homers and fifteen RBI in April, hit ten doubles in the month of May alone, and then exploded in June to the tune of hitting .327 with eight doubles, eight home runs and 25 RBI. The O’s lone All-Star representative ranks second on the team in average (.295), runs (49) and OBP (.347), is tied with Manny Machado for the team lead in homers (18) and leads the team in doubles (23) and RBI (54).

Grade: A+

Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy prepares to play defense.

SS J.J. Hardy

Hardy was enduring a nightmare season before going down with a fractured wrist in late June. On the year, Hardy owns a .211 average with eleven doubles, three homers, 21 RBI and a dismal .248 OBP. He’s still solid at shortstop, though his range has notably diminished.

Grade: E

Manny Machado follows through on his swing.

3B Manny Machado

Machado has battled through an off-key season in 2017. He hit just .224 in April, bottomed out with a .191 batting average in May, and ended the month of June with a .242 average. However, the Orioles star third baseman was hitting a stellar .333 with three homers and nine RBI in July before hitting the break, so hopefully we’ll see more of the vintage Machado in the second half. Despite hitting just .230 and recording a lowly .296 OBP in the first half, he still ranks second on the team in doubles (17) and RBI (47) and is tied for the team lead in homers (18).

Grade: C+

Mark Trumbo finishes his swing.

DH Mark Trumbo

After stumbling out of the blocks with a .202 average in April, Trumbo quickly snapped into form with a stellar .324 average along with five homers and fifteen RBI in May, but has been through a ton of up-and-downs since. Still, Trumbo ended the first half of the season ranked first on the team in runs (54), third in doubles (16) and tied for third in home runs (14) and RBI (44).

Grade: C+

Adam Jones sunglasses.

CF Adam Jones

Jones started out the year on a tear and finished the month of April with a .309 average, four homers and 11 RBI, but has been on a roller coaster of form since. Despite this, the captain finished the first half ranked fourth on the team in average (.267) and RBI (40), third in runs (42) and second in home runs (15).

Grade: C+

RF Seth Smith

Forced into the lead-off role, Smith has gone through an awkward debut season in Baltimore. He ended the first half ranked third on the team in OBP (.329) despite only ranking sixth in batting average (.259). He also ranks fifth on the team in doubles (12) and fourth in home runs (9), making it possibly the first time that a leadoff hitter ranks higher on the team in homers than he does in average. Only in Baltimore…

Grade: C

Hyun-soo Kim of the Orioles runs the bases.

LF Hyun Soo Kim

Poor guy. Not only is he a regular on the bench, but he’s going through a case of the sophomore blues when he does get opportunities. On the year, Kim is hitting just .229 with one home run, nine RBI and a .301 OBP.

Grade: E

Joey Rickard watches the baseball after hitting it.

OF Joey Rickard

Despite his .291 OBP, Rickard was impressive for the most part when given opportunities in the first half. On the year, Rickard is hitting .260 with ten doubles, three homers, twelve RBI and a team-leading five stolen bases. His speed also makes him a valuable asset in the outfield.

Grade: C

That’s a wrap on part one! Later on, we’ll hand out the grades on the Orioles pitchinOg staff. This should be fun….

Let us know how your own grades stack up to ours!

All photos: Craig Landefeld/GulfBird Photo

This entry was posted in Bird Feed, Blog View, Featured by Logan Quick. Bookmark the permalink.

About Logan Quick

Logan Quick
Logan Quick is a 23-year-old journalist from Harford County, Maryland. Loves hockey so much, there's ice in his veins, not blood. Breathes soccer. Kind of wishes he lived in Barcelona. Oh yeah, and his love for music, especially 1960's and 70's rock and roll, is unwavering. Also a lover of...more

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