Players Making Good Early Impressions This Spring

It’s early in Spring Training thus far, but it’s an important camp for many players and for the Baltimore Orioles organization. With a presence of fringe veterans and up-and-coming prospects, it is also an intriguing camp for fans like us.

As I’ve followed the first week or so of camp and gameplay, here’s who’s impressed in the initial stages.

 

Chris Davis

Chris Davis in Grapefruit League action.

Craig Landefeld/GulfBird Sports

I won’t waste any time getting to this name. Chris Davis has been outstanding thus far at the plate. Through his first few appearances he failed to record an out, hit three home runs and showed a sharp eye, something that had been lacking in recent years. Obviously, we’ll have to see this success continue for fans to really trust that he’s turned the corner, but either way, his hot start has warmed my heart.

 

Pat Valaika

Batting an astounding .375 with two HRs and three RBI thus far, Pat Valaika is making a strong case that he’s the best option for a backup utility infielder for the start of this season. Flashing surprising power and poise at the plate, the 27-year old could be a nice veteran to have in the clubhouse. If he continues to hit well and play a solid infield, he’ll tough to turn away.

 

Cedric Mullins

Craig Landefeld/GulfBird Sports

Rebounding off of a disappointing 2019 campaign that saw Cedric Mullins fall from grace in the organization, he opened Spring Training batting .333, but has gone 0-for-5 since. Still, Mullins is getting on base with regularity (two walks) – and has shown to be dangerous on the base paths (three stolen bases). The question with Mullins has never been about his defense, so continued offensive success could indicate a return to his former status as an intriguing outfield option.

 

Shawn Armstrong

Craig Landefeld/GulfBird Sports

This may not be the most surprising start considering that Shawn Armstrong was a relatively consistent member of the bullpen in 2019. However, through two innings of work in two separate appearances, he has allowed just one walk and no hits, while striking out three.

The Orioles need reliable relievers this season, and Armstrong might be making a name for himself as one of their best.

David Hess

David Hess came into camp garnering attention for his approach this offseason. To go out and throw two scoreless innings in his first start was an impressive follow-up, especially considering his struggles last year. Unfortunately, he was hit around a bit his second time out. Still, spots at the back-end of the rotation are wide open right now, and I was both impressed and excited by Hess’ start to Spring Training. Let’s hope he strings together more outings like his first, and fewer like his second, moving forward.

None of these guys have completely changed their fate in the first weeks of Spring Training – that’s simply impossible. However, you can only do so much given the time afforded to you, and in their short stints to date, these five players have been impressive.

Even if they don’t continue their success long-term, perhaps their performances will light a competitive fire in others.

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

About Aidan Griesser

Aidan Griesser is a student at Boston College but don't worry, the evil influence of Boston sports can't sway his devotion to the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles! Aidan's from Annapolis and previously worked with the B-More Opinionated podcast for two years. When it comes to sports writing, Aidan is interested...more

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