After the final game of MLB’s regular season on Sunday, the Orioles’ wacky 2020 campaign came to an end. It was certainly a shortened span full of highs and lows, but in the end, we all should just be happy that the season was completed, despite COVID’s presence.
Actually, having said that just now, I think there’s a lot more to be happy about. For a great deal of the year, the Orioles were quite successful. A number of players surprised and the team outperformed expectations. Keeping that in mind, let’s revisit my season predictions to see how they stand against individual performances in 2020.
Orioles Cy Young: Tanner Scott
I predicted Hunter Harvey would take this award, but he ultimately saw much off his season derailed due to injury. Across the entire campaign, however, Scott was phenomenal. He pitched to a 1.31 ERA in 25 games, and it really seems the Orioles have something in the flame throwing lefty.
When all was said and done, Scott actually finished 3rd on the team in WAR, and that’s impressive for a reliever. For me, he was the clear choice.
Orioles Rookie of the Year: Ryan Mountcastle
Yeah, I’d say I nailed this one (though it wasn’t a difficult one). Mountcastle burst onto the scene and hit the cover off the ball the whole summer. Fans were begging for his arrival, and it seems that he’s here to stay, with a .333/,386/.492 slash line in 35 games.
Aside from his bat, which we knew would be good, Mountcastle impressed with his glove, too. That really makes the difference when you look toward the future, as he played a competent left field and looks primed to play every day in 2021.
Orioles MVP: Anthony Santander
This is probably the toughest selection. Jose Iglesias, Pat Valaika, Hanser Alberto and hell, even Mountcastle are all valid choices. That being said, Santander was simply electric when on the field. He had some of the most clutch hits, homers, and defensive plays during the hot start the O’s enjoyed , and that’s worth something even in an injury-shortened year.
I can’t wait to see Tony Taters back out there next Spring.
Final Record: 25-35
Well, well, well, not bad at all. How much more could we really ask for this year? I had the Orioles winning 18 games this season, and I’m ecstatic to report that I was way off. Baltimore was in the playoff hunt for the majority of the season, shocking literally everyone. But that’s a testament to the fight these players had, and they really made this weird season a ton of fun.
I didn’t expect much of anything this year, and I thought the rebuild was still in its infancy. That said, Baltimore may have uncovered some cornerstones in Mountcastle, Santander, Scott, and Iglesias. That’s to go with guys they already had in John Means, Renato Nunez, Pedro Severino and Alberto. The Orioles may not win for a few years, but they might not be that bad until they get there.
And in my eyes, that’s fun.