If there’s one AL East team you should look be excited for the near future it’s the Baltimore Orioles. Now the Orioles did fall short this postseason but that doesn’t mean they won’t be back again in the playoffs. This season they were expected to win 80 games according to FanGraphs’ preseason projections. The Orioles didn’t let their doubters get in their way as they found there to winning their first division title since 2014. This article will be focusing on three reasons to be excited about the Orioles’ future.
3 Reasons to Be Excited About the Orioles Future
While the early playoff exit was tough, it also served as a lesson. Considering most of the players from the team such as Adley Rutchman, Cedric Mullins, Austins Hays, and Gunnar Henderson all of whom had never been to the playoffs before. Not to mention, of the 26 that were part of the ALDS roster, only six had previously played in the playoffs.
Therefore, the team could use this loss as an experience as they continue to improve for the near future. To be fair, their 101-win season was a huge step moving forward. It also marks the first time Baltimore has won more than No one expected this team to be this good this year. This team is going to continue to have some good competitiveness out there despite the tough AL East division they play in.
“We were supposed to win 76 games. Won 101, won the American League East. Really proud of our group. They defied all the odds. Nobody gave us a chance,” Brandon Hyde said. “It’s definitely a successful season and these guys are going to be really good going forward.”
It wouldn’t be surprising if the Orioles were to win the division next season again because of how much progress they have shown in the 2023 season. This team is going to be scary to watch as their young stars continue to develop. They have done a phenomenal job in developing players and calling them up to the big leagues.
Adley Rutschman burst onto the scene in 2022 batting, .254 with 13 home runs in just 54 games. This was something that the Orioles kind of expected when they first drafted him in the 2019 MLB Draft. There has never been this kind of production ever since their last catcher prospect Matt Wieters who then turned out into a bust.
Now this season, Rutschman has taken a huge first step in his first full season. This year he has managed to hit .277 with 20 home runs, an .809 OPS, and 92 walks while striking out 101 times. He currently represents one of the three catcher finalists in line to win the Silver Slugger Award. Rutchman led the finalists, Kansas City’s Salvador Perez and Seattle’s Cal Raleigh, in hits, doubles, walks, average, on-base percentage, and OPS. Winning a silver slugger for the first time in his career could mean something.
He is starting to become one of the best all-around catchers in the league. If he keeps it up he might as well take home an MVP award because of the ridiculous numbers that he posts.
There would be no playoffs for the Orioles without rookie Gunnar Henderson. This season he has been sensational despite starting the season slowly. This season he has batted .255 with 28 home runs, 82 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases. He’s currently in line as a finalist to win his first Silver Slugger award in his career. Along with him in the race are Los Angeles Angels’s Brandon Drury, Tampa Bay’s Isaac Paredes, and Toronto’s Whit Merrifield. All of whom are utility players like Henderson.
He has the chance to take his game to the next level as he continues to progress.