If we would have told you last spring that Nick Markakis, Nolan Reimold and Brian Roberts were going to combine for only 553 at-bats in 2012, then you probably would have assumed the Orioles were in for a lousy season.
Of course it's possible you would have predicted a lousy season for the Os under any circumstances, no matter how that trio performed. On paper, Baltimore looked ... well, lousy.
Yet the 2012 Orioles somehow managed to win 93 games, despite only scoring seven more runs than they allowed. Deep into September, the team actually had a negative run-differential. They finished with a record of 29-9 in one-run games, which is insane, and they were 74-0 when leading after seven innings.
[Baseball 2013 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]
The Os haven't made any splashy additions during the off-season — we're assuming you aren't dazzled by names like "Valencia" or "Jurrjens" — but they also haven't lost any essential pieces. (No disrespect intended, Joe Saunders. Slight disrespect for you, Mark Reynolds). And they'll presumably get a full year from 20-year-old Manny Machado. And the heart-of-the-order hitters — Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Chris Davis — are just entering their prime years. And Baltimore has a pair of elite pitching prospects in the system, Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman. And Markakis is returning, as are Reimold and Rob--
Well, OK, I'm not making promises about Brian Roberts.
Still, there's talent in this organization. Maybe not enough to reach 90 wins again, but certainly enough to help the fantasy community.Read More »from Pressing Questions: The Baltimore Orioles