Orioles

Quick Links

Orioles' John Means falls short in AL Rookie of the Year voting

john_meanms.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Orioles' John Means falls short in AL Rookie of the Year voting

It was always going to be an uphill climb. Now? It’s reality.

John Means did not become the first Oriole to win the AL Rookie of the Year award in 20 years.

The surprising ace finished second behind Yordan Alvarez in this year’s voting. The result is less of a surprise, as Alvarez utterly dominated opponents at the plate all year long. From the moment he was promoted in June, Alvarez was one of the best hitters in baseball. 

By wRC+, an all-encompassing offensive metric, he was actually the second-best hitter in baseball behind only Mike Trout. And he owned the best OPS for a rookie in MLB history.

He accomplished all this while hitting in the middle of the most formidable lineup in baseball, a Houston unit that carried them to the American League pennant.

Alvarez didn’t enjoy the most prolific postseason of all-time, but he still pitched in with a few big hits against the Nationals in the World Series. His hot streak in the Fall Classic actually allowed him to lead the Astros in both batting average and OPS against the Nats.

For so many reasons, Alvarez earned his unanimous first-place finish. But don’t let that diminish Means’ year.

A non-prospect who was made the Orioles roster out of Spring Training, Means was the team’s lone All-Star representative this season. He held his own in the vaunted AL East, and was the clear-cut second-best rookie in the AL in 2019.

Means’ great season helped him receive 16 second-place votes, while no other candidate received more than six.

In a long, trying season, Means stood out as one of the most pleasant surprises for the Orioles in recent memory. The organization has long struggled to develop starting pitching, which has constantly placed them behind the 8-ball in their division. If the front office can unearth a few more hidden gems in the coming seasons, the rebuild may just work out after all.

Brandon Lowe of the Rays rounded out the top three finishers, while Eloy Jimenez finished fourth.

MORE MLB COVERAGE:

Quick Links

Report: Orioles trade Dylan Bundy to the Angels

dylan_bundy.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Report: Orioles trade Dylan Bundy to the Angels

Wednesday has already brought a flurry of transactions in Major League Baseball, and the Orioles got in on the frenzy by trading Dylan Bundy to the Angels. 

According to Ken Rosenthal, Baltimore sent Bundy to LA in exchange for Triple-A pitching prospect Isaac Mattson. Jeff Passan reported that the three pitchers included in the package to Baltimore are Zach Peek, Kyle Bradish and Kyle Brnovich. 

The Orioles took Bundy fourth overall in the 2011 draft, but the right-hander wasn't able to become the ace they were hoping for in his first four seasons in the big leagues. 

In 2019 he went 7-14 with a 4.79 ERA over 161 innings pitched. His ERA never dipped below 4.00 during his tenure with the Orioles. 

Mattson was a 19th round pick by the Angels in 2017 and has yet to make an appearance in the majors. Last season he threw 73.1 innings for three different minor-league clubs and posted a 2.33 ERA with an opponent batting average of .184. 

Peek and Brnovich are both 2019 draft picks, while Bradish threw 101 innings in the California league last season. He posted a 4.28 ERA and .235 opponent batting average in 18 starts. 

MORE ORIOLES NEWS:

Quick Links

Report: Orioles place infielder Jonathan Villar on waivers

jonathanvillar_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Report: Orioles place infielder Jonathan Villar on waivers

The Baltimore Orioles may be in need of a new starting second baseman after reportedly waiving Jonathan Villar on Wednesday, giving other teams the opportunity to claim him before he likely becomes a free agent on Monday.

Villar, projected by MLB Trade Rumors to make $10.4 million in his final year of arbitration, played all 162 games for the Orioles last season. He hit .274 with a .792 OPS while setting a career high in home runs (24) and stealing 40 bases.

The 28-year-old provides most of his value with his legs, with which he’s stolen 160 bases since 2016—second in baseball over that span behind only Billy Hamilton (173). Villar can also play multiple infield positions, logging over 300 career games at both second base and shortstop with experience at third and the outfield as well.

If Villar isn’t claimed by Monday, the Orioles will either negotiate a cheaper salary or non-tender a contract to him and allow him to become a free agent. With a weak free agent class at both second base and shortstop, Villar would likely have no problem finding a new employer for his services.

MORE ORIOLES NEWS: