2009 In Review: First Base

Michael Aubrey – .289/.326/.500, 12 R, 7 doubles, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 95 PA

Aubrey started off the year in the Cleveland Indians organization. The Orioles traded for him in June and he hit .287/.324/.421 with 13 doubles and 3 homeruns for AAA Norfolk before getting called up when Aubrey Huff was traded. He did a good job in the small sample size he was given, showing more power than he did in the minors. Hes a good fielding first baseman and was a definite improvement over Huff in that area. Injuries have limited Aubreys ascent in the minor leagues after being a highly touted first round pick so he might have some improvement still left in him, but at 27 I think we pretty much know what kind of player he is.

2010 Prognosis – Aubrey will get a chance to make the team in spring training. The Orioles are expected to sign or trade for a big bat at first base, so if that happens he would only be competing for a back up role. If the Orioles fail to acquire that bat, Aubrey will compete against Rhyne Hughes and Brandon Snyder for the starting job. I wouldn’t be comfortable with Aubrey as our starting first baseman next season. He gives you a decent average and a good glove, but not enough power. We need a slugger and Aubrey isn’t that guy. Rhyne Hughes would be a better fit in that scenerio because he has 20+ homerun power.

Aubrey Huff – .253/.321/.405, 51 R, 24 doubles, 1 triple, 13 HR, 72 RBI, 480 PA

Huff was terrible in 2009 after having a career year in 2008. He was looked at to be our cleanup hitter and just failed miserably to all expectations. He was a hole in our lineup and we finally traded him to the Detroit Tigers for a relief pitching prospect. He did even worse with Detroit after the trade, hitting .189/.265/.302 with 6 doubles and 2 homeruns over 106 at bats.

2010 Prognosis: Well he certainly won’t be with the Orioles in 2010. Theres a chance he won’t be with any team after the abysmal season he had in his early 30’s. I’m sure he’ll get a very cheap one year contract or minor league deal from some non-contending team.

Oscar Salazar – .419/.455/.613, 4 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 33 PA

Salazar was a very solid piece to our bench in late June and early July, before we traded him to the San Diego Padres for Cla Meredith. Salazar proved that he can hit this year, but he can’t play defense at all. Hes a butcher no matter where you put him. Thats why he’ll never be an everyday player and it was a good deal for the Orioles. Salazar continued to play the pinch hitter/spot starter role in San Diego, hitting .269/.339/.463 with 8 doubles, 2 triples, and 3 homeruns over 108 at bats.

2010 Prognosis: Salazar should stay with the Padres and continue to be a solid bench player. Hes a good player to have for an NL team where he can pinch hit for the pitcher on most days. As long as the Padres want him, he should be under their control for the foreseeable future.

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