2009 In Review: Third Base

Melvin Mora – .260/.321/.358, 44 R, 20 doubles, 8 HR, 48 RBI, 3 SB, 496 PA

Mora’s production collapsed in 2009. After having a great second half of 2008 he was looked at to provide a solid power bat with good defense, but it looks like it was just his last hurrah. We got solid defense from him but his power was notably absent. He was injured for most of April with a hamstring injury and just couldn’t get anything going when he came back. Eventually he lost playing time to Ty Wigginton and wasn’t very happy about it. I felt like Trembley waited too long to bench Mora and he didn’t stick to his guns because he let Mora back into the lineup consistently. Mora also batted higher in the lineup than he should have almost all year, yet he felt the need to complain when something was done about his lack of production.

2010 Prognosis: Mora has a $10 million team option for 2010 that the Orioles will no doubt decline. His time in Baltimore is over. Some team will sign him to a cheap deal and give him a chance, but I think his years of being a productive major league baseball player are over.

Ty Wigginton – .273/.314/.400, 44 R, 19 doubles, 11 HR, 41 RBI, 1 SB, 436 PA

Wigginton was brought in on a two year deal in the offseason to be a power bat off the bench and a presence in the lineup against left handed pitchers. Instead, he hit better against right handers and had only two of his 11 homeruns against lefties. I’d like to think it was just an off year, but he had his worst OPS since 2003. He got off to a slow start and did get better as the year went along, but he still wasn’t hitting for the power he has over the last three years (24, 22, 23). Defensively he was solid to the ball he could get to, but he has very limited range. He played mainly first and third base, but got a couple of games at shortstop and left field as well.

2010 Prognosis: I see Wigginton in a similar role next year as long as the Orioles can get the third and first basemen that they want. If not, he could be a stop gap at either position until one of Brandon Snyder or Josh Bell are ready. Hopefully he gets back to hitting lefties the way he has throughout his career and his power returns to form. Its also possible hes just in a decline phase of his career. We’ll see.

Justin Turner – .167/.318/.167, 2 R, 3 RBI, 22 PA

Turner was a part of the Ramon Hernandez trade to the Cincinnati Reds in the offseason. In fact, he was probably our main target in the deal. He might’ve had a chance to break spring training as a utility guy but he had a minor injury and the Orioles traded for Robert Andino. In AAA Norfolk Turner hit .300/.362/.388 with 28 doubles, 2 homeruns, and 9 stolen bases. He didn’t get much of a look when he came up in September but he had a pretty successful year. His main position is second base, but obviously the Orioles have that position covered so they’ve been working him at third base also.

2010 Prognosis: Turner has a chance to make the team next year as a bench player depending on what the Orioles do over the winter. He doesn’t have much power, but hes a good contact hitter with a good walk to strikeout ratio. He’ll be 25 next season so there could be a chance for him to develop a little more power. Turner would be a decent prospect for second base if Roberts wasn’t already there. Maybe if the Orioles feel he can handle it defensively he could become the back up shortstop, he”d be an improvement over Andino offensively. Or maybe hes used as a piece in a trade to get a player in more of a position of need.


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