2009 In Review: Center Field

Adam Jones – .277/.335/.457, 83 R, 22 doubles, 3 triples, 19 HR, 70 RBI, 10 SB, 519 PA

Jones came out of the gate on fire and looked like he had transformed himself into a superstar over the offseason. He hit .359/.433/.628 in April and .333/.369/.590 in May. He was hitting for average, power, and seemed to have improved his plate discipline, but as the season went along he seemed to fall back into old habits which really hurt him. He really slumped in June (.609 OPS), bounced back a little in July (.764 OPS), but fell right back down in August (.620 OPS). Defensively he took a step back. As he bulked up a little bit in the offseason it seemed to lower his range a bit from 2008. He still played a solid centerfield and is especially apt at robbing homeruns over the fence, but if he continues his growth he may have to eventually move to left field. Jones played through minor hamstring injuries for much of the year, which may have had something to do with his decline as the season wore on, and he was shut down at the start of the September with a high ankle sprain.

2010 Prognosis: Jones will be our center fielder again next season. I expect him to continue his progression as a hitter. Hes a hard worker and wants to be the best player in the league. Hopefully he can stay healthy in 2010 as hes missed chunks of time the past two years due to injury. I don’t think he’ll be as good as his first two months of 2009, but I highly doubt he’ll be as bad as his last three months either. I’m thinking an OPS in the .800 – .850 range, and that is very valuable coming from a center fielder. Its easy to forget that Jones will only be 24 years old on opening day, he still has plenty of room to grow.

Felix Pie – .266/.326/.437, 38 R, 10 doubles, 3 triples, 9 HR, 29 RBI, 1 SB, 281 PA

Pie’s season was almost the exact opposite of Adam Jones. He started off the year as the everyday left fielder after the Orioles traded LHP Garrett Olson to the Chicago Cubs to acquire him. Adjusting to a new team, a new league, and a new position he struggled mightily at the plate and in the field. He batted .157/.246/.216 (.462 OPS) in April and by that point was in the managers doghouse, as well as the fans’. But as he got comfortable and kept working with hitting coach Terry Crowly, he started to put his tools together and show signs of becoming the player he was always touted to be as a top prospect. In limited at bats over the next three months of the season he put up a .752 OPS in May, 1.167 OPS in June, and a .616 OPS in July. When he finally got some chances to play in August he really put it together, hitting .333/394/.651 (1.045 OPS) over 70 plate appearances. Unfortunately he had a couple minor injuries in September and missed the last seven games of the season, but he had a .685 OPS over 68 at bats. He also improved tremendously on defense and showed that he can play a great center field. The time might come that Pie could be our everyday center fielder with Jones moving to left.

2010 Prognosis: I think Pie should be our everyday left fielder against right handed pitchers with Nolan Reimold moving from DH to left against lefties. Pie struggled against lefties and has never hit them good in the minors, so until he proves he can handle them he should sit more times than not against them. With Pie, Jones, and Nick Markakis in the outfield our defense should be great out there. As long as Pie continues to improve, I think he could be a very valuable member of our team going forward. I think he will provide us with a .750 to .850 OPS and stellar defense.

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One Response to “2009 In Review: Center Field”

  1. Emory Pilcher Says:

    Ankle sprains can really become very painful if it is not treated early. *

    Remember to visit our favorite web site
    http://www.healthmedicinelab.com/pain-in-left-side/

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