BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As anticipated, it was a rough year to be an Orioles fan.
The team finished last in the AL East at 54-108. At times, the Orioles simply lacked the fundamentals of baseball necessary to win games in the Major Leagues.
After all, who could forget the botched rundown in Cleveland when Hanser Alberto failed to tag a runner between second and first, that ultimately led to a run.
Slugger Chris Davis, for yet another year, also struggled. He batted just .179 and hit only 12 home runs. It’s probably safe to say that the monster numbers Davis once posted are well behind him.
Despite all the disappointment and frustration, however, there are some bright spots for the Orioles in the years to come.
Trey Mancini had a career year for the team. He hit .295, had 35 home runs and 97 RBIs. Mancini, who was snubbed a spot on the All-Star team, earned the Most Valuable Oriole Award.
John Means, who did earn a spot on the All-Star team, was another bright spot for the Orioles. Means won 12 games and pitched to an ERA of 3.61 and a WHIP of 1.12.
Means, 26, was one of many young talents on display for the Orioles this season. Austin Hays and Stevie Wilkerson each showed promise defensively with two jawdropping catches.
Hays robbed Vlad Guerrero Jr. of a home run with a leaping catch at the center-field wall in mid-September, while Wilkerson made what was perhaps the greatest catch of the year, taking away a home run from Jackie Bradley Jr. with an acrobatic catch in right field at Fenway Park to conclude the regular season.
Hays, who batted .309 with four home runs, also showed promise at the plate for the Orioles.
Even more promising for Orioles fans, however, comes from down on the farm. The Delmarva Shorebirds and Bowie Baysox each made the playoffs and set records along the way. There are incredible young talents throughout the entire Orioles’ farm system.
The only bad news? These young talents still need some time to develop into future Major Leaguers. The pieces are certainly in place for General Manager Mike Elias and Manager Brandon Hyde.
As cliche as it sounds, only time will tell if the Orioles will develop into a winning team in the years to come.