What can’t you like about Cruz’s season so far? He’s leading the league in home runs and RBI and is batting .291. He showed that the use of PEDs does not define him, and he’s leading our team offensively. In the field, he hasn’t recorded an error, so there’s that. But if he keeps up these numbers at the plate, it could be a historic year for Cruz.
If Cruz is the offensive MVP for the Orioles, Adam Jones finishes a close second. He’s done everything the team has asked of him; batting .304 with 16 home runs and 54 RBI. The only thing hurting Jones is his patience at the plate. He’s only walked 11 times this season. If he can wait on more pitches, he could be the best hitter in the league. He’s had four errors in the field, though, which isn’t Gold Glove material. However, Jones is in the midst of what could be his best season ever.
Lough came to Baltimore in a trade for the surprisingly good Danny Valencia and has disappointed Orioles fans all season. He was supposed to be the speedier, younger replacement for Nate McLouth, but he can’t on base to display said speed. He’s batting .197 on the year with just 23 hits with an on-base percentage of .271, Even McLouth, batting .192, has a better OBP. Lough has been such an offensive liability that Nelson Cruz must play left field much of the time. That’s when you know you’re not doing well.
Full disclosure: Nick Markakis is my favorite Orioles player, but with good reason. He goes about his job with dignity, but what’s making him known this year is his strong offensive season. Markakis is batting .288 on the season, down from his season-high .317 average in May. He ranks third in the league in batting average in the lead-off minimum 300 at-bats and has a 1.000 fielding percentage. Markakis wants a nice new contract and is surely playing like he deserves it. Maybe one day he’ll actually make an All-Star team.
Young was signed in the offseason to be a steady bat to fill in in the outfield and at designated hitter. He’s done both and met the expectations set by the team in Spring Training, batting .305 with three home runs and 11 RBI. He has only drawn three walks, though, which indicates to me that he could be more patient at the plate. In 11 games in the outfield, Young hasn’t recorded an error. All in all, he’s done his job as well as any non-every-day player can.