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Baltimore Orioles Minor League Spotlight: Mike Yastrzemski Making His Own Name in O’s Organization

October 25th, 2014 at 8:00 AM
By Josh Michael

It's time for another edition of Orioles101's Baltimore Orioles Minor League Spotlight and this week we highlight a guy with a familiar last name among baseball fans in Mike Yastrzemski. The outfielder proved in 2014 that he is more than just the grandson of a Hall of Famer, he is a legitimate prospect in the Orioles organization.

Mike is the grandson of former Boston Red Sox outfielder and Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, but 2014 showed that Mike has more than just a baseball famous last name.

Yastrzemski was drafted by the Orioles in the 14th round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Vanderbilt and immediately showed his skill set that summer. Once his college season was complete and he signed with the Orioles, Yastrzemski played for the Class A short-season Aberdeen Ironbirds. As a member of the division champion squad, Yastrzemski was one of the best offensive players on the team. Yastrzemski finished third on the team with a .273 batting average, second with a .362 on base percentage, and third with 25 RBI. He was named a New York-Penn League Mid-Season All Star and finished the year with a .273 average, 13 doubles, four triples, three home runs, 25 RBI and scored 28 runs in 57 games played.

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Power Continued to Be Biggest Strength of Baltimore Orioles Offense in 2014

October 24th, 2014 at 10:21 AM
By Josh Michael

The Baltimore Orioles have become known as a home run hitting team over the last few years and that distinction continued in 2014. Baltimore led all of baseball in home runs this season, but the power went beyond just a couple of players.

The Birds hit 211 home runs in 2014, which made them the only team in baseball to eclipse the 200 home run mark and hit 25 more than any other team in the game.

The American League, which is known as the more powerful league, was dominated by the Orioles when it came to the long ball in 2014. Baltimore's 211 home runs were 34 more than any other team in the AL. To put that into perspective, Adam Jones could have not played a single game, and the Orioles would have still led the AL in home runs in 2014.

It certainly did not hurt the Orioles to have the MLB home run champion on their team in Nelson Cruz, whose 40 home runs were more than anyone else in baseball. However, he was not the lone reason for Baltimore's home run dominance.

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Three Baltimore Orioles Named AL Rawlings Gold Glove Finalists, How Many Will Win?

October 24th, 2014 at 7:48 AM
By Josh Michael

The 2014 AL and NL Rawlings Gold Glove finalists were announced on Thursday and the Baltimore Orioles have three players in the running for a Gold Glove this season. Center fielder Adam Jones, right fielder Nick Markakis, and shortstop JJ Hardy were among the three finalists named at their respective positions, but how many of the three will come home with the hardware?

The Gold Glove awards, created in 1957, are determined by a survey of managers and coaches, which make up 75 percent of the voting, and the Society for Sabermetric Reasearch, which accounts for the other 25 percent. The winners will be revealed during a special awards show on ESPN2 on November 4 at 7 p.m. EST.

Jones, Markakis and Hardy have all won Gold Gloves in the past. Hardy is in search of his third straight, Jones is vying for his fourth career Gold Glove and Markakis is looking for his second after winning one in 2011.

Hardy will be going up against Kansas City's Alcides Escobar and Chicago's Alexei Ramirez. Here are how the three matchup against one another statistic wise:

AL SS Gold Glove Finalists
PlayerGTCPOAEDPFPCTRF
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Why Victor Martinez Matters for Baltimore Orioles DH Nelson Cruz This Offseason

October 23rd, 2014 at 9:21 AM
By Josh Michael

The Baltimore Orioles will have a lot of decisions to make this offseason, especially surrounding their three big name free agent players in Andrew Miller, Nick Markakis, and 2014 MLB Home Run champ Nelson Cruz. This offseason, as Cruz looks to land his next contract, one of the biggest factors for Cruz could be fellow free agent Victor Martinez.

Cruz had a terrific 2014 after signing a one year, $8 million deal with the Orioles last February. He led all of baseball with 40 home runs and finished third in the American League with 108 RBI. He was unquestionably the most feared bat in the Orioles lineup and he answered all questions about whether or not he could bounce back after the Biogenesis scandal last season.

Oddly enough, one of the most important factors for Cruz this offseason will be out of his hands: the status of Victor Martinez.

Martinez, along with Cruz and Billy Butler, will be a free agent this offseason as well in what is turning out to be a DH race. Among the three, Cruz is the best defender, but when the option was there to DH him, it was taken.

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A Chat with Baltimore Orioles First Baseman and 2014 Rising Star Steve Pearce

October 23rd, 2014 at 6:56 AM
By Josh Michael

The Baltimore Orioles had several players come through and contribute for them over the course of the 2014 season, but one of the standout guys of the season was a familiar yet surprising face; first baseman/utility player Steve Pearce.

Pearce was a familiar face to Orioles fans over the last three seasons, but the 2014 season gave him the opportunity to shine and he did not let the moment pass.

Pearce gave a new definition to having a career year in 2014 as he hit .293 with 21 home runs, 26 doubles, and 49 RBI. On Wednesday, we talked about how he and fellow surprise contributor Zach Britton helped lead the Orioles this season, and we went into detail at just how big of a career year 2014 truly was for Pearce.

If you follow us on Twitter, then you may have seen a brief conversation between us and Pearce where we asked him if he would respond to a few questions for our readers. Pearce did not disappoint; he was gracious with his time and allowed us to chat with him. Here is what we had to say.

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