With Opening Day less than a month away, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2016 Orioles every day as they try to return to the playoffs for the third time in five years this season.
OF Nolan Reimold
Contract status: Under contract through the 2016 season
2015 stats: .247/.344/.394, 6 HR, 20 RBI, 24 R, 0 SB, 195 PA
Why to be impressed: After undergoing serious neck surgeries in 2012 and 2013, Reimold stayed healthy in 2015, making you wonder if he’s closer to being the player he was prior to 2012. His 11.8 percent walk rate would have been second to Chris Davis among Orioles regulars in 2015, making him a sleeper candidate to hit at or near the top of the order.
Why to be concerned: Reimold didn’t show much power with just 12 extra-base hits last season and his 24.1 percent strikeout rate is on the high side if he’s not going to drive the ball with much authority. For now, the 32-year-old is the favorite to be the starting right fielder, but he hasn’t had more than 300 plate appearances in a major league season since 2011.
2016 outlook: At this stage of his career, Reimold remains a decent option as a reserve outfielder or as a platoon partner due to his .791 on-base plus slugging percentage against left-handed pitching last season. However, it would be a mistake for the Orioles to expect him to produce or to stay healthy enough for an everyday starting role during the 2016 season.
2016 not-so-scientific projections: .243/.320/.403, 9 HR, 29 RBI, 33 R, 4 SB, 265 PA