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2010 Projections: Why Orioles’ Outfielder Nolan Reimold Will Hit 25 Home Runs

Wed, Mar 24, 2010

Player Projections

Image courtesy of: Keith Lovett

If you’re unfamiliar with Baltimore Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold, listen up.

In 2009, Baseball America ranked Reimold as Baltimore’s fifth best prospect, saying the Bowling Green State alum possesses “the raw power to compare with just about anyone in the minors, rating a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale.” They also acknowledged his potential to “be an average overall hitter if he continues to make adjustments.”

Reimold has proven these observations to be true, as he’s compiled 79 HRs and a .286 batting average during his minor league career, including 25 dingers at Double-A in 2008, and nine more at Triple-A in just 109 at-bats last season.

After a mid-May promotion in 2009, the 2005 second-round pick displayed a well-rounded game, posting 49 runs, 15 HRs, 45 RBI, eight steals and a .279 batting average in 358 at-bats. Even his minor league walk and strikeout rates (12.5 BB%, 18.9 K%) translated to the majors, as he recorded a walk rate of 11.4 percent and strikeout rate of 21.5 percent with the Orioles.

Reimold makes good contact at the plate, (80.3 percent last year) and tallied the seventh best o-swing rate (20.5 percent) among left fielders with at least 400 plate appearances in 2009.

In addition to this, the 26-year-old figures to bat fifth or sixth in a lineup whose first four batters (Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Miguel Tejada) combined to hit .293 in 2009. This will provide Reimold with ample RBI opportunities.

The only hurdle standing between the Orioles’ left fielder and 25-plus HRs in 2010 is the injury bug. Reimold was limited to a combined 631 minor league at-bats in 2006 and 2007 due to injury, and was forced to miss the last few weeks of the 2009 season to undergo surgery for a frayed Achilles tendon.

While this injury has limited him during the spring, he hasn’t experienced any setbacks. Expect Reimold to be in left field for Baltimore on opening day.

FBI Forecast: 550 at-bats, 80 runs, 27 HRs, 90 RBI, 10 stolen bases, .285 batting average

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  • Bill Cherico

    Your analysis of Nolan Reimold has one huge character flaw. You assume he’s going to play! Reimold had a horrible spring between a recurring Achilles Tendon injury and an horrific slump. Felix Pie will be getting most of the PT in the Baltimore OF because of his defensive ability. With him and Adam Jones in the OF, the Baltimore brass is hoping this defense will compensate for a shaky pitching staff.

    At best Reimold will be in a platoon position and not get anywhere near the 550 ABs you predict.His Achilles problem has him fielding ground balls at 1B as well.

    Your off the mark on this one.

  • Nick Kappel

    Thanks for stopping by Bill.

    You are right to say this injury could limit him. In fact, I mentioned that near the end of the article.

    Pie, however, is now dealing with an injury of his own. There’s no doubt Reimold is the better player, so once he’s 100 percent, I expect Reimold to start hitting.

    We’re only four days into the season, so it’s premature to overreact to anything right now. It’s a long summer; I still like Reimold to have a breakout campaign.

  • WHS

    If he hits 25 HR’s some will be in the minors which is where he was sent yesterday I believe.

  • Nick Kappel

    You are correct, sir.

    Reimold has been the victim of a pathetic BABIP, however. A short stint in the minors should do him some good.

    I expect him to return soon and eventually straighten things out. He’s too good of a hitter to be this bad. FanGraphs agrees:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/dont-give-up-on-nolan-reimold/

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