Excitement filled Baltimore Orioles fans everywhere in 2012 as the team made the postseason for the first time since 1997 and also ended their long stretch of losing seasons. Today we are at number two on our list, the Orioles on base percentage.
Baltimore finished the with a 85-77 record for their second consecutive winning season, but fell short of a playoff spot by six games.
Coming into 2013, expectations, although perhaps too high, were just that for this season's team, so what went wrong?
#2 On Base Percentage
The Orioles led all of baseball with 212 home runs this season and finished tied for fifth with 745 runs scored, but did you know the Birds were 19th in the league in on base percentage with a .313 OBP?
You may be asking yourself, well so what, we led the league in homers and top five in runs scored, so who cares?
Let us point something out for you. Of the 11 teams that had a worse on base percentage than the Orioles had, there were a total of ZERO, yes ZERO of those 11 that made the playoffs, thus all ten playoff teams had a higher on base percentage. In addition, the top four OBP's belong to playoff team, while another four were in the top ten and the final two within the top 17. Oh and if you were wondering, the Texas Rangers, who lost in game 163 to the Rays, also ranked in the top ten in on base percentage.
Baltimore's .313 OBP was 36 points lower than Boston's league leading .349 OBP. That may not sound like much, but when you expand that over 162 games, it equates to a large number of additional base runners that could have led to more runs and more wins.
At the top of the issues list for on base percentage was the Orioles inability to draw a walk. Baltimore finished with 416 walks this season and just the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers drew fewer walks in 2013.
The Orioles had one player (among qualifiers) that had a higher on base percentage than the Red Sox had as a team and that was Chris Davis with a .370 OBP. No other Oriole had a OBP over .329 that also had at least 200 at bats.
But wait, they hit a lot of home runs to make up for that! Check this out, of the 212 home runs the Orioles hit this season, 125 of them were for solo home runs. Just think if one third of them were converted to two run home runs, do you think that could have equated to six more wins?
Look there is simple logic here, the more runners you get on base, the better chance you have to score more runs, thus this should be a major area of focus for the Orioles this offseason.
Five reasons the Orioles missed the playoffs:
- #5 Record vs AL East
- #4 Blown Saves
- #3 September Offense
- #2 On Base Percentage
- #1 Check Back Later Today!
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- Five Reasons the Baltimore Orioles Missed the Playoffs: #3 September Offense
- Five Reasons the Baltimore Orioles Missed the Playoffs: #5 Record VS AL East
- Five Reasons the Baltimore Orioles Missed the Playoffs: #4 Blown Saves
- Adam Jones Joining MLB Network as Extra Analyst for Playoffs
- Breaking Down the Baltimore Orioles First Half: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
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