2013 Projections: Nolan Reimold
In December 2011, I wrote the following:
“Reimold is a personal favorite. He plays the game correctly. He runs out every ball, I love his combination of power and plate discipline. He has good athleticism. He’s had 741 Major League at-bats, and has had 33 doubles, 31 homers, 87 bb’s, 160 k’s, with a .779 OPS in that time frame. His career splits against LHP and RHP are similar.
We know that as promising as his ’09 season was, his ’10 season was a wash. I’ve written previously that even though he doesn’t have good instincts in LF, that the defensive metrics showing him to be an absolute butcher were not telling the full-story. He was playing with a torn Achilles in ’09, and unable to cut after the surgery in ’10. In ’11, his UZR/150 was positive. Showalter was quoted towards the end of the season as saying he thought Reimold was playing as well defensively as Pie in LF.
Still, no matter how much I like the positives about Reimold’s game – the opposing argument is still there. Reimold turned 28 in October, and as mentioned above, has had just those 741 Major League ab’s. What the O’s have remains a bit of mystery. If the O’s want to definitively improve in ’12, they need to limit how many mysteries they enter the season with.
I’m comfortable with him getting a chance to play everyday. In fact I am excited to see what he can do over an entire season. Are you?”
With the 2013 season preparing to begin, not a lot has changed. Reimold’s 2012 season was limited to 67 ab’s (where he was crushing everything in sight), due to a herniated disk in his neck which eventually required surgery. This Spring, Reimold has been healthy enough to accumulate 49 ab’s, and with Betemit’s injury; goes into Opening Day as the likely everyday DH.
In 2010, Reimold played in 133 combined (AAA/MLB) games and had a total of 453 ab’s. In 2011, Reimold played in 126 combined games, and had a total of 406 ab’s.
Optimally, he would stay in the lineup at-least at those levels here in ’13. If he only DH’s, and stays out of the field, that could help.
Ultimately he’s a year older, and still an enigma. If he stays in the lineup, does anyone doubt he will produce? Since he is now 29, and has yet to put together a full year in the Majors, is anyone comfortable with the idea of relying on him? I’m a bit concerned with entering ’13, and the O’s having to count on his production. I’m still excited to see what he could do over an entire season.
Does anyone else on the O’s have his ceiling and floor? If he can’t stay in the lineup (and if Betemit can not return for the 2nd half) the O’s could potentially have a black hole situation at DH. If he put together a 600+ ab season, he might be the most feared hitter in the Orioles lineup.