Throughout the season, because the Orioles have racked up spectacular win after spectacular win, their gamers have remarked at what they view as the principle cause for his or her success.
“Every game, it’s a different person,” catcher James McCann mentioned. “It’s a different hitter, a different pitcher, a different guy stepping up every night. We have a group of guys that truly believe in each other.”
That balanced method has led them to a 95-59 document, the very best within the American League. It may also make voting for Most Valuable Oriole tougher than lately.
When native media votes later this month for MVO, there are many candidates who’ve circumstances to land on the highest three of ballots. Compare that with the rebuild years, when both one participant was an apparent alternative (Cedric Mullins in 2021) or there have been no standout choices (pandemic-shortened 2020 season).
Ahead of subsequent week’s voting, listed below are 10 gamers who may obtain MVO consideration and the circumstances for them.
Gunnar Henderson: The 22-year-old rookie doesn’t simply deserve consideration; he doubtless deserves to win the award. Henderson entered the season as the favourite to win the AL Rookie of the Year Award, and regardless of a sluggish begin, he’s now a shoo-in to change into the primary Oriole to take action since Gregg Olson in 1989. He ranks second on the membership in OPS (.827) and RBIs (81) and is tied for the group lead in house runs (27) whereas additionally taking part in plus protection at each shortstop and third base after a tough begin with the glove. His 5.9 wins above substitute on Baseball-Reference ranks ninth within the sport, behind solely these stars: Shohei Ohtani, Mookie Betts, Ronald Acuña Jr., Marcus Semien, Matt Olson, Corey Seager, Gerrit Cole and Freddie Freeman.
Adley Rutschman: Can Rutschman change into the primary participant to win MVO in back-to-back seasons since Adam Jones in 2011-12? He’s the largest face on the very best group within the AL. While different hitters have gone by prolonged slumps, he’s been a steadying pressure all through the season, each on the plate and behind it. His .367 on-base proportion is by far the very best on the group, and he ranks second on the membership in WAR, in accordance with FanGraphs. The phrase “valuable” within the MVO award may assist Rutschman, whose worth goes past the statsheet as one of many few above-average hitting catchers and because the backstop of an improved pitching workers.
Anthony Santander: While his defensive contributions don’t match these of Henderson, Rutschman or many of the different place gamers up for MVO, Santander is having a profession 12 months on the plate. There’s even an argument to be made that Santander is the membership’s greatest all-around hitter. A 12 months after main the group with 33 house runs, he’s improved his slash line throughout the board with the next batting common, on-base proportion and slugging. He leads the group in RBIs (89) and doubles (40) and he’s tied with Henderson for essentially the most house runs with 27.
Austin Hays: Hays was certainly one of 4 Orioles to make the All-Star Game, and he’s their most certified candidate (and maybe their just one) to be a Gold Glove finalist at his place. After a shaky April defensively, Hays has been among the best left fielders within the sport, making a number of highlight-reel performs in Camden Yards’ abnormally massive left subject. Oh, and he was additionally the group’s greatest hitter within the first half. Then, after a poor July, he regained that type, as his .278 batting common leads all Orioles regulars.
Cedric Mullins: For Mullins to obtain MVO consideration, will probably be due to the vibes. His total numbers, largely as a consequence of lacking about seven weeks throughout two stints on the injured record with a groin pressure, aren’t pretty much as good as the opposite hitters up for the award. But maybe no Oriole has been the principle cause they’ve received a sport extra usually than Mullins has. The heart fielder has been maybe essentially the most clutch participant on the Orioles, main the membership with a whopping 1.060 OPS with runners in scoring place coming into Friday’s sport. His capacity to ship in these conditions is why he has 73 RBIs — solely 16 fewer than Santander for the group lead — regardless of beginning simply 96 video games. The speedster has additionally made a number of net gems in heart subject, together with performs reminiscent of his house run theft in Seattle final month that led the Orioles to a victory.
Ryan O’Hearn: The first baseman deserves AL Comeback Player of the Year consideration, however he may also obtain some for MVO. It’s not tough to clarify why. He’s the very best statistical hitter on the very best group within the AL. After years as a part-time participant for the Kansas City Royals, O’Hearn has emerged this season with a .310 batting common and .855 OPS that lead the group. When he’s not beginning towards left-handed pitchers, he’s additionally the membership’s greatest pinch hitter and among the best within the sport in that function. He’s not a plus defender and he has about 200-300 fewer plate appearances than the opposite hitters deserving of MVO consideration, however contemplating the expectations for O’Hearn coming into the season and the way far he’s outshot them, few Orioles have been extra useful this 12 months.
Kyle Bradish: Behind Henderson, maybe no different Oriole deserves extra MVO consideration than Bradish. While Tyler Wells was the group’s greatest starter within the first half, Bradish has emerged as its ace within the second half. His 3.01 ERA ranks third amongst certified AL starters, and he ought to be an AL Cy Young Award candidate. Over his previous 20 outings, the second-year right-hander has a 2.60 ERA with 14 high quality begins.
Kyle Gibson: Like Rutschman, Gibson’s case depends on greater than the statsheet, and like Mullins, it’s additionally vibes-based. Gibson isn’t the chief of the rotation the way in which Bradish is, however he’s the chief of it within the clubhouse. The 35-year-old entered the 2023 season with extra innings pitched than the remainder of the rotation mixed, and below his stewardship, the group has grown and improved all year long. Gibson’s 5.00 ERA is much from the bounce again Baltimore hoped when it signed him for $10 million this offseason, however the underlying metrics counsel there’s been some unhealthy luck concerned, which is why his WAR on FanGraphs is second among the many group’s starters and sixth total. He’s additionally the group chief in innings (180) and wins (14).
Yennier Cano: Manager Brandon Hyde has usually remarked this season that one of many most important variations between the 2023 Orioles and the rebuild-era Orioles is the power to get hitters out late in video games. Cano’s addition to Baltimore’s bullpen hasn’t solely been massively useful, it’s additionally been the largest shock of the season. In early April, Cano was seen as an erratic venture in Triple-A, however he broke out to earn a visit to the All-Star Game and is among the greatest relievers within the sport with a 2.19 ERA in 70 innings.
Félix Bautista: The knock towards Bautista is he’s going to overlook the ultimate 5 weeks of the season. But that may really increase his case. His worth has been much more apparent since he’s been away. Before his harm, the Orioles’ bullpen was ranked sixth within the majors with a 3.55 ERA. In the month since, the unit has fallen to twelfth with a 4.04 ERA coming into Friday. Before he partially tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, Bautista was the game’s greatest reliever, and he’ll doubtless finish the season with the best FanGraphs WAR amongst aid pitchers regardless of his time missed.