With the All Star game at hand, the Orioles sit in third place in the American League East with a very respectable 53-43 record. The O’s are just 4.5 games behind the league-leading Boston Red Sox and 1.5 games behind the Texas Rangers, who own the last Wild-Card spot.
Before we move on to the second half of the 2013 Major League Baseball season, let’s take a look at a first-half report card for the Orioles.
Chris Davis makes high honors with an A+. As if that was even a question. Davis leads the Majors in home runs with 37, a mark which ties Reggie Jackson’s American League record for most first-half home runs. (This year’s All Star game is a bit later than usual, however.) Still, Davis is on pace for 62 home runs, 157 runs batted in and 118 runs. His 37 home runs so far this year give him a season high, which was set last year when he hit 33. Davis leads the Orioles in all of the Triple Crown categories with a .315 average, 37 home runs, and 93 runs batted in. Davis also was selected to the All Star team and the Home Run Derby roster.
Manny Machado also earns an A+. Machado joined Davis on the All Star team, hitting .310 in the first half with seven home runs and 45 runs batted in. Machado’s 39 doubles lead everyone and could break the all-time mark. Machado also leads the Orioles in hits, with 128, while playing excellent defense at third base.
J.J. Hardy makes the honor roll with an A. Hardy will join the above in the All Star game after leading American League shortstops in home runs with 16. So far this year, Hardy is hitting .251 with 16 home runs and 52 runs batted in. Like Machado, Hardy helps solidify the left side of the infield with his stellar defense.
Matt Wieters gets honors with a B, mostly for his fielding. Offensively, Wieters has been mediocre so far, hitting only .232 with 12 home runs and 44 runs batted in, but his defense is what brings his grade to a B. Wieters has done a great job handling this Baltimore pitching staff, as per usual.
by Andy Mindzak