Results tagged ‘ Nolan Reimold ’
Is he a useful major-league player?
When Reimold first came up through Norfolk, he looked like he’d be a multi-dimensional offensive star, potentially a .300 hitter with power. He seemed to take a long time to recover from a late-2009 injury. In 2011, he seems to established himself as a low-average slugger.
On the surface, Reimold’s major-league statistics make it look as though Reimold has degenerated from 2009 (.279/.365/.466 in 411 plate appearances) to 2011 (.247/.328/.453 in 305 plate appearances). But that doesn’t take into account the league context — Reimold’s 2009 is a 116 OPS+ and his 2011 is a 113 OPS+. The difference is that much more of Reimold’s productivity came from home runs in 2011 than in 2009. IN 106 more plate appearances, Reimold had only 2 fewer home runs; but eight fewer doubles, 19 fewer walks, and 34 fewer base hits. That indicates a less well-rounded set of skills. And that is reflected in his 2011 Norfolk numbers compared to 2009 — .394/.485/.743 with 9 home runs in 130 plate appearances in 2009; .237/.329/.410 with 6 home runs in 161 plate appearances in 2011.
If I were running the Orioles, my first plan would probably be to play Matt Angle in center field in 2012, moving Adam Jones to left. I think Angle gives the Orioles an outstanding defensive center fielder, and another look on offense as a singles-hitter with speed. But if that didn’t work, I’d have no problem playing Reimold. He’s a Plan B type player, good enough to fill a hole but not really good enough to have a solid hold on his position. The problem with Reimold on the Orioles is that he gives them another right-handed hitting home run hitter, along with Mark Reynolds, J.J. Hardy, and Adam Jones.
What happened to him?
Nolan Reimold had a terrific 2009. He blistered International League pitching for just over a month and continued to play well when he was recalled to Baltimore. He was a fringe Rookie of the Year candidate until he got hurt and missed the month of September (.279/.365/.466 in 104 games). The injury was still affecting him in spring training 2010; he wasn’t able to get in top condition, played miserably, and was sent to Norfolk. At first, he was favoring his injury, then he started pressing. He was flailing at pitches out of the strike zone, hitting weak grounders and popups. Then, right around the All-Star break, he either got his timing back or relaxed. He took many more walks and hit the ball with more authority. He final Norfolk numbers (.249/.364/.374) aren’t good, but considering where we was, they’re not bad. When he was recalled in September, he played sparingly and unimpressively.
Ultimately, I think his off-year can be attributed to his 2009 injury.
Will he come back?
I think he can get back to where he was, if not necessarily to where Orioles fans thought he might be going. Remember that Reimold played 2010 at age 26; his 27th birthday is October 12. 2007 (his age 23 year) was another year wasted by injury. While I do think his 2009 season is legit, he probably doesn’t have much more room to grow. And while there are plenty of young players who missed a year with injury with little effect (Moises Alou, Chipper Jones, Larry Walker, to name three) once a player has that second serious injury, he becomes a question mark. I think as long as you accept that Reimold’s not going to be a star, he’s worth keeping around — he’ll plug the hole and/or be a useful bench part.