24-year old lefty swinging Nick Markakis had a breakout season in 2007. It will be interesting to see how he does this season as he won’t have as much help as he had last season with Miguel Tejada gone. Markakis played in 161 games for the Orioles last season and he was 191 for 637 (.300 avg, .847 OPS) with 97 runs scored, 23 homers, 112 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. Markakis only made 2 errors in 161 games in RF last season and he had 13 assists while showing average range. The sky is the limit for Markakis.
31-year old lefty swinging Jay Gibbons is still around but he likely won’t get much playing time. He will miss the first 15 games of the season due to a league suspension for using performance enhancing drugs. He played in 84 games for the Orioles last season and he was 62 for 270 (.230 avg, .620 OPS) with 28 runs scored, 6 homers and 28 RBIs. Gibbons’ best days are behind him because he can’t cheat any more.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: A