35-year old righty swinging Miguel Tejada is back with the Orioles after spending his last two seasons with the Astros. The catch is that he will be playing 3B instead of shortstop. Tejada made 22 errors in 158 games at shortstop last season for the Astros but he still had good range. It will be interesting to see how he handles playing 3B where the ball gets to you quicker but I have a feeling that he will be at least an average defender at 3B for the Orioles in 2010. Tejada was brought back to the Orioles for his bat. He played in 158 games for the Astros last season and he was 199 for 635 (.313 avg, .795 OPS) with 83 runs scored, 14 homers, 86 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. The Orioles are hoping that a return to Baltimore will bring his power back. From 2004-2007 with the Orioles, Tejada averaged 91.8 runs scored, 25.5 homers and 107.3 RBIs per season.
32-year old righty swinging Ty Wigginton will be Tejada’s top backup at 3B unless he gets traded. He played in 122 games for the Orioles last season and he was 112 for 410 (.273 avg, .714 OPS) with 44 runs scored, 11 homers and 41 RBIs. Wigginton played in 39 games at 3B for the Orioles last season and he made 4 errors while showing poor range. Wigginton is still a decent all around player who will be a asset to either the Orioles or whoever they trade him to.
25-year old righty swinging Justin Turner is likely next in line at 3B for the Orioles. He played in 12 games for the Orioles last season and he was 3 for 18 (.167 avg, .485 OPS) with 2 runs scored and 3 RBIs. Turner also played in 108 games in AAA-ball last season in which he was 116 for 387 (.300 avg, .750 OPS) with 54 runs scored, 2 homers, 43 RBIs and 9 stolen bases. Turner played in 7 games at 3B for the Orioles last season without making any errors and showing average range.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 3B IN 2010: A-