The Baltimore Orioles had a solid first half in 2013. They finished up with a 53-43 (55.2%) record, which has them in 3rd place in the A.L. East, 4.5 games behind the Red Sox and 2.5 games behind the Rays. The Orioles are currently 1.5 games behind the Rays and Rangers for a A.L. Wild Card Spot. Here are the guys that made the biggest impacts for the Orioles in the first half of the 2013 season, in my opinion:
TEAM MVP: Chris Davis - 27-year old lefty swinging 1B Chris Davis has been a force for the Orioles! He has played in 95 games for the Orioles so far this year and he is 108 of 343 (.315 avg, 1.109 OPS) with 70 runs scored, 37 homers, 93 RBIs. He also has 27 doubles (2nd in the A.L. behind Manny Machado), as he is hitting everything hard. Davis is leading the majors in homers (37) and the American League in runs scored (70) and RBIs (93). Davis’ batting average is likely going to come down in the second half as he has whiffed 110 times so far this year, but that is nitpicking as he is right there with Miguel Cabrera in the race for the A.L. MVP Award in 2013.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Tommy Hunter - 27-year old righty reliever Tommy Hunter is really excelling in his new role coming out of the pen. He has pitched in 38 games (0 starts) for the O’s so far this year and he is 3-2 with 2 saves, a 2.41 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP. Hunter has only given up 38 hits and 9 walks while whiffing 39 batters in his first 52 1/3 innings this year, which is impressive.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Jason Hammel - 30-year old righty starting pitcher Jason Hammel has really taken a huge step backwards so far in 2013 for the Orioles. He has pitched in 19 games (all starts) for the Orioles so far this year and he is 7-6 with a 5.24 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Hammel has given up 124 hits (19 homers) and he has walked 37 batters while whiffing 78 of them in his first 111 2/3 innings this year. He will need to pitch better in the second half if he wants to keep his spot in the Orioles’ starting rotation.