Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Monday, December 6, 2010

David Hernandez, 2009 Topps Chrome #198

It took a few weeks, but the Orioles have made their first significant move of the offseason. Today they traded David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio to the Diamondbacks for third baseman Mark Reynolds and a player to be named later. I'm cautiously optimistic about this move. I feel like the O's didn't give up too much. Hernandez is a promising young pitcher and seemed to come into his own once he was switched to the bullpen (7-3, 3.16 ERA, 45 K in 37 IP), and Mickolio took a major step back in 2010 - he'll be 27 in May, and can't be considered a prospect any more. I'm just relieved that they didn't give up Chris Tillman as previously rumored.

As far as Mark Reynolds, the deficiencies in his game jump right out at you. In 2008, he was the first player to strike out 200 times in a season, and he blew his own record out of the water with 223 the following year. Last year he had 211 whiffs and his batting average plunged from .260 to .198. But strikeouts aren't as stigmatized as they once were; they're not any worse than any other type of out, and they're better than double plays (I'm looking at you, Miguel Tejada). And even with all of the strikeouts and the low batting averages (.242 for his career), he still has a lot of value as a hitter. Unlike the aforementioned Tejada and the rookie Josh Bell, Reynolds is not afraid to take a walk. Last year he walked a career-high 83 times, nearly four times as often as Baltimore's cast of third basemen combined. Then, of course, there's the power. Whether or not the University of Virginia product ever matches the 44 home runs he hit in 2009, there's no question that he is a legitimate power hitter. In a down year last year, he still clouted 32 homers, one every 15.6 at bats. The O's have only had three 30-homer seasons in the last decade: Aubrey Huff in 2008, Miguel Tejada in 2004, and Tony Batista in 2002. Besides, Reynolds is still relatively young (27) and affordable. He's under contract for two more years, with a team option for a third. I guess what I'm saying is that he is not another Garrett Atkins.

Welcome to Baltimore, Mark. I look forward to watching you swing for the fences at Camden Yards.


Rounding Thirty 3rd said...


I agree that K's are a little over emphasized, especially for a power hitter. I am surprised I haven't read that comment more often. Sure there are such a thing as a productive out, but you want those out of your 2-3 hitters. The goal of your 4-5 hitters isn't to set up the bottom of the lineup for RBIs.

FreeTheBirds said...

Even if Reynolds replicates his 2010 line, it still isn't a bad deal. 32 HR and 85 RBI is better than any Oriole did last year, and for just a couple of relievers. The guy is a potential 40 HR hitter, they certainly could do worse. I think David Hernandez will thrive in the NL.

Kevin said...

So I see this corner of the world approves of the trade...good to know!