BASEBALL 1991/Orioles Profiles

April 04, 1991

66 Paul Kilgus P

* HENNEMAN'S VIEW: Used primarily as a starter in the past, he would have to make team as a long reliever or late-inning left-handed setup man. Does not throw hard, but has a good curve that makes his fastball deceptive. He's had his moments with three major-league teams, but like many others hasn't been able to establish a consistent pattern.

24 Dwight Evans OF/DH

* HENNEMAN'S VIEW: The biggest question is whether his back and legs can withstand the grind of returning to the outfield. He could be the pivotal man in the Orioles' lineup, where he'll hit fifth most of the time. Drove in 24 of 48 runners in scoring position last year, the best ratio in baseball. If he's able to play 70 games in the outfield, it would be a bonus.

Mike Flanagan P

* HENNEMAN'S VIEW: The most intriguing candidate for the pitching staff, he's attempting a comeback after being released last May by Toronto. Had a very good spring and could be used in a variety of roles. He could be as high as the No. 2 starter, a long reliever or a late-inning specialist depending on makeup of the roster. A master craftsman at his trade, he could be invaluable as an example for young pitchers.

28 Ernie Whitt C

* HENNEMAN'S VIEW: One of the spring's best comeback stories, he affords the Orioles the luxury of a veteran third catcher. He will play a limited role, coming off the bench as a left-handed pinch-hitter and filling in against certain right-handed pitchers. His strong suit defensively is a good knowledge of the league and an ability to handle young pitchers.

14 Roy Smith P

* HENNEMAN'S VIEW: He's another starter who has to make his mark with the Orioles as a long reliever, at least for now. He is not a hard thrower and has to rely on an assortment of pitches and pinpoint control. He made his biggest impression on the Orioles by beating them four times in as many decisions over the last two years with Minnesota.

39 Randy Milligan IF/OF

* HENNEMAN'S VIEW: Came into his own with 20 home runs in only 362 at-bats last year. A late bloomer, he has developed into one of the most dependable hitters in the lineup. Very patient and draws a lot of walks. His on-base percentage could make him very effective hitting in unfamiliar second spot in lineup. Has to make sure the move to left field doesn't affect his hitting.

3 Bill Ripken 2B

* HENNEMAN'S VIEW: The "other half" of the brother double-play combination is coming off his best year. One of the top defensive second basemen in the game, he has no peer at turning the double play. But it was his bat that kept him in the lineup last year. An excellent bunter who's good at moving runners into scoring position, he can be effective by hitting in the .260 range.

8 Cal Ripken SS

* HENNEMAN'S VIEW: The two best bets for 1991: His durability and defense will not improve. The Streak is at 1,411 and counting. He could multiply his errors (three) and still be outstanding. Should improve his .250 average by hitting in the middle of improved lineup. His other offensive numbers are consistent -- 21 to 28 home runs and 81 to 110 RBI in each of his nine years.

29 Jeff Ballard P

* HENNEMAN'S VIEW: He could be the key to the starting rotation. Two elbow operations and the shortened spring training took their toll a year ago. Not overpowering, he relies on finesse and control; the sinker is the best of his assorted pitches. Appears to have regained arm strength and confidence after dropping from 18 wins in 1989 to two last year. Needs a good start to dispel notions that 1989 was a fluke.

23 Chris Hoiles C

* HENNEMAN'S VIEW: The big question is whether he can bring the combination of average and power with him to the big leagues. He has developed steadily in the minor leagues and is projected, at this point, as a .250 to .260 hitter with the potential for 15 to 20 home runs a year. Defensively he doesn't have outstanding skills, but pitchers say he has a good feel for the game.

36 Tim Hulett IF

* HENNEMAN'S VIEW: He has a lot of versatility and has decent power for an infielder. A key contributor down the stretch in 1989, but a hand injury in spring training restricted him to only 53 games a year ago. Can play second base, shortstop or third base and is a solid righthanded hitter coming off the bench.

18 Bob Milacki P

* HENNEMAN'S VIEW: His control problems were the first indication that he had arm trouble last year. Like Jeff Ballard, he was hurt by shortened spring training in 1990. Is throwing with as much velocity as two years ago, but has struggled with control while making adjustments in his delivery. Has to challenge hitters more to return to form of 1989, when he won 14 games and was the staff workhorse.

27 Dave Johnson P

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