"I've never considered myself a power hitter," Wieters said despite having hit 32 homers in 578 minor league at-bats. "Every time I've tried to hit home runs, bad things happen. Power is something that I was able to have some success with in the minor leagues, but I was just hitting the ball hard and it was carrying out. Right now, I just want to learn to be a good hitter first — get on-base, hit for a good average, and then the power numbers will come. I'm not disappointed. You can hit .350 in the minor leagues, but it's a little different when you are here for the first time."
Reimold, 26, was one of the team's best hitters last year, batting .279 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs before he had season-ending Achilles surgery. He was hitting just .205 with two homers and 10 RBIs when the Orioles jettisoned him to Norfolk on May 12, hoping he would regain both his confidence and his swing. The results haven't been immediate as Reimold entered Monday's game hitting .130 with two homers and four RBIs in 13 games for the Tides.
However, several scouts said Reimold should get a little bit of a free pass as he still recovering from foot surgery. They say they feel he'll be a much better player next year after another offseason to rest.
The Orioles can only hope. MacPhail's plan to bring the organization back to prominence hinges on the young hitters showing far more development than they have this season.
"As you fill in the pieces going down the road, these guys will get better," Crowley said. "They're all going to look back on this year and think about how tough runs were to come by. They probably don't feel it right now, but in five years or so, they'll say, 'Man, that year was a struggle.' "
Baltimore Sun reporter Dan Connolly contributed to this article.
What a difference a year makes
The Orioles were counting on steady progression from several of their younger hitters who are considered core pieces for the organization going forward. However, that hasn't happened this year, one of the biggest reasons for the Orioles' dreadful start. Here's a look at several of those hitters and where they were last year through the same number of games with the big league club.
A. Jones (50 games); N. Markakis (50 games); *N. Reimold (29 games); M. Wieters (47 games)
;2009; 2010; 2009; 2010; 2009; 2010; 2009; 2010
Avg.; .343; .251; .299; .307; .281; .205; .275; .250
HRs; 11; 5; 7; 3; 7; 2; 3; 4
RBIs; 36; 15; 40; 17; 16; 10; 15; 16
On-Base; .395; .274; .362; .405; .361; .302; .324; .323
Slugging; .597; .382; .493; .434; .531; .337; .389; .351
*—Currently at Triple-A
A look at where the Orioles rank in several key offensive categories out of the 14 teams in the American League. Statistics are through Sunday.
Runs: 175 (14th)
Batting Avg.: .249 (10th)
Hits: 431 (11th)
Total bases: 642 (11th)
HRs: 44 (8th)
On-base pct.: .312 (13th)
Slugging pct.: .371 (11th)
Walks: 143 (14th)
Steals: 18 (13th)
Double plays: 56 (second most)
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