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3 Orioles I'm Crushing On This Valentine's Day

Scott & Jeremy
February 14, 2019 - 8:06 pm

By Alex Woodward

It's Valentine's Day and instead of going out to eat or spending money on chocolate, flowers or other things couples spend money on, I'm focusing on the Orioles roster. 

There are a lot of unknowns heading into the 2019 season for the Orioles but what I DO KNOW is that without Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Zack Britton or Adam Jones; I am going to need to find a new favorite Oriole to root for in the coming seasons. So let's get into my Valentine's list of the three Oriole players I'm "crushing on" this February. 

1. Trey Mancini

Mancini is heading into just his 3rd season in the major leagues but he is already taking on a bit of a leadership role. He has reportedly taken Adam Jones' locker down in Sarasota and those certainly aren't small shoes to fill. Mancini is like that girl at a party that runs around with the popular crowd. She's attractive but you pay more attention to her friends because they are the flashier types and they have bigger reputations. Well now the flashy players are gone (Machado, Schoop, Jones) and we can now fully take in the beauty of Trey Mancini. He won me over before he even made the team 2 years back when he said he would dance to "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" on the Orioles dugout if he made the Opening Day roster. He's a great, young player with a good head on his shoulders. The game hasn't looked to big for him and it showed when he finished 3rd in the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year voting.  He had a down year last year but what Oriole didn't? He hits for power, he hits to all sides of the field, he shows patience and he always gives 100%. That checks every box the Orioles are looking for heading into the rebuild and I think he will easily become a fan favorite over the next few season...if he hasn't already. 

2. Richard Bleier

Bleier has been nothing but impressive in his first two seasons with the Orioles. Through two years he has an ERA below 2 (1.97), he has less hits than innings pitched and he has shown an ability to come into high leverage situations to work Baltimore out of a jam. He's like the girl that you don't pay much attention to but she low-key does EVERYTHING she can to take care of you and get your attention. Bleier doesn't get as much love as he deserves, partially because his season was cut short last year due to a season ending lat injury. Before the injury, Bleier was one of the best releivers in the bullpen statistically. He allowed just 7 earned runs in 32 innings with no homeruns allowed and just 4 walks. Bleier doesn't have outstanding "stuff" but he can throw strikes with any of his pitches and has the mental fortitude to pitch in high pressure situations. Also, the guy just seems like a fun guy to be around. I mean, he's so willing to help the team he's even helping the Orioles as a fill-in cameraman. 

3. Cedric Mullins

Mullins had an impressive start to his major league career. The former Orioles minor league player of the year had one hell of a debut. He became the first player in franchise history to notch 3 hits in their major league debut with an RBI double in his first at bat. He finished the night with 2 doubles and 2 RBI's. Mullins will try and fill the shoes of the great Adam Jones in center field and it appears he may have the tools to be a mainstay in the outfield just like Jones. Adam thought so highly of Cedric he even opted to let Mullins lead the team out on the field in his debut which is something I don't think Adam would have done if he didn't think Cedric had a bright future with the team. 

Mullins showed the ability to serve as the leadoff man but he still needs to work on his plate discipline to stay there. He's one of the few players on the roster that has some speed, he has some pop in the bat with 4 dingers in 45 games and he always plays with a smile on his face. Mullins fits the mold of the type of players the Orioles are trying to build around. Having Mullins in center field is like getting a new girlfriend. Try as you might, you will always compare this new girlfriend to your old girlfriend of 10 years but you can't let the past cloud your judgement of the present. I'm not sure anyone can live up to the way Baltimore fans adored Adam Jones but Cedric Mullins should be a player you are happy to see in the orange and black. 

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