While the last decade has had its ups and down for the Baltimore Orioles, we’ve seen a number of playoff victories and, of course, quality players. Here is my top O’s lineup of players from 2010-2019:
Catcher: Matt Wieters
Wieters was drafted fifth overall in the 2007 draft and quickly made his way up the ranks to Camden Yards. Not only is he one of the best defensive catchers the Orioles have ever seen, but he could hit well at the plate too. Wieters made four All-Star appearances and won two Gold Glove Awards during his time with the O’s.
First Base: Chris Davis
The “ups and downs” part of the decade applies very well to Chris Davis, but he is still arguably the best Orioles first basemen of the decade. His 2013 All-Star season, in which he hit 53 home runs and 138 RBI, is still remembered well by O’s fans. Crush hit 47 home runs in 2015 with 117 RBI and 38 home runs with 84 RBI in 2016. Davis has been one of the better power hitters the Orioles have seen in years and makes the All-Decade team roster at first base.
Second Base: Jonathan Schoop
Jonathan Schoop was signed young out of Curacao and developed with the Orioles for a number of years before making his major league debut. He played with the O’s from 2013, until his trade to the Brewers in 2018. Schoop totaled 182 hits, 105 RBI and 32 home runs in his All-Star 2017 season. And not to mention, he has a cannon of an arm.
Shortstop: J.J. Hardy
J.J. Hardy came to the Orioles in 2011 and was a consistent hitter and fielder until his time with the O’s ended in 2017. Highlighted by an All-Star appearance in 2013, Hardy had four seasons with over 140 hits, three seasons with over 20 home runs, and four seasons with over 50 RBI. His stellar fielding won Hardy three Gold Gloves and cements his role as the All-Decade starter at short stop.
Third Base: Manny Machado
Selected third overall in the 2010 draft, Manny Machado quickly became the Orioles’ top third baseman following his debut in 2012. In seven seasons with the Orioles, Machado made four All-Star appearances, won two Gold Gloves, won a Platinum Glove, and finished top-10 in MVP voting three times. Machado tallied over 160 hits during five seasons and crushed over 30 home runs in four seasons. In addition, Machado’s stellar fielding and dominant plate presence put him in the conversation with the all-time great Orioles third basemen.
Outfield: Adam Jones
No question about it, Adam Jones was the staple of the Orioles over the past decade. Joining the Orioles in 2008, Jones locked down center field, until his departure in 2019. Jones could do it all in the outfield and was a consistent hitter throughout his career. Four straight All-Star appearances, four Gold Gloves, and an overall fan favorite makes Adam Jones the top outfielder and top player of the 2010s.
Outfield: Nick Markakis
Nick Markakis was drafted seventh overall by the Orioles in the 2003 draft and made his first major league appearance in 2006. Although he joined the Braves in 2015, Markakis was a dominant hitter and consistent fielder during the 2010s. He won Gold Gloves in 2011 and 2014 and was a quality bat at the plate.
Outfield: Trey Mancini
Trey Mancini has only been a starter with the O’s since 2017, but he quickly became a fan favorite and strong contributor at the plate in the outfield. Mancini hit 24 home runs in his first two seasons and 35 last year. He jumped his RBI numbers up to 97 this past season and is a career .276 hitter at the plate. Mancini plays all over the field defensively, but he has earned his spot as the third outfielder on the Orioles All-Decade team.
Designated Hitter: Nelson Cruz
This is a bit of a hot take since he only played with Baltimore for one season, but Nelson Cruz’s 2014 season with the O’s is one we won’t forget. Cruz slammed 40 home runs, 108 RBI, and scored 87 runs on his way to an All-Star appearance.
Starting Pitcher: Chris Tillman
Tillman first made it to the Orioles in 2009 and was a consistent starter for most of the decade that followed. Tillman recorded a 72-55 record in the 2010s and made an All-Star appearance in 2013. The Orioles have struggled to develop a true dominant ace in the last couple decades, but Tillman was everything you could ask for in a starter during his time with the O’s.
Relief Pitcher: Darren O’Day
The submarine-throwing Darren O’Day joined the Orioles in 2012 and stayed in Baltimore until 2018. He made an All-Star appearance in 2015 and was the most consistent reliever for the O’s during several playoff runs.
Closer: Zach Britton
Zach Britton began his Baltimore career as a starter in 2011 but was moved to the bullpen in 2014. This is when Britton became a dominant arm out of the pen and the O’s top closer. He earned two All-Star appearances and recorded over 35 saves in three straight seasons. In 2016, Britton recorded 47 saves in 47 save opportunities, a stat line that will never be forgotten by O’s fans.
What do you think of this team? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!