The Baltimore Orioles are 5-3 and are in second place in the American League East. Are things weird enough for you yet?
To say those two statements about the Orioles are somewhat shocking is an understatement, but the Orioles have held their own throughout the first week of the season.
The reason for the O’s early triumphs is their scrappy, red hot offense, led by the bats of Hanser Alberto, Renato Núñez and others.
First, let’s talk about the man who could certainly hit .400 on the year, Orioles diamond in the rough, Hanser Alberto.
Let’s be honest, did we seriously think that Hanser Alberto would make this much of an impact? When the Orioles claimed Alberto off waivers last year, they never imagined he would be so productive.
Last year, Alberto would bat .305/.329/.422, hitting 12 home runs and tallying 51 RBI in 550 plate appearances. Those are impressive numbers for a man claimed off waivers.
And let’s not forget, Alberto absolutely demolished left-handed pitching, hitting a staggering .398 against them last year.
Alberto started the 2020 season exactly how he concluded 2019, red hot.
So far this season, Alberto is hitting .429/.459/.686. He’s 15-for-37 with two home runs and five RBI. That’s pretty good, folks.
If Alberto keeps this success up for 52 more games, he could be the first MLB player to hit .400 in a season since the legendary Ted Williams did it back in 1941.
But Alberto is just one man in a lineup of rising sluggers.
According to espn.com, the Orioles offense as a whole is ranked 9th in batting average, 13th in on-base percentage and 5th in slugging.
The O’s are also tied for 7th in home runs with 13, 17th in RBI with 39 and 14th in total hits with 69.
Right now, Rio Ruiz leads the team in home runs with three and is tied with Anthony Santander in RBI, both having seven.
The acquisition of shortstop Josè Iglesias could be the steal of the offseason, even though he’s been injured for half of the season.
Iglesias is 10-for-19 on the season, with five doubles and four RBI. And we all know about his defensive skills at short.
Other bats like Pedro Severino and some clutch hits from utility man Pat Valaika are bringing Orioles magic back to Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
If the offense stays consistent for the remainder of the year, along with the bullpen remaining solid and the rotation giving the team chances to win, the Orioles could be the surprise of the 2020 MLB season.
All we can do is play on and see where this magical season takes us. But, of course, that leads us all to the very relevant question; Why Not?