The Baltimore Orioles have been in the midst of a rebuild for three years now, and in that time they have worked on developing younger players from the very bottom on up, including growing the international market that added an $800 million state-of-the-art facility in the Dominican Republic.
Along the way, they have used one year deals on veteran players to hopefully turn into younger prospects; some have worked, some have not.
The waiver wire has also been a place to find some young investments to try and enter into our system to infuse more talent. One of the most recent and exciting additions the Orioles recently made was Jorge Mateo.
Yes, the player who has electrified the field and base paths in ways other teams never gave a chance to explore or witness. One of the biggest moves made by the Orioles was claiming him on waivers, while also weakening the team that employed him before, the Manny-Machado-led Padres.
Mateo has been, to say the least, electrifying for the Baltimore Orioles. His versatility is one thing that sets him apart, as he can play six positions. What’s even better about his versatility, is that he plays the positions above average. One of the things many people forget is that Mateo was a top-100 prospect for three years before his big league debut.
Mateo has been what all the previous hype was about since joining the Orioles. He has played in 25 games, registering 89 at-bats over that time frame. Most people would think a player who rounds the bases in less than 30 seconds would have a lot of pinch running appearances, but Mateo is getting the looks in the lineup as a regular.
In his 89 at-bats, he has shown himself valuable, batting .303 since arriving in the Charmed City. Getting regular playing time, Mateo has seven doubles, one triple and four home runs, showing he has the ability to put some power in his swing and find gaps.
At one point, Mateo reached base by collecting three straight infield hits, showing off the dynamic speed that ranks him as the third fastest guy in all of baseball. He has been able to turn singles into doubles by swiping five stolen bases or taking that gap single and stretching it even further. He can score from second on singles, which makes the defense and pitchers having to work even harder to prepare and protect against his speed.
Mateo is making coaches aware of his talent as well by, not only being a spark on offense, but playing a pretty strong defense, committing only one error between playing four positions since joining the Orioles. He is definitely making a case to be a part of the team in 2022 and is turning heads in the majors with is skill.
Mateo might have been a steal, no pun intended, but it seems the Orioles have been the ones reaping the rewards of this swiss army knife in the making. Speed, defense and offense, this is the making of a fun athlete to watch and grow over the next few years. Birdland will have the ability to watch his feathers form, as he grows into the athlete we want and need in this rebuild.
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