1. Brian Roberts 2B
2. Adam Jones CF
3. Nick Markakis RF
4. Miguel Tejada 3B
5. Matt Wieters C
6. Luke Scott DH
7. Nolan Reimold LF
8. Garrett Atkins 1B
9. Cesar Izturis SS
Starting Rotation: Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie, Brad Bergesen, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman
Closer: Mike Gonzalez
What I Like:
- A LOT: Aside from the Dodgers obviously, this is the team that I'm most excited to watch this season. They have an embarrassment of riches in terms of very young very high upside talent.
- BRob and Adam Jones are a very nice 1-2 at the top of the lineup, and could both score 100 runs with ease. Jones was on his way to having an Evan Longoria type breakout year, until 2nd half injuries derailed those chances.
- Behind them are Nick Markakis who needs to rebound from a subpar '09 season, veteran Miguel Tejada, and two breakout stars in the making in Matt Wieters, and one of a guy I love for fantasy baseball purposes Nolan Reimold who will give you decent production in all 5 categories.
- I like Kevin Millwood who is a reliable front-line starter, but the back 3 guys are going to be the key to this team. Bergesen had a very respectable '09 season, but Matusz and Tillman both have the talent to be aces one day. It probably won't be this year, but it will be fun to watch them develop, and Orioles fans should be excited as good times are coming, and coming soon.
What I dislike:
- For starters, the obvious, they play in the AL East, which means 18 games against the Rays and the 50 best players that money can buy. Matusz and Tillman will face a sharp learning curve facing 3 amazingly loaded lineups
- The bullpen is still a mess. Mike Gonzalez is a jam waiting to happen, and there are no reliable arms in middle relief. You can expect the organization not to put too heavy a burden on their young starters, meaning this team is going to blow a lot of games late.
- The offense must be more consistent than last year. They had super hot streaks, then just died for 2 week periods at a time.
- Most importantly, this is still a very young team, and while their upside is immensely high, this team is still 2-3 years away from being a contender. Roberts is probably the only player who is in the prime of his career, and this team will suffer a couple long losing streaks that will do them in. Still, I really love this team, and if they can endure the tough times, keep battling, and their young guys even come close to reaching their potential, .500 is not out of the question
Projection: 4th in the AL East 75-87