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Sunday, February 26, 2006

 

Orioles sign Richard Hidalgo to minor league contract

Today the Orioles signed Richard Hidalgo to a minor league contract. I think this is another great low risk/high reward move. In the last 2 years(they are considered down years) he has averaged 19.5 hrs. Not too shabby. He can compete with Conine and Millar for a starting spot and if he doesn't pan out we can send him back down to the minors.

Here's a little analysis on him.

Offense-Not a very patient hitter but he can hit for an average(has hit over .300 4 times). Although his OBP has never been over .400, it has been over .380 tiwce and his slugging % has never been below .410. The dude can definitely hit. He has hit 15+ HRs every year he has gotten more than 200 ABs excluding one, and hit 44 in 2000. He isn't the fastest guy in the world, but he can steal a base here and there. Cutting down on his strike out will be vital, in all of the years that he was a regular starter he had over 100 Ks.

Defense-He is solid fielding-wise, and he has one of the strongest arms in the league. He is definitiely an upgrade over Conine/Millar/Matos.

What this move means-There will be a heck of a lot competition in ST. Whoever loses the battle in CF(Patterson or Matos, and IMO Patterson will win that one)will shift into LF competition will Hidalgo, Conine, and Millar(and possibly also Nick Markakis). This could also be the end of the line for Matos in an Orioles uniform.

One more note...Melvin Mora pulled out of the WBC. Hopefully some pitchers will follow suit so they can work with Mazzone.

Go O's.

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