Baltimore Orioles: What to Expect from Nolan Reimold in 2013

Alex SnyderContributor IIDecember 30, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 28:  Nolan Reimold #14 of the Baltimore Orioles catches a fly ball by Cliff Pennington #2 of the Oakland Athletics during in the second inning of a baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 28, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

As the Baltimore Orioles shop for a middle-of-the-order bat and other pieces to improve their team, they're also hoping that full-season contributions from players such as Nate McLouth, Manny Machado and Chris Tillman improve the club going forward.

Another such player is left fielder Nolan Reimold, a team and fan favorite who has tons of pop but can't seem to stay healthy.

Reimold appeared in 16 games for the Orioles in 2012 before suffering a season-ending surgery, and during that time, he hit .313 for the team with five bombs, 10 RBI and a solid .333 OBP.

Those five homers for Reimold, over the course of 67 at-bats, put him on pace for a season with about 45 home runs if he had received 600 at-bats.

Is that a realistic expectation for a player with a career-high 15 home runs in a season, coming in his rookie season in 2009? No, probably not. Nor would his .313 batting average likely have remained that high, as his career average is nowhere near that mark, but still a respectable .261.

However, Reimold's 162-game averages for homers and RBI sit at 24 and 75, respectively, showing that as long as he can stay healthy, he can likely be productive. And his career OBP of .338 makes it all the better.

Still, I feel as though Reimold can outperform his projections in 2013 should he be able to stay healthy. Reimold has plenty of natural pop in his bat and a fantastic batting eye, and has never been given a full season's worth of at-bats, either due to health, being called up late or, in 2010's case, not performing well due to continued recovery from injury.

Reimold was fully healthy at the start of the 2012 season, and it showed with his hot start. His injury was unfortunate for both him and the team, as he was one of a couple of players who was carrying the team offensively at the time.

A breakout season for Reimold in 2013, much like the one Orioles' first baseman/designated hitter Chris Davis had in 2012, would not shock me at all. Reimold is a player who has 30-homer power in his swing, and with 30 home runs could easily come 80-90 RBI, giving the team a very nice right-handed power bat to help balance the order and replace Mark Reynolds' pop.

My final predictions for Reimold in 2013, should he remain healthy and be able to accumulate 500-600 at-bats rotating between left field and DH, are as follows: .270 batting average, 30 home runs, 84 RBI and a .330 OBP.

What are your thoughts, fellow Orioles fans? Leave me comments and let's discuss it!