Qualifiers: players will be classified under one position even if they played at more than one. They must also have at least two seasons as the team's primary starter at the position.
Six-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glover Bobby Grich gave the Baltimore Orioles one of the best second basemen of the 1970s. From 1972 to 1976, Grich posted five straight seasons of more than 5.0 WAR (wins above replacement), topping out at 7.3 in 1973. He reached base at a .372 clip while averaging 14 home runs and 15 steals per year in Baltimore. Grich maintained a career OPS+ of 125 (league average is 100) over 2,008 games with the Orioles and California Angels.
Newly inducted Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar spent three All-Star seasons in Baltimore in the 1990s. Consistently one of the baseball's greatest second basemen on both sides of the game, Alomar pulled in ten Gold Gloves including two with the Orioles. He batted .300 over more than 10,000 plate appearances, totaling 2,724 hits in his career. As an Oriole, he maintained a .312 average, .382 on-base percentage and .480 slugging percentage while averaging 4.0 WAR per year. In Baltimore, he hit 50 out of his total 210 home runs.
Four-time All-Star second baseman Davey Johnson spent the first eight years of his playing career with the Orioles and later won Manager of the Year with the team. Manning second base for some of the most successful teams in Orioles history, Johnson was an above average hitter at a defense-first position, playing his part in two World Series Championships. He maintained a .330 OBP and 104 OPS+ from 1965 to 1972 and won three Gold Gloves with the Orioles. Later with the Atlanta Braves, Johnson tied the all-time single-season record for home runs by a second basemen with 42 in 1973.
Current second baseman Brian Roberts has spent his entire professional career in the Orioles organization since joining them in the 1999 draft. Roberts developed into an excellent doubles hitter and a reliable base-stealer, regularly ranking among the top offensive second basemen of the 2000s. He has twice led the American League in doubles and is one only four players in MLB history to post three 50 doubles seasons. The two-time All-Star boasts career marks of a .281 average, .353 OBP, 103 OPS+, 274 stolen bases and 2,033 total bases through 1,233 games.
Del Pratt was an outstanding offensive second baseman for the Orioles franchise in the 1910s. Over his first five seasons in the majors from 1912 to 1916, Pratt posted WAR totals between 3.1 and 4.4 per year with an overall .287 average and 123 OPS+. He led the AL in RBI with 103 in 1916 and he stole as many as 37 bases in a season.
Honorable mentions: Rich Dauer, Marty McManus, Jerry Priddy, Ski Melillo, Jerry Adair and Don Gutteridge.
Baltimore Orioles Team History & Encyclopedia, Baseball-Reference.com
Home run records in a single season, Baseball-Almanac.com
More from this contributor:
- Baltimore Orioles
- Roberto Alomar
- Bobby Grich
- the Orioles
- Davey Johnson