Baltimore Orioles Spring Training Stock Watch: Who Is Rising and Who Is Falling?

Mark Cover@MCooveContributor IIMarch 12, 2014

Baltimore Orioles' Ryan Flaherty (3) rounds second after hitting a two-run home run off Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher A.J. Burnett in the second inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game in Sarasota, Fla., Friday, March 7, 2014. The Orioles won 15-4. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

The Baltimore Orioles are already 12 games deep into Grapefruit League competition, and players who are either fighting for a starting spot or who are hoping just to break camp with the club are trying their best to impress manager Buck Showalter and his fellow coaches.

Showalter will have some tough decisions to make, as he has an abundance of players battling for spots who are more than capable of being starters or role players for the ballclub.

If you're an MLB manager, that's the best problem you can have entering a new season.

Here are some players whose stocks have risen or fallen up to this point in spring training.

Stock Up

David Lough, OF

David Lough has the best chance out of this group of position players to earn himself a starting job through his spring training performance so far.

In fact, he is making a strong case to be the club's leadoff hitter on Opening Day.

The lefty speedster is batting .300 with an OBP of .364 and has tallied two stolen bases through seven games played.  Perhaps Lough's most standout statistic of the spring is that two of his six hits so far have been triples.

Lough has been flashing the leather as well, laying out for a few diving catches, including one that robbed Philadelphia Phillies' catcher Cameron Rupp of a bloop single (video).

Ryan Flaherty, 2B

Ryan Flaherty (pictured) wants to make Showalter's job easy for him in naming a starting second baseman for the Orioles.

Not known as a particularly good contact hitter, "Flash" is putting all his critics to rest so far through eight games in Grapefruit League play.  The lefty second baseman is batting for a .304 average, while slugging for a very impressive .522.

Flaherty has been working the count recently as well, as he has three walks so far, good for fourth on the squad.

At this point, Flaherty is probably the front-runner for the second base starting job, but the next player on this list has not made it a cakewalk for him.

Jonathan Schoop, 2B

The organization's top hitting prospect from Curacao, Jonathan Schoop, has been all that was advertised and more.

So far, Schoop is hitting for an incredible .500 average, has hit a homer and has driven in five Oriole baserunners.  Taking the club's intrasquad games into account, Schoop has hit three dingers thus far.

Given the club's current situation with second base, they are in no rush to start Schoop's service clock, as they already have a competent, young second baseman in Ryan Flaherty and a veteran with upside in Jemile Weeks.

Had this been any other club with a glaring hole at second, Schoop would most likely be playing on Opening Day.

Instead, Schoop will most likely start the season at Triple-A Norfolk until an injury or underperformance may occur.

Stock Down

Henry Urrutia, OF/DH

Putting on an additional 20 pounds worth of muscle hasn't translated into meaningful production for Henry Urrutia.  Through five games played so far in spring training and 15 at-bats, Urrutia is homer-less and has only one extra-base hit for a double.

Urrutia clearly isn't seeing the ball right now, either, striking out three times, while only drawing one walk during his limited at-bats.

A midseason call-up in 2013, Urrutia hasn't done much to stand out with the little chance he's been given to prove he is a capable backup for outfield or designated hitter.

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 22:  Henry Urrutia #51 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a RBI single in the third inning during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on July 22, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Nolan Reimold, OF/DH

A victim of constant injuries throughout his tenure with the club, Nolan Reimold is attempting to shed the label of injury-prone, as he vies to prove to his critics that he can be a contributing member of the ballclub.

Yet, being healthy won't automatically ensure Reimold makes the major league club at the end of March.

Reimold needs to display the same power and extra-base-hit capability that he gave us a glimpse of at the beginning of the 2012 season.

Thus far, he has failed to do that.

In 14 spring training at-bats, Reimold has collected just three hits, none for extra bases and has struck out four times already.

Reimold certainly has the potential to succeed at the major league level, but he'll need to turn things around quickly if he wants to get back there in the near future.

Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

 All spring training statistics courtesy of


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