2010 Projections: Why Orioles Outfielder Nolan Reimold Will Hit 25 Home Runs

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2010 Projections: Why Orioles Outfielder Nolan Reimold Will Hit 25 Home Runs
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

If you are unfamiliar with Baltimore Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold , listen up.

In 2009, Baseball America ranked Reimold as Baltimore’s fifth best prospect, saying the Bowling Green State alum possesses “the raw power to compare with just about anyone in the minors, rating a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale.” They also acknowledged his potential to “be an average overall hitter if he continues to make adjustments.”

Reimold has proven these observations to be true, as he’s compiled 79 HRs and a .286 batting average during his minor league career, including 25 dingers at Double-A in 2008, and nine more at Triple-A in just 109 at-bats last season.

After a mid-May promotion in 2009, the 2005 second-round pick displayed a well-rounded game, posting 49 runs, 15 HRs, 45 RBI, eight steals, and a .279 batting average in 358 at-bats. Even his minor league walk and strikeout rates (12.5 BB percent 18.9 K percent) translated to the majors, as he recorded a walk rate of 11.4 percent and strikeout rate of 21.5 percent with the Orioles.

Reimold makes good contact at the plate (80.3 percent last year), and tallied the seventh best o-swing rate  (20.5 percent) among left fielders with at least 400 plate appearances in 2009.

In addition to this, the 26-year-old figures to bat fifth or sixth in a lineup whose first four batters (Brian Roberts, Adam Jones , Nick Markakis , and Miguel Tejada ) combined to hit .293 in 2009. This will provide Reimold with ample RBI opportunities.

The only hurdle standing between the Orioles’ left fielder and 25-plus HRs in 2010 is the injury bug. Reimold was limited to a combined 631 minor league at-bats in 2006 and 2007 due to injury, and was forced to miss the last few weeks of the 2009 season to undergo surgery for a frayed Achilles tendon.

While this injury has limited him during the spring , he has not experienced any setbacks. Expect Reimold to be in left field for Baltimore on opening day.

FBI Forecast: 550 at-bats, 80 runs, 27 HRs, 90 RBI, 10 stolen bases, .285 batting average

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: FANTASY BASEBALL INSIDERS

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