The Baltimore Orioles went 89-73 this season, finishing in a second place tie with the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East Division.
The O’s then battled the Jays in the AL Wildcard Game in Toronto before losing on a walkoff home run in the bottom of the 11th inning.
Despite that frustrating postseason ending to their year, manager Buck Showalter‘s squad enjoyed a fifth straight season among the top three in the always tough AL East.
Orioles Statistical Leaders
On the mound, the loss of 28-year old righty Chris Tillman may have been a difference-maker, at least in deciding home field advantage for that Wildcard Game.
Tillman went 16-6 with a 3.77 ERA, allowing 155 hits over 172 innings, striking out 140 batters. He was driven to the disabled list from the crucial period at the end of August through mid-September, missing at least 3-4 starting outings.
23-year old Dylan Bundy started the year in the bullpen, but was finally stretched out to the rotation after the All-Star break. He won 10 games, allowing 109 hits over 109.2 innings with 104 strikeouts.
Kevin Gausman won nine games with a 3.61 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 179.2 innings over 30 starts. Reliever Mychal Givenswon eight games while allowing 59 hits over 74.2 innings with 96 strikeouts.
The star of the staff was closer Zach Britton, who won the Mariano Rivera Award as the AL’s top relief pitcher. He recorded 47 Saves with a 0.54 ERA and 0.836 WHIP, allowing just 38 hits over 67 innings in 69 games. Britton also produced a dominating 74/18 K:BB ratio with an incredible 1.94 FIP and 827 ERA+ mark.
Orioles Hitters Also Produced
Right fielder Mark Trumbo came in a December 2015 trade with the Seattle Mariners and provided big-time power, banging 47 homers and 27 doubles with 108 RBI. He was a first time AL All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winner.
First baseman Chris Davis bashed 38 homers while driving in 84 runs and scoring 99 times. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop ripped 25 homers and 38 doubles, knocking in and scoring 82 runs.
Center fielder Adam Jones banged 29 home runs with 83 RBI and 86 runs scored. In what is likely his final season with the Orioles, former top draft pick catcher Matt Wieters had 17 homers and 66 RBI.
Machado Takes Orioles Top Player Honors
The Orioles top player this season was their tremendous 24-year old third baseman Manny Machado, who was an AL All-Star for the third time in his fourth full season.
Machado hit for a .294/.343/.533 slash line with 37 home runs, 40 doubles, 96 RBI, and 105 runs scored. His 6.7 WAR led the entire Orioles roster, he was a Gold Glove Award finalist, and he finished fifth in AL MVP voting.
Back in early August, Machado tied the team record when he drove three home runs out of U.S. Cellular Field in the first three innings. He then had three chances to set the club mark, and went for it.
“I was trying,” Machado said per Jon Meoli with The Baltimore Sun. “I was trying. I’m not even going to lie. The pitchers came out there. I get lucky sometimes, and sometimes, they make great pitches. They made three good pitches that I wasn’t able to get out. But I was trying. I was trying real hard.”
He was trying a lot this past season, as he does every season. This time it all added up to Manny Machado being named as the Baltimore Orioles 2016 Player of the Year.