As we all have heard, the Washington Nationals this weekend extended third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to a lucrative contract extension. You have got to figure that he is still relatively young at 27; however, he is no doubt the leader on the field for that organization.
That being said, who is the leader, or leaders with the Baltimore Orioles?
Well, considering that the organization is rebuilding and stuck in a rut of fourteen losing seasons, is there anyone that you could point at right now and say, “He’s the man”?
Now, the Orioles certainly do not have an Albert Pujols or Derek Jeter on their roster; however, they do have some guys who could serve in that role.
The first player who on the team fills this role would be Adam Jones. He is obviously an emerging young ballplayer, has been an All-Star, a winner of a Gold Glove and is very comfortable with the media. More importantly, he seems to be a spokesperson for the team and seems to speak his mind – whether the team is on a high or floundering.
The second player who I would pick as a leader with the Orioles would be Matt Wieters. Obviously, he is not as outspoken as Jones is, but more of the type who leads by example.
As we all know, a catcher is responsible for the pitching staff and Wieters has done admirably in the position, considering the talent he has got on the mound. If one also factors in Wieters’ age, his rapport with the coaches, towering presence, defense behind the dish, and his bat, it is undeniable that he is becoming one of better players at his position.
Those are the only two players who I can think of as leaders on the Orioles. I did leave off two players, who I think could fill a leadership role. However, I did not include any of the starting pitchers – honestly, most of them are too young and do not have a track record. I also did not include the bullpen and the coaching staff.
Why did I not include Nick Markakis? He comes off as way too quiet. I think Markakis has done a better job of stepping up and being accountable with the media; however, he has not at the level of Adam Jones.
What about shortstop J.J. Hardy? He is a veteran; however, does not have enough tenure on the team. He is a solid player and a grinder; however, he will emerge as a leader this season.