KC Royals: Ten Things That Have Gone Right In 2016
By John Viril
5. Paulo Orlando Holds Down Starting Job In Outfield
With Alex Rios departing after the 2015 season, the KC Royals threw open the right field spot to internal competition. Many considered long-time reserve outfielder Jarrod Dyson the favorite to seize the role. Others liked AAA prospects like Brett Eibner, Jose Martinez who set a batting average record in AAA in 2015, or Reymond Fuentes.
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Not many saw Paulo Orlando winning the job after the 29-year-old rookie slashed .249/.269/.444 in 241 at bats in 2015.
Guess who has won an outfield job? That’s right, it’s Paulo Orlando. Orlando’s bat improved to .316/.341/.424 with 16 doubles, 4 triples, and 4 home runs in 352 at bats. While the .316 batting average looks good, his .765 OPS is just slightly above major league average in 2016 (101 OPS+ which is 1% better than league average). He’s also chipped in with 10 stolen bases against 2 caught stealing.
Paulo Orlando struggled defensively in right field early in the season after posting positive defensive metrics in 2015. However, he’s improved with his move to center field following Lorenzo Cain’s hamstring injury. Orlando clearly gets much better reads off the bat in center. In right, he’d often take less-than-efficient routes to the ball.
Add up Orlando’s average bat, good defense, and speed on the base-paths and you have a pretty good player. According to Baseball-Reference, Orlando has produced 2.7 bWAR (Wins Above Replacement) in 2016.
Though Paulo Orlando’s sky high .394 Batting Average Balls In Play (BABIP) caused doubts about his ability to sustain his recent production, he’s helped out the Kansas City Royals this season.
Next: No. 4