Tuesday, February 11, 2014

FanFest Additions: New Orioles

One of my favorite things about Fanfest is having the opportunity to add some signatures from the players who are new to the Orioles organization before they even play in a game for the team. If I can get them at Fanfest, I never need to add them to my need list if/when they make their Orioles debut. 

Obviously this season didn't see too much Orioles action on the free agent market so there weren't any new big names, but I'd say that at least Ryan Webb and David Lough are near locks to make the O's Opening Day roster, with a couple other of these guys being fairly likely to appear in at least a few games over the course of the season. 

Since I specifically target the new players at FanFest, as I already have signed items from all the returning players for the most part, it leads me to make some interesting selections regarding which stations to buy. I don't intentionally go after the big names, but more often then not I end up with quite a few anyway, due to how the players are spread out. 

Here are the five stations that I purchased this year:

And I can quite confidently say that I am the only person who bought those stations for David Lough, Ryan Webb, Steve Clevenger, Liam Hendriks, Jemile Weeks, Larry Bigbie, Kelvin De La Cruz, and Brad Brach, and not for Dylan Bundy, Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, nor JJ Hardy. I know, I'm weird. And I'm obviously happy to add additional signatures of the stars to my collection, but I'd rather target the new guys. 

Johnny Monell was the only new player whose autograph I did not get, and I still need personalized upgrades of Calvin Maduro and Nate Snell, but I will take care of them at some point.

Without further ado, here are the new Orioles players, who all signed and personalized some awesome new Old Man Cards.

Webb is virtually a lock to make the O's Opening Day roster, and to date, is their most expensive off-season signing. And I've said it before but will say it again, I always enjoy getting other Ryans to personalize cards to me. Not sure why, I just do.

Lough is also pretty likely to start the season on the O's 25 man roster, and seems to be the front-runner for the every day LF position. But the O's have like 10 potential LFs in camp so you never know. 

I think Kelvin has a solid chance of playing for the O's at least at some point this season, mainly because he's signed to a big league deal.

Pure speculation, but I'm guessing Liam is a member of Norfolk's rotation but joins the club in a swing role or as as spot starter at some point. 

 Brad (who unfortunately spelled my name wrong, probably because I'm a mumbler) will likely be crowded out of the O's spring training bullpen group and start the season with the Tides. But I predict he will be a regular out of the Birds' 'pen later in the 2014 season.

Which brings us to Jemile Weeks, who I sadly predict will be this year's Matt Antonelli. Both seemed like nice guys but just couldn't crack the roster. Between Ryan Flaherty, Alexi Casilla, Alex Gonzalez, and Jonathan Schoop, I think there will just be too much competition for Jemile, who might even get slotted at AA Bowie for some playing time.

1 comment:

zman40 said...

Sweet Brian inscription! That is one to write home about. I get my name misspelled all the time, but have yet to get the wrong name. One of these days I will probably have a Jack inscription heading my way.

Looks like you did really well at Fanfest!