In part twenty-six of my almost 50 part series “Better Know An Oriole” (otherwise known as 2009 Orioles Retrospective), I take a look at Oscar Salazar… THE FIGHTIN’ PROFESSIONAL HITTER!
Salazar is a minor league veteran at the age of 31, and the O’s gave him a cup of coffee at the end of last season – his first action in the majors since 2002. He started 2009 in the minors as well, where he hit .372/.408/.618 with 10 HR in 50 games.
After being called up at the beginning of June, Salazar hit a robust .419/.455/.613 with a couple home runs in 33 PA before being traded to the Padres for Cla Meredith. He wasn’t quite as Ruthian in San Diego, but had a solid .269/.339/.463 line. Despite not having a real position, Salazar’s bat made him a valuable player in his 154 total PA – the .302/.364/.496 line (.370 wOBA) was 6.4 runs above average, which combined with his -3.5 run defense (mostly in the outfield, but also first, second, third, and short) for 0.5 Wins Above Replacement, which over a full season (600 PA) would be about 2 WAR. In any case, it’s nice to see Oscar getting a chance to play somewhere he can more fully contribute.
Photo by Keith Allison and used under the Creative Commons License 2.0.