You might not believe it, but the Camden Depot staff wrote a bunch of articles in 2016. It's true! We didn't write as many as we would have liked, but that's how things go when things like families, jobs, and writing for free are involved. We're doing the best we can, and we want to thank all our readers and commenters (yes, even the ones who have some... interesting opinions).
Here's a look back (in reverse order) at the five most popular Camden Depot posts of 2016:
5. Orioles Are The Worst Team In The AL East
That wasn't our prediction, but instead an early look at preseason FanGraphs projections. Jon broke down the projections by position. The Orioles did go on to add Yovani Gallardo (bad) and Pedro Alvarez (good), but neither of those moves would have moved the needle much anyway.
4. A Closer Look At Joey Rickard's Defense
Joey Rickard came with a lot of hype after a strong preseason performance that bled into the beginning of the season. Rickard recorded hits in his first seven games, but things started to slow down after consecutive three-hit games in late April. Still, while Rickard's bat was a question mark, his glove was supposed to be a sure thing, with reporters sharing and offering glowing praise. Some scout even compared him to Steve Finley. Rickard rated poorly when it came to advanced defensive metrics, though, so I took a closer look at some of his impressive and frustrating defensive plays. If you look hard enough, you can see an above average defender in him. There's still time to improve, for sure, but he's probably not the superb outfield glove that many fans hoped for.
3. First-Place Orioles Obviously Aren't Sellers, But Should They Buy?
The title is pretty self-explanatory. The Orioles ended up doing what you maybe figured they'd do, not making any major moves (if they even had the required trade pieces) and adding a bunch of minor upgrades. They added Wade Miley and Steve Pearce at the nonwaiver trade deadline, and a month later added Michael Bourn and Drew Stubbs at the waiver deadline. Bourn was the best move of the bunch; Pearce got hurt and didn't add much; and Miley, while posting decent peripheral numbers, still put up an ERA of 6 in 54 innings.
2. CF To RF Defensive Modeling: Austin Jackson Is Dexter Fowler
Jon examined center to corner outfield conversion for outfielders in their late 20s to early to mid 30s. To do this, he created a regression model which compared players' last two seasons in center field to their first two seasons in right field. The results may surprise you. Losing out on Dexter Fowler ended up being a pretty big loss for the Orioles, though much of that is due to Fowler's tremendous year at the plate.
1. Bon Voyage, Zach Britton
Fans love talking about Zach Britton trades. Jon decided to use the value of the prospects that were sent to the Padres in exchange for Craig Kimbrel to estimate Britton's trade value. Some interesting prospect names are mentioned. While the O's aren't dealing Britton now, which is reasonable, a rough start to the 2017 season may force them to reconsider. If so, there's no doubt that the left-handed closer would be a top trade chip.
Thanks again to our readers for helping to make the 2016 season a fun one. Have a happy and safe New Year's.