With the 2021 Baltimore Orioles season off to a bit of an underwhelming start, the Orioles find themselves tied for last in the AL East. With many around baseball predicting the Orioles to be deadline sellers, one name that should be left off that list is Ace John Means While the 2021 Baltimore Orioles season might be a bit of a disappointment, John Means represents a bright future.
2021 Baltimore Orioles: Why Keep Means
So far in the 2021 Baltimore Orioles season, Means has simply been fantastic. He is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA while striking out 29 batters in 30 innings. His advanced statistics show he is headed for some slight regression but should still be seen as a really good pitcher. When looking at the types of contact batters are registering off of him, he has mainly limited medium contact this season while improving soft contact. If he can keep up that trend, his ERA will continue to be phenomenal.
The second big reason for keeping Means is his contract situation. As a bit of a late bloomer, Means still has three and a half years of team control left. Sure, this will make him a more desirable trade candidate but unless the Orioles are blown away by an offer, why lose such a cheap, controllable piece? Plus, the Orioles already have a good farm system and don"t need to add major pieces like some other clubs entering rebuilds.
Next, the Orioles have a strong number of trade candidates including Matt Harvey and Maikel Franco. While these pieces are very unlikely to bring back the same type of return, they will be much easier for opposing teams to target. Getting means will take a big bite out of a farm system.
Finally, the fans deserve a player to be excited about. When Means pitches, it feels like the Orioles have a decent to a good chance of winning the ball game. Means will more than likely be representing the Orioles at the All-Star Game and Trey Mancini is the face of the franchise. Loyal fans who have been way more than patient with this latest rebuild deserve a reason to watch the game on TV or come to the ballpark.
Beyond the 2021 Baltimore Orioles
Pretty soon, the Orioles will be led by Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall. The towering duo should form one of the top rotations in the next few years. Wouldn"t it make sense to have John Means, who just turned 28, serve as a valuable mentor? Means will be able to serve as a guide into the majors while still performing at a high level.
While the 2021 Baltimore Orioles will most likely continue to struggle, the future is finally very bright for this franchise. Means should and most likely will continue to serve as a critical piece for this franchise. The fans deserve a star and Means should eventually go down as one of the best players in team history.
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