McLouth back for bigger sample size

McLouth back for bigger sample size
December 7, 2012, 3:30 am

Nate McLouth’s return to the Orioles likely is being cheered far and wide throughout Birds Nation. But lots of fans are also probably realistic enough to realize just how small a sample size they got of McLouth last season.

Remember, he played just 55 games in the majors with the Orioles in 2012. Now, in those 55 games, McLouth batted .268 with a .342 on-base percentage. That’s a quite respectable OBP. Had McLouth posted it over the course of a whole season, he would have ranked in the top 30 in the American League.

However, those 55 games with the O’s weren’t McLouth’s only big-league games in 2012. He played in 34 with the Pirates early in the year, batting .140 before they let him go.

McLouth’s story of redemption was one of many feel-good things about the Orioles in 2012. He’ll have the chance to make everyone feel good over the course of an entire season in 2013. But whether he can stretch out his one-third of a season success across 162 games remains very much a question. Maybe he’ll end up in a platoon situation on a club that will have plenty of options in the outfield.

In any case, O’s fans are glad he’s one of those options.