At the center of the Orioles Spring Training position battles is 27 year old outfielder Nolan Reimold who made his Major League debut with the Orioles on May 14, 2009. Reimold was drafted by the O’s in the second round of the 2005 draft and has played in 143 games at the Major League level.

Upon reaching the big leagues, Reimold looked to be the Orioles “best kept secret” down on the farm when he came up. In 2009 his numbers earned him the illustrious triple crown award for his achievements in the the Eastern League with Bowie. The left fielder caught on at the plate, finishing with a .279 average and making the necessary adjustments against big league pitchers. One of my favorite memories at Camden Yards was when Reimold hit a walk off home run against the Blue Jays in the 11th inning in a day game to sweep the series. 2009 was great for Reimold, despite missing the last half of September with an achilles injury.

2009 25 BAL AL 104 411 358 49 100 18 2 15 45 8 2 47 77 .279 .365 .466 .831 116
2010 26 BAL AL 39 131 116 9 24 5 0 3 14 0 0 12 26 .207 .282 .328 .610 66
2 Seasons 143 542 474 58 124 23 2 18 59 8 2 59 103 .262 .345 .432 .778 104
162 Game Avg. 162 614 537 66 140 26 2 20 67 9 2 67 117 .262 .345 .432 .778 104

Last season was not as pleasant. Reimold’s spring started slow and some blamed his poor performance in Florida on recovery from his offseason injury. He was unable to find momentum at the plate going 0 for his first 22 last season in Spring Training and eventually lost his job in left field to Felix Pie.

After starting in just 24 games in may with a .205 average, 2 home runs and 10 RBI, the Orioles sent Reimold back to Norfolk to work in hopes of that momentum returning. With the Tides, Reimold continued to struggle hitting just .249 after a season in which he hit nearly .400 at the level.

2010 finished nearly the same way it began for Reimold, who started nine games after being called up in September. In September and October, he hit just .212 with one home run and 4 RBI.

This spring, Reimold looks to fight for a spot on the Orioles roster on a team that is deep with talent in left field. With just a game under his belt in Sarasota, Reimold is already making the competition interesting after he belted a solo home run on his first swing of the spring. After that homer, Reimold didn’t see too many good pitches to hit as he was walked three times.

Reimold told Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, “A year makes a big difference.”