The first time I saw Nolan Reimold, he was crushing home runs against David Price and the Durham Bulls. I had gone to the game to see Matthew Wieters and it was Reimold that stole the show. I knew it was only a matter of time before he would be at the Yards doing the same thing.
Nolan was called up to Baltimore on May 12 and by July it was looking like Reimold could have a chance to be the American League Rookie of the Year. His stats were strong, but he was also making big time hits. The biggest hit was a walk-off homer vs the Blue Jays. There were moments of brilliance from this kid and there were moments of mediocrity. His numbers began to dip after the all-star break. In September, the O’s shut him down due to an Achilles tendon injury.
Nolan’s biggest criticism was from his ability to play the field. I had horror stories about his outfield play in the minors. When the O’s moved Reimold up to play the position, I was scared. To be honest, he looked fine out there. He was not the strongest outfielder out there, but he didn’t embarrass himself either. Of course, Pie’s inconsistency in LF helped cover Reimold’s deficiencies. There had been some speculation that the O’s might try moving Reimold to 1st base, but the O’s seem to be plenty content having him in the OF for the time being.
This year it is hard not to expect big things for Reimold. He has the experience in the bigs. He is healthy again. He will be part of a lineup with more protection. If Reimold doesn’t produce, there will be players like Pie and Montanez ready to step in and take over. Let’s see if he can take advantage of the opportunity that has been given to him.