The 40 Greatest Orioles of All-Time - No. 26 - Brian Roberts

Brian Roberts has 39 less stolen bases than all-time O's leader Brady Anderson, but his 80.2% success rate is more impressive than Anderson's 75.8%.

After the 2008 season, SC ranked Brian Roberts as the 34th greatest Oriole, nestled between Tippy Martinez and Dick Hall. Since then, Brian had an above average 2009 season in which he hit .283/.356/.451 with an amazing 56 doubles. That total led the league (Brian's second time doing so in his career) and made him just the fourth player in major league history to have at least three seasons with fifty or more doubles. He stole just thirty bases, his lowest total since 2005, but he kept his success rate above 80% (his career average).

As we all know, 2010 was disappointing for Brian Roberts. It started with a back injury and ended with a possibly self-induced concussion. In between he played just 59 games, hitting .278/.354/.391. While his batting average and on-base percentage were nearly in line with his career averages, his slugging percentage was the lowest it has been since 2004. It's hard to know how much of that was due to his back, but it's safe to say that a healthy Brian Roberts at the top of the lineup is imperative to the success of the 2011 Orioles.

2010 was Brian's tenth season with the Orioles. He is the oldest tenured player on the team, and to give you an idea of just how long he's been with us, he's the only active Oriole who played with Cal Ripken. His 1194 career games is 12th most in Orioles history, and here are his ranks for other pertinent stats:

Total O's Rank
Hits 1338 9th
Doubles 332 4th
Home Runs 81 27th
Walks 538 8th
Stolen Bases 268 2nd
Runs 757 7th
Runs Batted In 458 15th
Batting Average* .283 12th
On-Base Percentage* .355 15th
Slugging Percentage* .419 24th

*minimum 2000 plate appearances

Brian Roberts has never played for a winning baseball team in his major league career. The only winning baseball team he's played for in his professional career is the 2003 Ottawa Lynx, who went 79-65. Brian was called up to the Orioles on May 22nd that year, and while I know that I read somewhere that the Lynx had a losing record when he was called up, I googled my heart out and couldn't find proof. At any rate, he finished the year with the Orioles who finished 71-91. Brian is now 32 years old and is signed with the Orioles through 2013. I really hope he and I get to share a winning season before he's gone.

Brian's new rank on the list is 26, just ahead of Luis Aparicio and just behind Don Buford. Buford spent only five seasons with the Orioles, but his offensive numbers in the time that he played are enough to keep him ahead of Brian for at least another year.

Related reading:
The 40 Greatest Orioles of All-Time - 2006
2007 Amendments
2008 Amendments
2010 Update Discussion

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