Jimmy Paredes provided a perfect foil (the literary definition) for the 2015 Orioles. He went through spurts of the year playing some of the best baseball of his life and slowly but surely crashed back down to earth and eventually out of consistent playing time. He posted a 96 wRC+ for the season, an average hitter at the plate, yet that would fail to tell you that in the first half he posted a 118 wRC+ and in the second half posted a 38 wRC+. Much like the 2015 Orioles, Paredes was at times at the top of his game, but all too often failed to provide and eventually ended up right around the middle.
To illustrate his up and down ride into mediocrity a table below is provided to give you the gory details.
He started off the year hitting as if he was one of the best hitters in baseball followed by a slight slump and then back up to a solid above average hitter and then crashed spectacularly along with his playing time. He went from 125 PA in May to 39 PA in August. That is not easy to do for someone who was never injured.
He finished the season with a .275/.310/.416 line with that 96 wRC+ in tow. Alongside that mediocrity were his way below league average walk rate of 4.9 percent and way above league average strike out rate of 28.9 percent. He adjusted and the league adjusted back and with a vengeance. All of the ups and downs and all Paredes provided was a grand total of 0.1 WAR. For a guy that was a key cog for a sizable portion of the season, Paredes ended up as basically a wash. Even still, this may be more than anyone could have expected for Paredes going into this season. Yet, his year still ended up feeling as if it was a disappointment.
Compounding his consistency issues at the plate is his complete inability to play the field. He logged most of his games as the designated hitter. He started six games at second base and one in right field and otherwise was a defensive replacement for Manny Machado at third base in case of a blow out. In the laughably low amount of innings he did receive in the field, he accorded himself very poorly. He can't really catch, he can't field grounders, he can't make quality relays, he overthrows the cutoff man, he takes bad routes, and even though he has a very strong arm it is horribly inaccurate. The Orioles are allegedly attempting to get Paredes to play in the outfield in winter ball in an attempt to see if he can provide a non-negative defensive value, I have my doubts.
Really though, it's not all bad for Paredes. He had a 33.9 percent hard hit rate and a 23.4 percent line drive rate in 2015. When he managed to make contact he hit the ball incredibly hard. Even with the ups and downs on the season he posted a 99 wRC+ against right handed pitching which while not fantastic could be something to build upon for next season and beyond and he is still only 26. Teams should not get rid of players who can take low and away fastballs and do this to them.
Going into 2016, having a left handed bat that has the ability to hit the ball hard is never a bad thing in Spring Training. Maybe Paredes really can learn to patrol the outfield with some grace and the Orioles will have a nice platoon option and maybe he can work on making some more contact. Realistically, Paredes is likely on the outside looking in for a 2016 roster spot, but the Orioles and Dan Duquette will most definitely try to roll the dice one more time on Jimmy.
In many ways Jimmy Paredes encapsulates the Orioles 2015. At times one of the best in the league, but failed to maintain that consistency throughout the course of the season which went around in circles over and over again until it stopped where it all started. A 96 wRC+ right next to a 81-81 record. The perfect couple.