If Nolan Reimold played for the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies or pretty much any team in baseball other than the Baltimore Orioles, he’d be that fan base’s favourite player. I know this to be true because of the 112 photos of him available through a subscription to Getty Images, he is off his feet, either diving or jumping, in 39 of them.
It’s a well known fact that the popularity of a non-elite baseball player is directly related to the amount of time he spends vertical in the air or horizontal on the ground.
Appearing like this in 35% of his photos may not seem like a very large percentage in that if you were to say that a baseball player got on base 35% of the time, you’d be describing a pretty good baseball player, but not the type to warrant special attention.
To put Reimold’s airborne photogenic traits in perspective, let’s take a look at the percentages of other well liked players of the non-elite variety.
- Nyjer Morgan: 16%
- Elvis Andrus: 22%
- Micahel Bourn: 23%
- Austin Jackson: 25%
- Chris Young: 28%
In fact, the only player to even come close to Reimold in the all important percentage of in the air or along the ground photographs in Getty Images (that are available through a subscription) is Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees with 33%. So, why isn’t Reimold as celebrated as other players of similar fanability scores?
To put it in the parlance of our times, he’s been dicked around.
As one of the team’s top prospects, as named by Baseball America, Reimold was called up to the Major Leagues on May 14, 2009 at the ripe old age of 25. He proceeded to play rather brilliantly.
- 411 PA, .187 ISO, .365 OBP, .466 SLG, .365 wOBA, and 118 wRC+.
Unfortunately, he was shut down in mid September by the team due to the fraying of his left Achilles tendon. A week later he had successful surgery to repair what was then being called a torn Achilles.
Pop up note: Watch me connect Reimold to Lenny Dykstra in four moves.
- Reimold had surgery on his Achilles tendon.
- Achilles was played by Brad Pitt in Troy.
- Brad Pitt also played Billy Beane in Moneyball.
- Billy Beane and Lenny Dykstra came up together through the New York Mets farm system.
Reimold went through rehab all off season, doing a lot of this:
Another pop up note: People’s feet remain disgusting.
Based mainly on the success of his rookie season, Reimold made the Orioles team right out of Spring Trianing in 2010, but after less than 100 plate appearances over infrequent playing time, the outfielder with the 85% heel was demoted back to Norfolk, the team’s Triple A affiliate. He was then brought back to the big club for a September call up after the Minor League season had finished. Again, over limited playing time, he failed to impress.
The following off season, Baltimore signed free agents Vladimir Guerrero and Derek Lee, pushing Luke Scott into the outfield where he joined Adam Jones and Nick Markakis as starters, with Felix Pie acting as the team’s fourth. This experiment lasted until mid May when Reimold was again promoted.
He didn’t get on base at the same rate as he did in his rookie season, but his power numbers were back, and he ended the season as the team’s best outfielder by a good measure.
As a reward for his stellar play, the Orioles went out and signed the left handed batting Endy Chavez to split time with the right handed hitting Reimold. This, despite these career numbers at the Major League level:
- Nolan Reimold vs. RHP: .349 wOBA; vs. LHP: .339 wOBA.
- Endy Chavez vs. RHP: .299 woBA; vs. LHP: .307 wOBA.
So far this year, Reimold has provided just as much offense as Matt Weiters in eight fewer plate appearances, and yet he continues to split time in left field with Chavez.
Do you think this has maybe demotivated him, at all?
Nolan Reimold’s interior monologue to be read in the voice of Eeyore:
Here I am again. Getting some time in left field. Oh wow. Look at that. It’s a deep fly ball. Might as well back up and catch it. I’ll get it at the wall. Yep, it’s in my glove. Might as well throw it back to the infield. It’s not like it makes much of a difference anyway.
This would be the least celebrated defensive run saved in the history of baseball by the least celebrated above average outfielder in the league. It’s symmetry in motion.
Sadly, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, Reimold is going to miss some time as he visits doctors regarding a tingling sensation in his fingertips.