Change of Scenery: Michael Aubrey

I love under-the-radar minor-league moves. After years of player-development mediocrity, the Baltimore Orioles organization is slowly redeeming itself. We probably all know about prospects like Matt Wieters, Nolan Reimold, and Chris Tillman, but the organization did not have a ton of depth at the first base position – outside of converted catcher Brandon Snyder, who was recently promoted to triple-A.

This week, the Orioles organization picked up former first-round pick Michael Aubrey, who never reached his potential in Cleveland thanks to a rash of injuries. The left-handed hitting first baseman could offer a complement to the right-handed hitting Snyder. Aubrey also provides some immediate help if the club – likely out of the playoff race – decides to jettison veterans Aubrey Huff (at the end of a three-year deal) and/or Ty Wigginton (in the first year of a two-year deal).

Aubrey has actually been fairly health the last two seasons, having appeared in a career high 114 games last year and 57 games this season. After seven minor league seasons, it’s clear that the first baseman needed a change of scenery, having appeared in just 15 big-league games (all in 2008). This year, Aubrey was hitting .292/.322/.448 with 16 doubles and five homers in 212 at-bats. Despite some injuries at the MLB level to players such as Travis Hafner, Aubrey never received consideration for big-league playing time.

He’ll end his Cleveland career (presumably) with a line of .295/.356/.475 in more than 1,500 at-bats. The 27-year-old former Tulane University star has below-average power for a MLB first baseman, but he can hit for a solid batting average with gap power and he is an above-average fielder. It’s a very nice low-risk, medium-reward move by an organization that is getting better by the season.

Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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t ball
13 years ago

Still can’t make comments on the Feliz post…

13 years ago
Reply to  t ball

Which is really unfortunate because somebody needs to be alerted to fix the first sentence of that post. It is incomprehensible.