Tap-In Question: Who will be this year's 'Jake Fox' in Orioles' Grapefruit League action? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Tap-In Question: Who will be this year’s ‘Jake Fox’ in Orioles’ Grapefruit League action?

Let’s do some prognosticating this weekend – spring training style.

As Paul Folkemer wrote in his piece Friday, the Orioles seemingly always have a player that puts together a huge spring and raises eyebrows within the organization.

Some even push their way onto the 25-man roster with monster Grapefruit League performances – Jake Fox, we hardly knew ye – only to lose steam when the regular-season grind kicks in.

The Orioles played their first Grapefruit League game of 2017 on Friday — a 2-0 victory against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland, Fla. The Orioles face the Pittsburgh Pirates today in Bradenton and then host the Pirates in Sarasota on Sunday to in their home opener at Ed Smith Stadium.

Inspired by the exhibition season beginning — and Folkemer’s reminiscing of Fox, Endy Chavez and Evan Meek — I thought I’d ask you for your prediction for the eventual winner of the “Jake Fox Award,” the fictional accolade that goes to the player who surges the most in Orioles’ camp.

It’s fun and harmless. I may even give you a drink chip next month if you get it right. I’ll go first.

I’m saying Johnny Giavotella, the 29-year-old infielder and former second-round pick of the Kansas City Royals who was the Los Angeles Angels’ Opening Day second baseman in 2016. He can hit, and he plays with lots of energy. Those two attributes often stand out in the spring when pitchers are “getting their work in.”

Plus, regular second baseman Jonathan Schoop will be gone for a chunk of camp while playing in the World Baseball Classic, so Giavotella will get a decent look. I doubt Giavotella can do enough to make the 25-man roster, but he could pave the way for a call-up from Triple-A later this season if he impresses in March. And, for the record, I made this call before he had three singles against the Tigers on Friday. Your bartender wouldn’t lie.

So, I’ve got my fictional money in this fictional dive on Giavotella.


It’s now your turn. Pick someone that you think will raise expectations this spring. It doesn’t have to be a non-roster invitee. It can be a prospect on the 40-man roster or even someone expected to be on the 25-man roster that you think will have a ridiculously good spring.

Here’s a 40-man roster list and a non-roster, spring invitee list in case you need help.

Tap-In Question: Who will be this year’s Jake Fox in Orioles’ Grapefruit League games?



  1. 4Bees

    February 25, 2017 at 10:07 am

    I’m not sure if this disclaimer means I’ve misread the article, but I don’t want either of my nominees to actually earn the award. We all want to see those who do well in ST to transfer that to the regular season. But I expect Seth Smith to hit the ground running, just as he has in every ST thus far. He’s my selection from the 40 man roster. From the invitees, I think the ST Bourne Ultimatum will lead to the Bourne Supremacy, even if it doesn’t become the Bourne Legacy. But he has the experience, the periodic success and something to prove as a way of saying “thank you” for the opportunity. He’ll probably not fare as well later on compared to Smith. But it sure would be good to see two fleet of foot guys getting on base to add another dimension to our adult version of the Power Rangers.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 25, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      I think Bourn will have a good spring too. As for he and Smith being fleet of foot, Smith isn’t known as a speed guy. I’ve been told he is a solid and smart base runner, but not a particularly fast one.

      • 4Bees

        February 25, 2017 at 6:12 pm

        What have we done? Bourn caught the pigskin possibly thrown by Smith? I think I should crawl under a rock instead of jinxing the team. LOL.

      • 4Bees

        February 25, 2017 at 6:15 pm

        Good clarification point. I was thinking of Bourn’s speed and another Oriole’s speed, rather than Smith. I know that there had been at least one other “faster than the average O” team member this year, but I forgot who it was. Maybe you can refresh my aging memory? Sad about Michael being hurt, though.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 25, 2017 at 9:36 pm


    • Dan Connolly

      February 25, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      Make that Rickard. Autocorrect got me

  2. Eldersburg Enigma

    February 25, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I think Trey Mancini will have a huge spring, possibly forcing his way on to the Opening Day roster due to the team but needing to carry as many pitchers initially. But I don’t think he carries his spring stats into the regular season. I think Mancini is ultimately proven a 4A player.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 25, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      Some merit to that. And the Orioles should have an extra bench spot early if they choose because they only need a fifth starter twice in April.

  3. Birdsncrabs

    February 25, 2017 at 10:40 am

    I personally think the rule 5 pick Anthony Santander is the most likely to impress enough to be a contender for a 25 man spot. Of course that’s also my definition of the illustrious Jake Fox Award.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 25, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      I’m looking forward to seeing this kid hit. If you’re compared to Victor Martinez, one of my favorite big leaguers to watch hit, you have my attention.

  4. lmterps

    February 25, 2017 at 11:34 am

    I’ll go with Tyler Wilson, even though I mad the pick after his game yesterday. Love the kid, he can really be a key to the pitching staff.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 25, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      He is fearless and smart. And Buck loves fearless and smart. Just a matter of whether he can get big league hitters out consistently.

  5. Bancells Moustache

    February 25, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Give me Mike Wright. Guys gonna be slinging plus heat at a bunch of guys tying to make the team and look like Christy Matthewson, then have a few spot starts in the regular season looking like Kristy Swanson.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 25, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Drink chip. Nothing more to say.

  6. Boog Robinson Robinson

    February 25, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Geeze, the tap room was open on a Friday night, and I missed it. DANG! And I heard the boys were discussing Kristy Swanson’s curve ball to boot. DOUBLE DANG!!

    As to the next Jake Fox? I haven’t a clue. What I really want to know is whey aren’t we looking for the next Steve Pearce instead? I remember a certain 1st spring he had with the O’s.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 25, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      Funny thing about Pearce, he refused to believe he had a job in spring training even when he did. He wanted to go on road trips even when he was an established veteran.

  7. JustWin8

    February 26, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Adam Jones so far 🙂

  8. weams

    February 27, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Tap Room question from today’s interview of Trumbo by Gary and Jim. Who the heck is “The Baby Buck?”

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