Player Profiles: Steve Smith Sr.

Steve Smith Sr. came to the Baltimore Ravens after being released by his long time team the Carolina Panthers.  Smith spent all his career with the Panthers after being drafted in 2001 in the third round of the NFL draft.  Smith started his career as a return man but quickly became a go to wide receiver.  Smith even helped the Panthers make it to the Super Bowl in 2003 but they would eventually lose to the New England Patriots.  Read more about Player Profiles: Steve Smith Sr.

Player Profiles: Bud Norris

wpid-724px-bud_norris.jpgHave yourselves some Buds because it is Bud Norris player profile time.  The Baltimore Orioles acquired Bud Norris from the Houston Astros in 2012 before the trade deadline, so far it has been a good trade for the Orioles.  The Orioles did have to give up one of their top local prospects in Josh Hader for Norris and L.J. Hoes.  The Orioles traded for Norris because he still had years left on his contract and the Orioles were in need of some solid starting pitching. Norris while he may not be flashy is almost always solid.  Read more about Player Profiles: Bud Norris

Player Profiles: Miguel Gonzalez

300px-Miguel_González_on_July_1,_2012The Baltimore Orioles had trouble finding starters all throughout the 2000’s, all the losing seasons could point to that.  That changed in 2012 and Miguel Gonzalez was one of the members of the Orioles rotation that really made it stable.  Gonzalez really helped the Orioles make the postseason with a 3.25 era and a nine and four record in his rookie season.   Read more about Player Profiles: Miguel Gonzalez

Player Profiles: Daryl Smith

042214_Workouts_Daryl-Smith_2
Daryl Smith: Photo Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens Have had a long history of having a great defense and great linebackers.  When Ray Lewis retired after the 2012 Super Bowl the Ravens signed Daryl Smith.  Smith at the time was a free agent coming off an injury and the Ravens got him for a one-year deal.  Smith played his college football at Georgia Tech.

Smith was drafted in the second round of the 2004 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars and stayed with them until 2012.  Smith throughout his career has been a great middle linebacker even when he has played on sub-par teams in Jacksonville.  Smith has also stayed healthy just about every season except for the 2012 season where he only played in two games.  Read more about Player Profiles: Daryl Smith

Player Profiles: Ryan Flaherty

500px-Ryan_Flaherty_on_April_24,_2012Every team needs a super utility player that can play just about every position well.  That is what Ryan Flaherty is for the Baltimore Orioles, Flaherty is the Orioles super utility guy.

The Chicago Cubs selected Flaherty with the 41st overall pick in the 2008 MLB draft.  The Orioles picked Flaherty up in the 2011 Rule-5 draft.

Flaherty is nicknamed “Flash” but is not a fan favorite.  Fans have been tough in Flaherty for his inconsistent bat.  Fans need to remember that Flaherty was rushed to the Majors because he was a Rule-5 draft pick and never got consistent playing time to learn the league.  Remember Rule-5 draft picks must stay with in the Majors unless their is an injury or they go back to their original team. Read more about Player Profiles: Ryan Flaherty

Player Profiles: Nelson Cruz

victory jump opening day 2014
Photo: Greg Mac

It is rare that I profile a player that will likely only be with a team for a short time, but Nelson Cruz deserves a profile.  The Baltimore Orioles signed Cruz to a short one-year deal during the 2014 spring training.  The Orioles loved the signing ever since and that signing may be one of the best signings the Orioles have ever made.

Cruz started his career with the New York Mets and played in the minors with the Oakland Athletics.   Cruz was even with the Milwaukee Brewers for a short time before joining the Texas Rangers where he spent most of his career.  How three teams passed up on Cruz is beyond me.  Read more about Player Profiles: Nelson Cruz

Player Profile: Wilson Ramos

Wilson Ramos

The Washington Nationals have a plentiful group of outstanding young talent that litters their rotation and their batting order. With such talents as Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon, Gio Gonzalez, and Ian Desmond leading the strong youth movement that has taken the Nationals into playoff contention and hopefully World Series contention but of the youth movement none could have as great of an impact on the Nationals than catcher Wilson Ramos. Read more about Player Profile: Wilson Ramos

Player Profiles: Manny Machado

479px-Manny_Machado_8-10-2012The Baltimore Orioles have had one of the best third baseman in the history of baseball in Brooks Robinson.  Enter Manny Machado who came up to the Majors at the young age of 19.

The Orioles drafted Machado in the 2010 MLB draft, he was the third overall pick.  Machado made his Major League debut in 2012, his first full season was in 2013.  Machado is one of the reasons for the Orioles return to winning and was a major reason why the Orioles had the best defense in baseball history in 2013.

Machado never really played third base in the minors, he spent most of his time playing short stop.  With little practice at third base the Orioles brought Machado up and had him play third everyday.

Read more about Player Profiles: Manny Machado

Player Profiles: Sam Koch

wpid-sam_koch_and_john_harbaugh.jpgWhen it comes to franchise players, people rarely think of punters.  Sam Koch is that rare punter who is a franchise player or at least a guy who has been with the same franchise for a very long time.

Koch was drafted in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens and has been the Ravens starting punter ever since.  Since joining the Ravens Koch has never missed a game, starting every regular season and post season game.

Koch has been one of the best punters in the NFL since coming into the league, averaging over 40 yards per punt.  Punting stats are hard to really use because there are so many different situations in which distance is not always the best thing.

 

Read more about Player Profiles: Sam Koch