The Unsung Hero of the Baltimore Orioles

On January 3, 2023, the Baltimore Orioles acquired 1B/OF Ryan O’Hearn from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for cash considerations. Two days later, O’Hearn was designated for assignment as the O’s claimed Infielder Lewin Diaz off of waivers. Instead of electing free agency, O’Hearn accepted an outright assignment to the Triple-AAA Norfolk Tides. 8 Months later, the Orioles have clinched the postseason, are fighting for a division title, and Ryan O’Hearn is one of the centerpieces of the ballclub.

In 342 games with Kansas City, O’Hearn was a .219 hitter with 38 homers and 131 RBI. O’Hearn, on a rebuilding Royals team, struggled in 2022 only hitting one home run in 167 plate appearances. On January 3, O’Hearn would be traded to the Orioles. Before O’Hearn could even meet teammates, he was DFA’d by the team for Infielder Lewin Diaz. O’Hearn was invited to spring training and sent back to Triple-AAA Norfolk before the season’s beginning.

It only took 11 Triple-AAA games for Baltimore to select O’Hearn’s contract. Since being called up in April, the 30-year-old first baseman has not only revamped his major league career but has also become an unsung hero, and team MVP candidate. O’Hearn is hitting .310 with 14 homers and 59 RBI. Slugging .516 with 21 doubles and a Triple are all career highs for O’Hearn. On September 19, O’Hearn went 5-5 against the Houston Astros, leading the Orioles to a 9-5 win, as they inched closer to a division title.

Infielder Lewin Diaz is still at Triple-AAA Norfolk and has not seen the majors this season.

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