Robert Andino is the new Melvin Mora for the Baltimore Orioles this season: a super utility infielder/outfielder. We all knew that Andino was a great defender up the middle, but as of late he’s hitting at a .291 clip with 25 hits through 22 contests.
Andino was supposed to serve as the back-up middle infielder, but he’s appeared in 133 of the Birds’ 156 games at four different positions. Before this year, he’d never played in more than 78 contests in one season and averaged just about 29 games per year.
When Orioles’ shortstop J.J. Hardy suffered a left oblique strain in early April, Andino immediately found himself penciled in as the replacement shortstop.
In 16 contests, he collected 16 base hits in just 46 at-bats (.348 average). Although Andino didn’t provide much power (1 HR and drove in one RBI), he recorded five multi-hit games, including two-three hit affairs.
Andino cooled off a bit as the calendar page turned to May. He only recorded two base hits in 19 at-bats over the first seven games of the month, and then Hardy returned to the lineup to reclaim his position.
It seemed as if Andino was only a temporary fixture in the lineup, until Brian Roberts’ injury left a void at second base. Andino struggled throughout May to find his stroke. He compiled only 14 hits in 67 at-bats and he saw his average drop from its lofty .348 to just .265 by the end of the month.
As the weather heated up in June, Andino’s bat began heating up as well. He collected 18 base hits (the most in a month to date) over his 73 at-bats (.247 average). Lack of power continued to plague him (1 HR, 2 RBI on season).
In June, he doubled his RBI total by driving in four, but failed to hit a long ball. Andino did lash four doubles, which was one more than his season total.
July proved to be a better month for Andino. He collected 17 base hits in just 59 at-bats (.288 average) and finally crushed his second HR of the season. Not to mention, he drove in as many RBI (6) as in the previous three months combined.
Andino entered August with a .265BA and at one point he was batting at a .272 clip. He went 25 for 103, which was the first time he recorded more than 18 hits and compiled more than 100 at-bats in a single month all season.
Entering September, he was batting at a .259 clip. With a week to go, he’s 25 for 86 in 22 games and he’s matched his home run total all season (2). He’s already driven in 11 RBI, which is far more than any other month.
Andino’s played 88 games at 2B, 30 at SS, 3 in the outfield and 22 at 3B. With all the moving around the diamond, you would think he’d be more apt to commit an error. But, he’s been very reliable wherever he plays. He’s committed only 10 miscues – five at shortstop, four at second base and just one at third base. Overall, he sports a .972 fielding percentage.
Andino has not produced astounding numbers at the dish, his bat is coming alive. Throughout the entire year, the one constant has been his defense. Without Andino, the Birds would probably be nearing 100 losses, if not already have eclipsed that mark.
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About the Author
Written by Alex Van Rees
I am 22 years old and I recently graduated from James Madison University this May with a BA degree and a major in journalism. I live in Reston, VA, about 20 minutes outside of Washington. I am looking for an entry-level position with a sports media company where I can demonstrate my writing, interviewing and technical skills to better the organization.