By Contributing Writer: Chuck Boemmel Jr.
Delmarva Shorebirds (Class-A Low) outfielder Jake Ring put up numbers in 2016 that show his potential to be a future solution to the Baltimore Orioles outfield issues. His play has caught the attention of at least one of his peers.
Photo: Patrick Cavey
I recently chatted with GCL Orioles’ pitcher Ruben Garcia who told me that Ring
“hit well… he hit in the top of our order most of the time.” Garcia added “he’s a good defender (who) covers a lot of ground.”
Drafted in the 31st round (931st overall) of the 2016 draft, Ring spent the season playing in the Rookie League for the Gulf Coast Orioles before being moved to Delmarva for three games at the end of the season. He slashed .278/ .365/ .337 for the GCL Orioles with 21 RBI, 22 walks and 24 runs scored. Ring stole 15 bases in 18 attempts as well.
In the three games at Delmarva Ring went 2-for-12 (.167) with one RBI and three strikeouts; a small sample size for any hitter. Ring, a left-handed hitter, slashed .255/ .327/ .326 against right handed pitchers and .325/ .440/ .350 against left-handers.
Defensively, in 2016, Ring handled 132 chances in total with 119 putouts, 6 assists and 7 errors for a .947 fielding percentage in 431.0 innings.
The 22 year-old (turns 23 in August) Ring played his college ball for the Missouri Tigers. His 2016 season for Mizzou provided a glimpse into what the Orioles could expect. In 56 games he hit .317 with a team leading .428 on base percentage. He also had an .862 OPS with 25 RBI and two home runs. Ring stole a team leading 25 bases in 30 attempts as well.
Should Ring be able to maintain these numbers he could very well fit the needs of the Orioles as far as their outfielders are concerned. His numbers look respectable and if maintained or improved upon as he moves up the system they should aid in adding Ring’s name to the outfield mix in the future.
Having peers call out and praise his play is significant as they are the ones with Ring on a daily basis and see not only his performance, but his work ethic as well. I see Ring playing the outfield for Delmarva in 2017 and as long as his play on the diamond continues to garner the confidence of his teammates he will do well. His OBP and stolen base success may even result in the powers that be of the Orioles organization having confidence in him as well.