Five active Orioles have a higher batting average than Nick Markakis this season. The veteran right fielder is fifth on the team in doubles. He is fifth in home runs. Fifth in runs scored. And fifth in runs batted in.
Where Markakis currently ranks in those categories has everything to do with the high-powered Orioles offense -- one that is second in baseball in runs and first in homers -- and nothing to do with how he is hitting.
Before leaving the team Tuesday following the death of his grandmother, Markakis was batting .300 with 12 doubles, seven home runs and 33 RBIs. He is slugging .438 and has a .350 on-base percentage in 58 games.
He is also the hardest Oriole to strike out with one every 12 at-bats.
That’s a very solid season so far for the ultra-consistent Markakis, and many of those numbers are improvements of career averages.
But you are forgiven if you haven’t paid much attention.
After all, Chris Davis leads the majors in home runs and is chasing the franchise’s single-season record. Nate McLouth has gone from platoon player to one of the better lead-off hitters in the league. Adam Jones once again has strong numbers across the board. Manny Machado is on pace to break the all-time record in doubles and has been amazing at pretty much everything he does.
Markakis has been a key contributor, too, and is sixth among American League outfielders in fan voting for the All-Star Game.
Improbably, he has never been an All-Star before and might get elbowed out of the way this year by a few of his teammates.
Even so, the 29-year-old Markakis is again one of the most valuable Orioles players and he has the numbers to prove it.
You just have to scan the box score a little closer to find them.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun