Kevin Orie – 1997 UD Collector’s Choice

April 22, 2011

Announcing Smed’s Spring Cleaning!

Hey guys, gals, trolls and other denizens of the collecting planet! It’s time to announce Smed’s Spring Cleaning!

Go to this page for the idea behind it, and to see what teams / sets are left. The cost? Shipping and whatever cards are on my want list on the honor system!

And what better thing for the announcement of Spring Cleaning than to post a card representing a failed prospect from my former favorite team. Oh, Kevin Orie was supposed to make everyone forget that Gary Scott was mega-hyped and bombed, because Orie was the real deal! He had a .403 OBP in AA in 1996, and he had good instincts at third. He was going to hit and field and be a great 3B for the Cubs for years to come.

And by gosh, in his rookie year he did pretty well. An OPS+ of 102, a WAR of 2.1 and an OBP of .350. He didn’t have much power but he was just 24 and that could develop.

And then…THUD.

He hit .181 with a .533 OPS. He couldn’t hit a beach ball with a howitzer. The Cubs, patient as always, traded him to Florida at the end of July in 1998 for Felix Heredia. (Oh, my…)

Orie played better in Florida, hitting .263 with an OPS+ of 104. But the Marlins traded for Mike Lowell for 1999 and Orie was relegated to the bench, though he got some PT thanks to an injury. But he didn’t hit all that well (SLG under .400 and a low-ish OBP) and was expendable.

So Florida expended him. The Dodgers picked him up on a conditional deal but released him in Spring Training. He then began a transactional odyssey that rivals any AAAA player.

He only made one more trip back to the bigs, for the Cubs ironically enough, in late 2002. But starting in 2000, he signed with the Royals, Yankees, Phillies, Cubs, Indians, Astros, Brewers, Nationals and Astros again.

The taste of success, yanked away too quickly, was what Orie was chasing for almost 10 years.

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