By Austin Medina
Last season, Orioles pitcher John Means was not expected to make the Opening Day roster. Heading into 2020, Means is expected to to be Baltimore's ace and start Opening Day.
At just 26 years old, Means is in an odd scenario. A young and improving pitcher enters Spring Training with the most success and high expectations.
As pitchers and catchers held their first workouts Wednesday, Means' leadership role was evident.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde spoke about Means' leadership for the young Orioles camp.
“I think John Means is a special case,” Hyde said. “I just think he’s a real mature guy and ultra professional and has dealt with a lot of things and has had to earn everything that has come his way. Nothing was ever handed to John."
Hyde went on to say that "John Means’ story is super valuable to a lot of guys we have in that room, and I’m hoping that guys can learn from that and follow suit.”
Means was the lone All-Star in Baltimore a season ago. After a strong start to the season (7-4, 2.50 ERA), Means production slipped a bit against a tough AL East. He finished the year with 12 wins and a 3.60 ERA.