John Means has been selected as an American League All-Star in the 2019 Midsummer Classic next week in Cleveland. He is the first Mountaineer player to ever get the honor of being named an All-Star, and he did it all in his rookie year.
After getting a September call-up last season, Means made just 1 appearance for the O’s: a relief appearance in which he gave up 5 runs in 3.1 innings against the eventual world champion Boston Red Sox. Over the off-season, he continued to work on his craft and was given a spot in the Orioles starting rotation after Spring Training concluded - something that came as a bit of a surprise to Orioles management.
Now, if you follow Major League Baseball at all, you know that Baltimore is arguably the worst team in the league this year. They sit at 24-59 (.289) and are in the midst of a massive rebuild, after trading Manny Machado, their star infielder, to the LA Dodgers last summer.
However, John Means is having himself a great rookie year. The 26 year old is 7-4 with a 2.50 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and has been credited with 3.2 Wins Above Replacement (WAR). He is undeniably having an All-Star campaign. The Orioles have to be thrilled that he has emerged as an Ace-caliber pitcher, considering he wasn’t even slated to make the team coming into Spring Training.
In a dark year full of losing and wasted money (re: Chris Davis), John Means is a bright spot for Orioles fans everywhere. Congrats, Meansy! Mountaineer Nation is proud of you!