If you live by the home run, you die by the home run. The Orioles hit the second most in baseball in 2012. They hit three -- all solo shots -- while scoring just 15 runs in six postseason games. Those three homers were hit by unlikely sources: Leadoff man Nate McLouth, rookie Manny Machado and Rule 5 pick Ryan Flaherty. The main brutes in their lineup couldn't get it going and, by Game 5 of the ALDS, were swinging from their heels, trying to hit a bases-empty grand slam on each pitch. It's pretty obvious this club needs more selectivity at the plate and better production with runners in scoring position. A high on-base percentage is a hallmark of a Dan Duquette club, and the 2012 team was among the worst in the AL. So that likely will be a focus in the offseason. But the Orioles aren't the only ones that covet OBP, and there aren't many free agents who could bring a big boost in that category. The best, of course, is troubled slugger Josh Hamilton, who will be the biggest free agent fish. He has a lifetime OBP of .363, would be the perfect cleanup hitter for the Orioles and could man left field. But he¿ll be exceptionally expensive and comes with plenty of risk -- including an eye-focusing condition that led to a disastrous end of 2012. It's more likely that Duquette will have to work his magic with "undervalued assets" to better the club's on-base and scoring possibilities.
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