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  • Writer's pictureGrant DeVivo

A Not So Minor Signing

Updated: May 22

Outrighted infielder Nick Maton is raising some eyebrows at Triple-A Norfolk

*Cover Photo Credit: Kate Kirsch


It is obvious that the Tides' lineup is absolutely stacked right now. Of course, all eyes are on the prized No. 1 prospect Jackson Holliday, whose whole-field approach contributes to him being the most potent threat in Minor League Baseball. Then there are sluggers like Heston Kjerstad (MLB No. 23), Connor Norby (Orioles No. 6), and Coby Mayo (MLB No. 21), who unfortunately just landed on the IL with fractured ribs.


However, there is one under-the-radar player right now who is putting on quite the offensive show for Buck Britton's Tides. He is no top prospect, neither is he a tremendously huge name in the Orioles organization. He is just a guy whom the Orioles outrighted off their 40-man roster after Spring Training.


His name is Nick Maton, and he is an infielder from Chatham, Illinois.


Nick Maton is making some noise with the Tides this season. Photo: Kate Kirsch

Originally a 7th rounder of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2017, the 27-year-old has played in parts of three seasons at the big league level for both them and the Detroit Tigers. As a Major Leaguer, he is just a .208 hitter with 15 HR, 63 RBI, a .667 OPS, and a -0.6 WAR. An infielder who can play all infield positions, the O's plucked him from Detroit during Spring Training so he could compete for a depth/bench spot on the Opening Day roster.


Maton had a rough Spring Training, as he went hitless in 23 at-bats. Thus, the Orioles designated him for assignment and eventually outrighted him off the 40-man roster. An early-season injury put Maton on the shelf for a while, but he has since returned from his injury and is back getting regular at-bats for the Tides.


He is doing more than just making the most of his opportunities. He is eating Triple-A pitching alive.


In his first series back off the IL, Maton played in all 6 games and went 9-for-23 (.391) with a 1.114 OPS, 2 home runs, and 9 RBI. In the first game of the series, he clobbered a grand slam off of Redbirds southpaw Connor Thomas. In 15 games overall for Norfolk, he is 22-for-67 (.328) with 3 HR, 16 RBI, and a .935 OPS. He has also played tremendous defense as he only has one error this season with 6 putouts and 28 assists at shortstop.


As well as Maton is playing, it will still be tough for him to crack the Orioles' roster this season. The starting infield in Baltimore as is right now, along with their bench depth, is well-put together. In addition, many of his fellow Norfolk infielders are high on GM Mike Elias' radar or undisputed top prosepcts in the game who are knocking on the doors to the show. That being said, do not count Maton out. Should the Orioles feel that they need an infield upgrade or should an injury occur, they could very well call on Maton, a durable infielder who already has MLB experience under his belt.


Nick Maton is deserving of another MLB opportunity with the way he has been playing with the Tides. The question remains if he can sneak by Baltimore's overflowing surplus of infield prospects (Holliday, Norby, Mayo) and snatch a ticket back to the show. Keep your eyes on Nick Maton, everybody. There could be something with this under-the-radar trade acquisition.

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