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Few Veterans On Orioles Roster Serve As Mentors To Young Players

SARASOTA, Fla. (WJZ) -- The Orioles have one of the youngest rosters in Major League Baseball, and that's by design.

The Orioles want youth to build their future.

There are, however, some veteran players on the roster to help along the way.

Youth is important, but it's also good to have players who have "been there, done that." Someone to show how it's done.

36-year-old Wade LeBlanc has pitched 12 seasons in the Majors. He's back with the Orioles for his second year.

"It's the same vibe from last year which is great," LeBlanc said. "It's a positive atmosphere. It's exciting to be part of this."

RHP César Valdez will turn 36 this year. He's a native of the Dominican Republic who revived his Major League career with the Orioles.

"He just does everything right and he's a veteran in the standpoint he's played this game a really long time in a lot of different places," Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.

LHP John Means is 27. Even a little time in the Majors makes him a mentor to his young teammates.

"It's crazy the fact that I have two years of service time and I'm stepping into a leadership role," Means said. "But that's the way this team works and that's the way it needs to be. I'm excited to kind of take that role on."

Manager Brandon Hyde said the veterans on the team are they're like coaches to help to move the young players forward.

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