Your friendly neighborhood advanced scout took a day off to bask in the glory that was The Greatest Starting Pitcher In The History Of Baseball starting for a night. But I must get back to work. So. Billy Beane. Sabermetrics. A movie based ever so loosely on 2002. Your Oakland Athletics.
OAKLAND ATHLETICS – 54-39, 1st place in AL West
A lot of people didn’t think this team would compete again, with the Angels powering up, the Rangers staying good and the Mariners doing…whatever the Mariners were doing. A lot of people thought wrong. Here they are again, among the top AL teams, and now hot on the heels of Boston for the best record in the AL. What’ll happen when they face each other? Well, baseball, I hope.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
1 – Coco Crisp – CF – .264/.348/.420
- We’ve experienced the Coco Show before. Fast center fielder who had a knack for getting on base at a good clip.
- For a guy not known for power, he went a little homer-happy earlier in the year. He’s at 9 dingers now, 7 shy of his career high.
- His BABIP is below both league avg and his career avg, so a little rebound is in order for him soon.
2 – Jed Lowrie – SS – .301/.369/.433
- Yet another former wearer of the Red Sox, and the story’s still the same: double-earflap helmet-wearing badass who has some interesting power.
- Relatively healthy this year, which is something unheard of from him. His 375 PA in 2013 is only 12 less than all the PA he had in 2012.
- He’s struck out less and less the more seasons he’s played. Right now, he’s got a 13.3% strikeout rate.
3 – Josh Donaldson – 3B – .310/.380/.518
- Currently in the midst of a huge breakout year. One of the All-Star snubs, seeing as a 4.0 fWAR isn’t anything to laugh at.
- Owns the highest OBP of all the starters on the A’s. It doesn’t matter how he gets to first, be it a walk or a homer, does it Mr. Beane?
- You can expect some regression, with his BABIP being .340, but that won’t hinder Donaldson from being a very productive player.
4 – Yoenis Cespedes – LF – .219/.285/.419
- After a very successful first season, Cespedes has fallen on hard times. His strikeout rate jumped and his BABIP dropped hard.
- He’s not lacking in the power department, however, as he’s still got an ISO (.199) in the same neighborhood as last year (.214).
- Complete 180 in the field since last season. While he was 10 runs below avg in 2012, he’s 10 runs above avg this season.
5 – Brandon Moss – 1B – .230/.313/.464
- Strikes out over 30% of the time, but makes up for it with a surplus of power. 27 extra-base hits, with 16 of those being homers.
- After being place in a platoon last year, he’s getting the lion’s share of the starts this year. 300 PA and counting…
- Makes the third guy on this projected line up that used to be a part of the Red Sox. Hell hath no fury like a player scorned?
6 – John Jaso – C – .273/.377/.361
- If it’s a right-handed pitcher going up against the A’s, Jaso will start and he’s gotten more PA. Derek Norris starts against LHPs.
- Very patient hitter. 13.5% walk rate and strikes out less than 19% of the time. Hits a high amount of line drives.
- Hasn’t been in a hitters’ park for his home stadium in his entire career, interestingly enough: Tropicana Field, Safeco, O.co Coliseum.
7 – Josh Reddick – RF – .216/.300/.347
- Red Sox cast-offs, part 4. Reddick’s a decent hitter, but with his all-power approach, it tends to drop him into slumps like the one he’s in now.
- Good fielder with a great arm. You could make a case that his glove is the only thing keeping his 1.3 fWAR afloat.
- Walking more this year than ever before. His walk rate is a good three percentage points above his career norm.
8 – Chris Young – DH – .189/.271/.368
- Former Arizona Diamondback traded to the A’s in the offseason. Intriguing power-speed combination.
- Lost in the outfield shuffle for Oakland. The cut down on playing time has seen his numbers suffer.
- Although, a .214 BABIP could be the culprit. That’s so unsustainably low, it’s practically rock bottom for Young.
9 – Eric Sogard – 2B – .259/.332/.351
- Bespectacled middle infielder who doesn’t strike out a lot and walks at a somewhat decent clip.
- Not a lot of power to speak of, but makes up for it with good fielding and some speed on the basepaths.
- Heading toward a full season worth 2.0 fWAR, which would be roughly at the level of an average MLB regular.
Who’s hot? – Last 14 days:
- Josh Donaldson: 3 HR, 12 hits, 6 RBI
- Jed Lowrie: 3 HR, 6 RBI, 116 wRC
Who’s not? – Last 14 days:
- Coco Crisp: .182 avg, .229 OBP, 1 run scored
- Seth Smith: .200 avg, no walks, zero RBI
Saw the game, then the clock struck AWESOME O’CLOCK, and game over.
Lester’s pretty much pitching without any movement from his cutter, so we’ll see how that fails to work out against the patient A’s. Griffin is a decent pitcher – strikes out guys at a decent rate, doesn’t walk many guys, but has a bit of a home run problem. It’s the Battle of Average-To-Mediocre Stuff!
Brandon Workman vs. Bartolo Colon
Here’s Workman, getting his first career start in the bigs, and he has to go up against a veteran in Bartolo Colon. Colon is having a magical season at 40 years old, and by magical, I mean he’s blowing through lineups while sporting a 4.94 K/9. WHAT IS THIS SORCERY.
- Red Sox
- Alex Wilson: 15-day DL (July 9th, bruised right thumb)
- Brett Anderson: 60-day DL (June 14th, fractured right foot)
Lots of walks. Lots of advanced stats. Isn’t baseball grand?
Also, vacation time!