With Spring Training just a couple days away, fans in Oakland are left wondering whether or not the A’s offense will be effective enough to compete with the rest of the AL West in 2010.
In 2009 Oakland hit as a team .262/.328/.397 and scored 759 runs (9th in AL). And despite ranking 14th in the AL in OPS (.726) Oakland did manage to find one bright spot offensively–stolen bases. They swiped 133 total bases which was good for 4th most in the AL.
Unfortunately, the offense couldn’t help the A’s pitching staff, who compiled a team ERA of 4.26 (3rd Best in AL). The A’s were outscored by opponents 759 to 761 en route to a 75 win season and a last place finish.
This offseason, A’s GM Billy Beane, made several moves to upgrade an anemic offensive attack. He brought in Padres’ 3B, Kevin Kouzmanoff, who hit .255 en route to a 15-homer, 88 RBI season. Kouzmanoff will now assume the responsibilities of the hot-corner, making Gold Glover Eric Chavez an $11.5 million utility man.
Beane also signed free-agent OF Coco Crisp to a one-year, $4.5 million deal with an option in 2011. Beane also added depth by trading for the Reds’ Adam Rosales. Rosales, 26, has already drawn similarities to former Oakland fan favorite, Eric Byrnes. But despite these additions, Oakland’s offense still lacks significant power in the middle of the order.
Here’s a look at Oakland’s 2010 projected Opening Day lineup:
Projected batting order
1. LF Rajai Davis:
.305 BA, .360 OBP, .423 SLG, 3 HR, 48 RBI in 2009
2. CF Coco Crisp:
.228 BA, .336 OBP, .378 SLG, 3 HR, 14 RBI in 2009
3. C Kurt Suzuki:
.274 BA, .313 OBP, .421 SLG, 15 HR, 88 RBI in 2009
4. DH Jack Cust:
.240 BA, .356 OBP, .417 SLG, 25 HR, 70 RBI in 2009
5. 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff:
.255 BA, .302 OBP, .420 SLG, 18 HR, 88 RBI in 2009
6. RF Ryan Sweeney:
.293 BA, .348 OBP, .407 SLG, 6 HR, 53 RBI in 2009
7. 2B Mark Ellis:
.263 BA, .305 OBP, .403 SLG, 10 HR, 61 RBI in 2009
8. 1B Daric Barton:
.269 BA, .372 OBP, .413 SLG, 3 HR, 24 RBI in 2009
9. SS Cliff Pennington:
.279 BA, .342 OBP, .418 SLG, 4 HR, 21 RBI in 2009
By looking at the projected lineup, it’s easy to tell that Oakland will not feature many homerun hitters. DH Jack Cust is the A’s biggest power threat, but he’s also their strikeout leader. Cust struck out a staggering 185 times in his 513 at-bats (36% of his at-bats resulted in a strikeout).
And from the recent news out of Oakland, the A’s front office would like to start both of their top-hitting prospects, OF Michael Taylor and IF Chris Carter in AAA. So as of right now, Oakland’s offense is far from being a potent attack.
If the A’s to have any success in 2010, their offense will have to find ways to support what should be a very solid starting rotation.