With the 2010 MLB All-Star game quickly approaching, many fans are casting last minute votes for their favorite players. While most fans forget to show the Oakland A’s some love around this time of year, I’m making my case that the A’s feature some great talent.
If it were up to me, the A’s would have four All-Star representatives: Andrew Bailey, Trevor Cahill, Ryan Sweeney and Kurt Suzuki. Okay, maybe four is too many, but believe me when I say that the A’s have some talented young players this year. Among the four that I mentioned above, Kurt Suzuki is probably most deserving; regardless of whether or not he’s got the best stats on the team. Below are some reasons why each player mention deserves to represent the A’s at this season’s Mid-Summer Classic. Note: Players are in order of who I’d pick to represent Oakland this year.
Catcher, Kurt Suzuki: Let’s face it, Suzuki is starting to look like a real good ball-player. Kudos to Billy Beane in giving him a shot back in 2007, when the A’s decided to move then-catcher Jason Kendall, to the Chicago Cubs. Following Kendall’s departure, Suzuki took over and in 68 starts, he managed a .249/.327/.408 line. The following season, in 2008, Suzuki hit .279/.346/.370 with 7 home runs and 42 RBIs. Last season, however, is when Suzuki really started making a name for himself. During the 2009 campaign, Suzuki not only led a young and inexperienced rotation, but also managed to hit .274/.313/.421 with 15 homers and a team leading 88 RBIs. Suzuki’s value this season is already being seen, as he’s hit 10 homers in 52 games. For the season, Suzuki is batting .267/.317/.450 with 10 homers and 32 RBIs. For me, Suzuki’s a talented hitter and an even more talented catcher. He’s just 26 himself, but the way he handles the younger pitchers is just brilliant. Maybe it’s because of the fact that he attended CSUF (I’m currently enrolled there), but Suzuki really deserves the All-Star nod this season. Trust me, if Joe Mauer wasn’t playing baseball, a lot more people would know who Kurt Suzuki is.
OF, Ryan Sweeney: Losing Nick Swisher was tough, believe me. But as big of a Swisher-fan as I am, I have to say that I don’t mind having Ryan Sweeney in the outfield. Sweeney came to the A’s after the 2007 season as part of the Swisher deal, and upon his arrival, he’s emerged as a consistent hitter. Sure, he’s not going to win any batting titles, but he’s a true baseball player. Defensively, he’s the A’s best player. Offensively, he’s not too shabby. This season, Sweeney is hitting .293/.341/.383 with 1 homer and 32 RBIs. Compare that to last season’s .293/.348/.407, and you’ll see that Sweeney will give you an average in the .280’s/.290’s along with 50 or so RBIs. Last season Sweeney managed to drive in 53 runs, meaning that he’ll need just 21 more RBIs to match last year’s total. Sweeney’s been pretty productive this season for Oakland, and it’s hard not to notice what he brings to the table (both defensively and offensively). If Suzuki doesn’t get the nod, I wouldn’t mind seeing Sweeney representing the green-and-gold.
Closer, Andrew Bailey: He’s 26, and the reigning AL Rookie of the Year winner, so why shouldn’t he represent the A’s? Bailey has been consistent this season, albeit he wasn’t getting many save opportunities in the beginning of the season. On the year, Bailey owns an impressive 1.69 ERA and has recorded 15 saves. A’s manager, Bob Geren, has said that he plans to limit the number of innings Bailey throws, but that’s not a cause for concern. Bailey’s performance out of the ‘pen has been impressive, and if the A’s can count on a single player to deliver, it’s Bailey.
Starting Pitcher, Trevor Cahill: Oh Cahill, how who’ve grown. At just 22 years old, Trevor Cahill has emerged as one of Oakland’s top young pitchers. Last season, Cahill notched 10 wins in his rookie campaign. This season, he’s three away from matching that total. At 7-3, Cahill is having a very solid season this year for Oakland. He wasn’t much of a strikeout pitcher last season, but this year he’s recorded 52 K’s in 75 IP. Cahill’s success has been crucial for Oakland, who has been dealing with multiple injuries including an injury to Justin Duchscherer. Will Cahill continue his first-half dominance into the second-half of the season? Maybe, maybe not. But, right now Cahill is as good as anyone. He gets a vote from me, that’s for sure.
Agree? Disagree? Sound off below! Also, tell me who you think is most deserving for the A’s All-Star nod.
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