The Oakland Athletics did not posses a whole lot of power this season, so it comes to no one’s surprise that the team hit only 109 home runs (28th in baseball). The A’s had only four players with 10 home runs or more: Kevin Kouzmanoff (16), Kurt Suzuki (13), Jack Cust (13) and Daric Barton (10).
In 2009, the A’s had six players with 10 home runs or more. As a team, the A’s hit 135 homers (26 more than this year), but finished the year in fourth place with a sub-.500 record. This season, however, the A’s did not rely on power, simply because they had none. Instead, the team focused on what they did have: defense and speed. The A’s lineup consisted of some ‘scrappy’ players, who did their best while the starting pitching delivered night after night.
One of those ‘scrappy’ players was 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff. Kouzmanoff, or “Kouz” for short, arrived in Oakland via trade with the San Diego Padres this past offseason. Since long-time 3B Eric Chavez, who was rehabbing from yet another surgery this past offseason, could not play the infield daily anymore, the A’s made a nice move when they acquired Kouzmanoff.
Kouzmanoff, for the most part, did a decent enough job this year for Oakland. He made the switch from the National League, and ended up hitting .247/.283/.396 with 16 homers and 71 RBIs. The homers were tops for the team, as were the RBIs.
He did, however, experience his share of up’s and down’s. Most notably when he was sidelined with a back injury. He hit .206 in August, .157 in September, and .091 in the final three games of the season. His best month came in June, where Kouzmanoff hit .336/.355/.523 with 5 homers and 14 RBIs.
On a team that hit .256/.324/.378, Kouzmanoff did a solid job. The A’s offensively did not have a great year, but were successful in the sense that they were able to switch over to a more small-ball approach. The team stole bases, and used the resources they had. Heading into this offseason, however, the A’s would be foolish if they don’t address their lack of power on offense.
Tags: 3B A's A's Infield A's Lineup A's Offense A's Thirdbase AL AL West Baseball Daric Barton Eric Chavez IF INF Jack Cust Kevin Kouzmanoff Kouz Kouzmanoff Kurt Suzuk MLB Oakland Oakland A's Roster Oakland Athletics Promotions San Diego Padres