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A's Review: Daric Barton

July 25, 2010 - Oakland, CA, United States of America - 25 Jul, 2010; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics first baseman Daric Barton.

A's 1B Daric Barton made tremendous strides in 2010 for Oakland. (Photo Courtesy of yardbarker.com)


Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that I had my doubts about 1B Daric Barton prior to the start of this season. Barton, 25, proved me wrong, however. I’m glad he did.

Heading into spring training, many thought that the A’s had lost hope in Daric Barton, as they had long-time 3B Eric Chavez shift over to first. Chavez, coming off yet another surgery, was supposed to share time at first with Barton, who had failed to live up to the hype that once surrounded his name.

The A’s also had highly-touted prospect IF/OF Chris Carter at first, and many thought the A’s would give Carter a chance to prove himself early on in the year. It simply did not look good for Barton.

Despite the obstacles in front of him, however, Barton proved why he was still a valuable player to the A’s. Barton won the starting job, and Chavez was slated to take over the team’s day-to-day DH job. Carter, meanwhile, was sent to the minors in an effort to give him more seasoning before bringing him up with the big-league team.

Barton surprised me then, and he continued to surprise me during the regular season as well. In 159 games this season, Barton hit .273/.393/.405 with 10 home runs and 57 RBIs. While those numbers may not be what you’d expect to see from a first-baseman, Barton made tremendous strides this season both offensively and defensively.

A’s GM Billy Beane, who knows the team is in dire need of some power in their lineup, notes that he does not want to sacrifice defense for power. Barton’s defense was solid this season, and while he may not be Albert Pujols or Adrian Gonzalez, his value to the A’s is still worth something. That being said, I wouldn’t expect the A’s to ship Barton anywhere (or at least not yet).

Barton led the league in walks (110) and ranked 5th in the AL in OBP (.393). Barton’s improvements this season should have him in good shape heading into next spring.

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