With the A’s missing the playoffs this year for the fifth-consecutive season, many fans are wondering what to expect from the green-and-gold in the foreseeable future. Is their any hope for better days in Oakland?
Well, as noted before on this site, the A’s have a few talented hitters waiting to make an impact on the big-league level. Oakland’s pitching staff over the past few seasons has been a bright spot for an organization that hasn’t had a winning season since 2006, but the team’s offense has been the exact opposite of good.
It’s been terrible.
General manager Billy Beane, who was portrayed by A-Lister Brad Pitt in the film Moneyball, has seen his critics grow in population over the past few years.
With the larger market teams implementing the same techniques utilized by Oakland in the early 2000′s, the A’s are once again at the opposite end of the baseball spectrum, struggling to find an even playing field with the higher-up’s in baseball. As a result, Beane’s efforts to put a winning team together have fell short.
In recent drafts, the A’s have made a real effort in drafting talented young hitters. In this year’s draft, the A’s chose pitcher Sonny Grey, but overall, the A’s have tried to address some of their glaring problems on offense.
In 2010, the Athletics chose OF Michael Choice with their first-round pick. In 2009, the A’s chose SS Grant Green. Choice, a very bright young player, has the type of power Oakland covets. For a team like Oakland, power is a rarity. Choice has the raw-power to be a successful hitter on the big-league level, and his defense isn’t too shabby either.
FanSided’s Seedlings To Stars minor league site covered the Athletics organization recently, and the overall consensus was that Choice is one of Oakland’s top prospects. While there was much love for Choice over at Seedlings to Stars, the feeling was not the same regarding Grant Green.
Green, a product out of USC, was once regarded as a top prospect in Oakland’s organization. However, Green’s production fell this year compared to his 2010 campaign with Single-A Stockton. In 127 games this year with Double-A Midland, Green has put together a slash line of .291/.343/.408 with 9 HR and 62 RBIs. While those are not terrible numbers—not by any means—they do reflect a bit of decline in power.
Oh yeah, he’s struck out 119 times in 127 games this year. Nathaniel Stoltz, Senior Editor over at Seedlings to Stars even compares Green to a right-handed version of Oakland’s Ryan Sweeney. It is also important to note that Oakland recently moved Green this year from short stop to the outfield. He committed 6 errors in total in the outfield compared to 21 at short.
Fans growing increasingly annoyed by the team’s inability to score runs on a consistent basis should not fret—at least not yet. The A’s have a very other possible role players looking for an opportunity to produce on the big-league level. Michael Taylor and Chris Carter are two bright young players Oakland hopes to keep around for years to come. Taylor possesses decent power, and Carter could provide the lineup with a little pop as well.
Overall, the A’s and Billy Beane have made an effort to assemble a few players that have the potential to make an impact on the big league level. With guys like Choice, Taylor, and Carter on their way to the “show,” Oakland fans may be able to finally breathe a little easier knowing that there’s at least a little glimmer of hope on the horizon.
For more minor league news, please visit FanSided’s Seedlings To Stars.
And for more Oakland A’s-related news, keep visiting Swingin’ A’s and follow me on twitter @oaklandace75.