The Oakland A’s have long been known as a pitching first team and organization. The depth they create from trading major league players for prospects and through the draft has led to an amazing amount of sustained success from their major league pitchers. GM Billy Beane has somewhat bucked this trend of late probably noticing the fact that the A’s offense had not had any danger in it in almost a decade. So through some trades, signings and the draft Beane has acquired a deep pool of offensive talent. Some of the evidence is seen in the current line up: Josh Reddick, Josh Donaldson, Jed Lowrie, Brandon Moss, Josh Donaldson, Coco Crisp, Chris Young, and of course the most important Yoenis Cespedes. A’s fans may think this is the end of the pipeline but there’s talent coming down the road in the near future. Here are some of those players listed by current location.
Triple-A Sacramento River Cats: Grant Green (utilitly), Hiroyuki Nakajima (IF), Jemile Weeks (IF), Michael Choice (OF), Shane Peterson (OF), Michael Taylor (OF). Weeks, Peterson, and Taylor have all seen some time in Oakland. Peterson and Taylor have never gotten an extended look, but as the A’s saw early on this season injuries can set in quickly and generate opportunities. Weeks should get a chance to get back up sometime in the near future with the struggles of Eric Sogard and Adam Rosales. Green will see some time in the future, probably September. Nakajima was signed to a multi-year deal in the offseason but he was injured in Spring Training and his offense is still behind where it needs to be so it may be some time before he is called up to Oakland.
Double-A Midland Rockhounds: Miles Head (IF). Head is the only offensive player to really jump out at you and say he can be a legitimate major league player. He came over in the Reddick trade and he has not disappointed so far.
Single-A Stockton Ports: Addison Russell (IF). Russell was the A’s most recent first round draft pick. He was drafted right out of high school and dominated the lower levels of the A’s minor league organization last season but struggled in the early going of this year in Stockton. He has since turned it around and looks poised for a late summer call-up to Midland.
All of these players bring about them some component of offense that makes them valuable commodities. GM Billy Beane has changed his focus slightly to the offensive side of the ball rather than the mound. These players are the future of the A’s and as long as they continue to develop into the hitters they are scouted to be, another wave of trades could soon becoming to the East Bay again. This time however, there are reinforcements.