There have been plenty of memorable and historic era’s in Oakland Athletics history since the franchise moved to Oakland in 1968. The 70’s was the era of the Dynasty!. The A’s formed one of the greatest teams in baseball history, capturing 3 World Series Titles in 3 years. The early 1980’s didn’t produce Championships, but it produced a new and exciting style of baseball named”Billy Ball”. Sparked by the greatest lead off hitter of all-time Rickey Henderson, the A’s became one of the most exciting teams in baseball. In the late 90’s the A’s drafted 3 pitchers that would eventually form a dynamic trio perfectly named “The Big 3″. The 2001 season was the first season that Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito were all part of the A’s starting rotation. The young and talented trio led the A’s to 102 victories that year and the “Big 3″ became the Hallmark for the Green and Gold’s success.
The Athletics 2013 campaign hasn’t had the flair or the great storyline’s that accompanied the 2001 season, but the potential to bring in a new and exciting chapter could be in the works. The direction of the storyline is primarily going to fall on 2 of the youngest arms in the A’s rotation, Jarrod Parker and Sonny Gray. These 2 dynamic pitchers are barely scratching the surface of their ability. Parker has the advantage of being able to reflect on last years pennant race and exposure to help him down the stretch this year., while Grey is just 2 starts into his Big League career. Both have the potential to be frontline starters for many years. The A’s could be looking at a 1-2 punch that most teams can only dream about. Sonny Gray’s eight innings of shut out baseball in his last start further illustrated that A’s management made the right decision in bringing him along slowly. Parker had early season struggles but has become the A’s most consistent pitcher of the 2nd half.
Both pitchers have a great arsenal to work with. They both have legit Fastballs that are countered with excellent off-speed pitches. Parker has a devastating change-up that disappears as it approaches the batters box, while Gray’s sharp tumbling curveball leaves hitters looking foolish at times. This is what top draft prospects should look like.Both of these young hurlers have the ability to obtain lengthy and successful careers. They are also in an organization that has their best interest at heart and knows how to handle young arms. A’s fans maybe watching the building blocks of something special. It’s to early to make predictions or to raise expectations to high but when u see explosive breaking balls that co-exist with blazing heat it naturally raises expectations. Patience will be the key for everyone involved, because no matter how great the talent is experience can only be gained one start at a time. So have patience A’s fans and get ready for what could be the next great chapter of Oakland Athletics Baseball.
Will Parker and Gray be able to lead an Oakland run all the way to the MLB World Series this season? It may be too early to tell, but there’s a very bright future ahead of these two young arms.