Coco Crisp has perhaps the most unique name in all of baseball, and we love him for it. But the Oakland fans love Coco for more than just his name or crazy, eccentric, and fluffy afro (before he shaved it). A’s fans have fallen in love with Coco because he is at the very heart of the team, and today he is our A’s player of the day.
Coco seems to be aging like a fine wine, only getting better as he gets older. 2013 proved to be career year for Coco. He ended the season with a .261 average, which isn’t the most impressive stat, until you see that Coco had almost as many walks as he did RBI. He had 66 RBI and 61 walks. When you look at his on base percentage, you see an impressive .335. He had 134 hits, and only 65 strikeouts. What made this a career year for Coco is that he hit a big milestone in his career. He hit 22 homeruns and had 21 steals. Few leadoff hitters hit that mark due to the fact that leadoff hitters aren’t usually power hitters. The stolen bases also show that despite getting older, Coco still has some of the fastest wheels in the league. He may be in his mid 30′s by now, but he’s only getting better. There was only one thing missing from Coco in his offense in 2013, and that is the Bernie Lean as his walk up song.
Coco was impressive on offense in 2013, but he was even more outstanding on defense. He had 307 putouts, but the impressive part of his defense is how many plays he made involving dive and leaps all sorts of acrobatics. A lot game saving outs came from Coco in center field. The most impressive part of his defensive play in 2013 was that he went the entire season with absolutely no errors made. Not a single one. What more could you ask of an outfielder than a perfect season with no errors? Coco was a big factor in Oakland winning the Al West in 2013. Oakland truly has a gem in the outfield in Coco Crisp.
With the new confidence that Coco has on offense we can expect Coco to be even better. My prediction for him is that he will hit 25 homeruns, have at least 20 stolen bases, increase his average to at least .270, and to have Bernie Lean as his walk up song once again (hey I can dream can’t I?). We will see coco be more productive and will always see him in the leadoff spot like last season. Coco will be more productive in 2014 than he was in 2013 and he will once again get the offense going and be the engine that gets the A’s to another playoff berth and another AL West title.
Expect more of the usual from Coco. More acrobatic dives, more stealing homeruns, and more epic leaps. We will however, see him DH more with the addition of Gentry. Melvin will rest Coco more and give him half days off by allowing him to take a rest from the outfield. If he gets enough games in the outfield, however, I predict that coco will win a Gold Glove Award. If you’re wondering why Coco didn’t win one in 2013 despite being flawless with no errors, it’s because of the rules for qualifying for the Gold Glove Award. The rules state that a player must have played in at least 95 games and for 713 innings by the 141st game of the season. Coco had played 779 innings, but only 93 games by the cutoff date. As is A’s custom with a lot of players, Coco was robbed of the recognition he deserves. 2014 will be the year he finally gets it.
Coco Crisp was and will continue to be the beating heart of the Oakland Athletics. He will continue to be the engine that pushes the team to the high standards we have as fans for them now. Coco will be the same Coco we know and love. Now if only he could bring back the Bernie Lean.