The Oakland A’s have officially wrapped up their first full week of Cactus League games. They are currently sitting on a 5-2-1 record, having tied the Rangers in a 2-2 draw after 9 innings. Some players have shined and some have had a really slow start. Here are 3 takeaways from the first week of the Cactus League.
1. A’s May Have New Top Prospect
The Athletics top prospect is technically Addison Russel, but he hasn’t been shining as bright as newly acquired minor leaguer Billy Burns has. He is leading all players in spring training in most stolen bases with 7. He is 7 for 7, having yet to be thrown out while stealing. He has such amazing speed that he is causing infielders to commit errors left and right. He has a .316 average and also leads all of Spring Training with 7 runs scored. Burns was thought of as just an invitee to camp without much of a shot at making the big league roster, but he is quickly changing minds and may actually see time in the majors this year. He will surely be a big star in Oakland for years to come, and having only given up Jerry Blevins in the trade to acquire him, I’d say Beane wins that deal.
2. Josh Reddick is Back
The Athletics surely missed the impact bat of Josh Reddick in 2013. He wasn’t so good at the plate in 2013, largely in part due to a wrist injury he got in the first week of the season in Houston. He couldn’t get back in a groove and continued to struggle at the plate all season long. With a fresh clean slate, it looks like the 2012 Josh Reddick is back. In his 13 AB’s, he has an average of .462 with 4 RBI and an OBP of .500. He is one of the players that has taken Spring as a chance to shine. If he can keep this good trend going, then we will see Reddick back to his top form. Throw in his defense and you have yourself one amazing ball player that will come in and impact the team.
3. Fernando Abad and Evan Scribner May Make Big League Roster
Both Fernando Abad and Evan Scriber are proving that they belong in a major league bullpen. Unfortunately for them, they’re competing for spots in the best bullpen in all of baseball. Early on, however, they have given the A’s shutout innings and strikeouts. Abad has 3 innings pitched in which he hasn’t allowed any runs and has 4 strikeouts. Evan Scribner has pitched in 4 innings with 4 strikeouts and no hits allowed. The only run scored on him was on a sacrifice fly and it was an inherited runner, so it doesn’t go against him. These guys are giving the A’s consistency and are doing a great job early on. If they keep it up, they may just end up winning a spot in this amazing bullpen.