To lead you into the MLB season Stoop Sports’ MLB staff is embarking on a 30 day journey, where we will give you pre-season profiles of all thirty teams. Each writer was given the artistic liberty to format their previews to their liking. Enjoy, and happy spring training!
The Oakland Athletics were one of baseball’s biggest surprises last season when they took over control of the AL West from the two-time defending American League Champion Texas Rangers.. They were one of the more fun teams to watch, as they had 15 walk off wins and played the eventual AL Champion Tigers very tough in the ALDS.
This is an extremely young team that will return many of its core pieces. The A’s used 19 rookies over the course of the 2012 season, 12 of them pitchers. The ceiling will be even higher for the 2013 starting rotation because of full seasons from young studs Jarrod Parker and Tommy Milone. They will also benefit from having ace Brett Anderson lead the rotation for a full season as well, who returned in the middle of 2012 from Tommy John Surgery.
The lineup should also be fairly dangerous, as they will return last year’s AL Rookie of the Year runner-up Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes played a solid left field for the A’s, and provided power in the middle of the order, hitting .292 with 23 home runs and 82 RBIs. However, the left side of the infield is a big question mark as last year’s shortstop Stephen Drew departed for the Red Sox this off-season. Japanese import Hiroyuki Najakima will take over the shortstop position, while Josh Donaldson will play the hot corner.
All in all, the evidence makes it look like the A’s will continue their success from last season, and be a successful team for the years to come. They are a young baseball team that is fun to watch, and should continue to develop into one of the premier teams in baseball.
2012 Prediction: 92-70, 2nd place in the AL West