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Official 2010 Oakland A's Thread

No more offseason moves.

ST is almost here.

Lets go.
lol this is still a major league team?


Expecting basically a .500 season.

Maybe a mid 80s win total if everything goes right, health, and if the A's keep their vets which I doubt they will.

2010 and most definitely 2011 are the years to truly contend.
Basically a summary of what I think at this time will be the the 25 man roster to begin the 2010 season.

C

-Suzuki…played like an all star in 09. Most think he was the team MVP. Offensively don’t know if he has much more room to improve at least power wise with his 37 2Bs/15 Hrs and 88 RBIs. Would like to see the OBP of .313 improve to where it was the season before in 08 at .346 but hey he surpassed my expectations of him. Defensively and in terms of calling a game especially, not many I’d take over Suzuki at this point.

-Powell…showed some impressive power last season in limited ABs driving in 30 RBIs in only 46 games played. I know some A’s fans thought he could’ve had a chance to become the full time DH as they want to see what he could do with 400-500 ABs a season but doubt we’ll see that due to durability issues that Powell has suffered thru since his minor league days where he’s had multiple knee injuries.


1B

-Barton…well hopefully he lives up to the hype. Second half of last season where he put up a solid line of .287/.386/.434 in 143 ABs and had more Bbs than Ks with 23/21. He has put up three very good late season surges in his first three seasons, well 2+ season as he only played a month of ball basically in 07. Played a pretty damn good defensive 1B too which is a shock to many since he was considered a liability anywhere defensively in the field during his minor league years.


2B

-Ellis…most likely his last season with the A’s. Been as solid, when healthy of a performer on this team in the past decade, course health has always been an issue. Doesn’t have the great range he used to have defensively but still pretty good. With the bat, he’s solid, been very good at times.


SS

-Pennington…showed surprising offensive game as he took over for Cabrera when he was dealt. Gladly take what he put up for 2+ months for an entire 6 month season which would add up to 30 2Bs/10 HRs/60 RBIs and 20+ SBs. Defensively was off and on last season. Had some streak of over 20+ games without a error but had lapses of bad throws which wasn’t what you expected since Pennington was thought to be pretty good defensively.

-Rosales…sort of has a Brynes type all out mentality. Hate to use the word, but a “gamer” type where he’ll play 100% all the time. Love to have that on a team even as a utility player which he’d bring having the ability to play all the 3B/SS/2B and even some OF.

3B

-Kouzmanoff…more of a free swinger than what we’re accustomed. Was a league average hitter at 3B last season with SD. If he could put up .270/.330/.430 with 30 2Bs/20 Hrs/80 RBIs, I’d take that for the next three years form an A’s 3B. Defensively, maybe isn’t as good as his fielding % would indicate, which was the best I believe in NL history, but if he’s solid, I’d take that too from him.

-Fox…put up offensive #s last season at AAA in the Cubs system where he hit over .409 with a 1.336 OPS. Would have like to seen him getting 400+ ABs this year but don’t think that’s gonna happen. Least he’ll be a solid option as a backup and pinch hitter.

-Chavez…yeah who knows?


LF

-Davis…jolted the A’s offense the second half with his hitting and SB ability. Still a lot of doubters whether that was a fluke. Will he hit .300+ like he did the second half of 09, don’t know but if he could even be what his career average was before 09, that’d still be around a .280 hitter and if he can get on base at a good clip, he’ll give this team a legit leadoff man who can steal 50-60 Sbs for the first time since Rickey back in the late 90s.


CF

-Crisp…still sort of lukewarm on this deal considering how much we paid for him and IMO having a similar player in Davis. Defensively, along with Davis and Sweeney could give the A’s one of the best defensive and fastest Ofs in baseball. Offensively, with Davis moving to LF, could also give the A’s one of the least power hitting Ofs in the game. Course this could change by mid June when either or both of Taylor and Carter arrive in the bigs, the former more likely to arrive first.


RF

-Sweeney…maybe the player a lot of A’s fans expect to have a Suzuki type breakout season from last year. Sweeney showed that potential post all star break last season with a line of .319/.378/.463 in 229 ABs. HR power may not be what we want but I think in terms of a gaps/2B power, had 20 2Bs in the second half of last season, Sweeney could be one of the A’s best.

-Gross…will be the fourth OF to the dismay of some A’s fans who are Buck supporters. Didn’t put up that good of #s last season so he has nowhere to go but up you hope.


DH

Cust…..250/.399/.426 in 216 ABs the second half of last season. MUCH BETTER than what he dif the first half when some speculate he went to a more aggressive approach at the plate. If he does that and hit his 25-30 Hrs, I think most A’s can stick it out thru another year of close to 200 Ks and 100 Bbs.




SP

-Sheets…two question, how healthy can he be and whether or not the A’s will deal him at the deadline, ala a Holliday and maybe land at least one top notch Wallace/Taylor type prospect. Health, I don’t know. Not expecting him to throw 200 innings, would be shocked if by season’s end he’ll reach even 150. If healthy is a legit ace and may pitch like that for stretches this season if he’s indeed remotely healthy…just don’t think that the A’s could get a full season’s worth of GS from Sheets even if they were in contention. Knowing that if the A’s aren’t in contention, how much honeslty could the A’s get from him if he is having a very good season by the deadline. Even if teams are desperate for a vet like Sheets, could they get much knowing he’s not only a FA after this season but also how much longer can he pitch once he is dealt from the A’s who I suspect won’t baby him and could even max him out during his time here ala how MIL did with CC back the last few months of the season in 08.

-Duke…like Sheets those two question could surround him for much of the first half of the season. Hasn’t been healthy for a full season since god knows when. But when healthy both as a SP and RP, an all star type although have only one very good all star half as a SP in 08 to judge him while he’s had a handful of seasons as a very good RP. Again if healthy with Sheets could give the A’s a very good 1-2 punch at the start of the rotation.

-Anderson…pitch so well the second half where he looked like a future ace which I think he will be maybe by midseason. Had just some dating performances the last few months of the season, the most memorable being the CG shutout he had at BOS to begin July. Finsihed the season strong going 4-1 in his last five starts with a 2.20 ERA/1.19 ERA with a 31 Ks/4 BB ratio. Now he did have an extra day of rest so the last few months due to the A’s going to a 6 man rotation so who knows how the normal rest will effect him for a full season but expecting a very good possibly breakout year for him in 2010.

-Braden…one of the more unluckier SP in baseball last season. Had one of the top 5 worst run supports when he went out there and still finish with a 8-9 season. Has had both of his last two seasons ended with a season ending injury so hopefully it’s not some sort of norm for him because I think he could be a solid mid rotation arm.

-Gio…had at times unhittable stuff when he’s on. Very good curve, fast is alright although not dominating. Maturity, consistency, on mound composure and control of pitches are an issue for him especially when things aren’t going right.


Bullpen

-Breslow….nice pickup early last season. Had a solid year as a LHRP. How likely can he repeat, don’t know but I guess he’d be the most likely IMO candidate to regress from a solid 09 in the A’s pen although he went from castoff to being one of the better LHRPs in the game last season.

-Kilby…hard choice between he and another LHRP in Blevins but Kilby put up sick #s last season when he was called up with a 0.53 ERA/0.82 WHIP in 17 IP. Not a hard thrower but his deceptive motion fooled so many last season.

-Wuertz…very good last season. Was a bit worried when he said his arm felt dead midway thru the season due to being overused as much as the rest of the pen was due to the A’s starters not going deep but pitch well thru out the season.

-Devine…wow if he could come back to his 08 form where he set a MLB record with the lowest ERA in 50 IP, he could be a huge asset. Course he too has had health issues thru out his career dating back to his days in ATL but he won’t be used as much I hope because of the great depth the A’s have in the pen not only in the bigs but also minors.

-Ziegler…second straight year where he had a very good year. Struggled early, some say it was due to the WBC curse but finished up very strong later in the season.

-Bailey…reigning AL ROY. Dominating stuff as a closer and had an arsenal due to him being a former SP. Beane goes thru closers like they’re nothing the past decade so who knows how long Bailey will be here but if he pitches like he did last season where I believe he led all MLB relievers in Ks, he could be here much longer than previous A’s closers in the 2000s.
Players who'll probably start the year at AAA but could be up soon.

Cahill...at this time he probably needs to spend the most time at AAA to refine some of his pitches like that supposed knuckle curve we all heard about his first couple of years in the minors that was supposed to be a plus pitch. I know a lot of A's fans worry about his lack of Ks and or an out pitch if his sinker isn't working. Add to that he gave up a ton of HRs last season when he left his pitches up, having Cahill spend the first few months in the minors to work on his pitches along with saving a year of service time would probably be the smart move for the A's. He could be up even earlier with the durability issues that Sheets/Duke have.

Outman...well he won't be on either the big league or AAA squads. Won't be back probably until the all star break and who knows where the A's start him when he comes back and in what role, as a SP or RP. Probably a RP first but late in the season if the likes of Sheets/Duke aren't around could be used as a SP. In terms of pure stuff he showed last season, he has the potential to be at least a #3.

Buck...we all know the arguments back in forth in the A's community regarding Buck. I still think he could end up being sort of in the Sweeney mode of a high AVG and lots of 2Bs type of bat. But his last few years other than a few good weeks each season has been a disaster both in terms of production and health wise. Supposedly Beane has gotten trade offers for Buck this offseason but have rejected them saying they want to keep Buck. Looking at how they've handled him the past year and what they've done in terms of acquiring OF talent, doesn't look like they have a future with him.

Blevins...3.00 ERA/0.83 WHIP with 20 Ks/3 BBs in 18 IP after he was called back up from AAA when he was sent down there early in the 09 season after struggling bad.

Patterson...thought he'd be a lock to make this roster at the end of last season when he did very well when given consistent ABs the last 4-5 weeks of the season but with the A's acquiring Gross and now Rosales, his future is in question. I don't think he has any options left so he'd become a FA if he doesn't make the team out of ST which at this point isn't likely.

Meloan...0.00 ERA/0.60 WHIP with 11 Ks/2 BBs in 8.1 IP in his callup late in the season. Was a highly thought of prospect, stunk but may have found a home with the A's org. Just too bad for him the A's have so much depth in the pen although he's probably the first RHRP to come up from AAA if need be.

McPherson...highly thought of 3B prospect with the LAA years ago, has been a minor league masher but just hasn't done much in the bigs. Was out all year with a back injury in 09 and with Kouz, Fox, and Chavez here, his future with the team is cloudy. I know many A's fans were excited about his potential, I don't know what to think of him at this point. Will if given the chance he become another Cust or just a AAAA talent ala in the mode of former A's prospects like DJ/Everidge.

HRod...displayed his lack of control in his short stints in SEP last season. Control probably will always be an issue for him. I know a lot of A's fans would've liked to seen him dealt this offseason as part of a package deal thinking they could sell high on his with teams maybe falling in love with his mid-high 90s heat.

Mazzaro...debut was great, then hit a wall and stumbled his last handful of starts before his season ending injury. Never got the whole hype of him being what I posted after his first few starts from a "scout" who thought he was the best rookie pitcher in the bigs in 09, course that was after just a handful of starts which I don't think you could've made a real evaluation. Definitely has work to do on his pitches. Probably has a lower ceiling than any of the A's SP.

Mortenson...had bad and good starts after he was deal there from STL in the Holliday deal. Don't think that DUI late in the season helped his case with the A's. Still only 24 but probably isn't better than a back end rotation arm/long man in the pen.
Olney on BBTN a few moments ago picked Anderson as his breakout candidate for this season.

Basically said once Anderson got on a weight training schedule, his fastball velocity increased from low 90s to mid 90s and that him being a baseball gym rat since his dad is a college baseball coach, that he's not gonna half ass it during his time in the bigs.

Also said that wouldn't be shocked to see Sheets who most at this time including Geren himself has anointed the #1 in the rotation, that during the season that he may move to as far down as the #3.
Go A's!!!

Looks as Mulder is gonna retire.

What a shame in terms of what happened to his career. From 01-04, he might've been one of the top LHSP in all of MLB. A guy who you could put #1 or #2 in a rotation and he'd win you 16-20 games a season.

He started the 04 all star game but after that, basically went downhill after that as the last few months of the season he struggled bad. Then the A's deal him to STL for Haren, Barton and Calero. Mulder had one semi solid season for STL but injuries have ruined his career since.

I always thought during the Big 3 era, that Mulder would end up having the best career out of all three of them. Personally thought he had enough potential and talent to be a potential HOF if he had kept up his performance from 01-04 for the next decade but that clearly didn't happen.

Mechanically it didn't look like he had an issue, his delivery looked pretty smooth to me although some I've read over the past few years have said that his delivery wasn't as sound as I thought it was.

Thought this offseason that he'd sign somewhere, rumors were rampant were he was going to MIL to reunite with Peterson who was hired as their pitching coach but no news the past month when that rumor looked like it was gonna happen and now it looks as he's done.
Originally posted by ninerpride:
Olney on BBTN a few moments ago picked Anderson as his breakout candidate for this season.

Basically said once Anderson got on a weight training schedule, his fastball velocity increased from low 90s to mid 90s and that him being a baseball gym rat since his dad is a college baseball coach, that he's not gonna half ass it during his time in the bigs.

Also said that wouldn't be shocked to see Sheets who most at this time including Geren himself has anointed the #1 in the rotation, that during the season that he may move to as far down as the #3.

A rotation with a front 3 of Sheets, Dusch and Anderson if healthy would be one of the best front 3 in baseball IMO
IF and that's a HUGE HUGE IF.

Add to that one of the best pens in baseball, the A's pitching staff could be all together IMO one of the top 7 or 8 in all of baseball.
MLBN Hot Stove had a question about Sheets and over/under him having 20 starts this season.

One analyst picked under the other picked over.

Course there was the thought at the end that Sheets no matter what happens may not finish the year with the A's. Basically if healthy and performing well, A's brass will be this year's Holliday in terms of a huge trading chip...something most A's fans speculate will happen even maybe if the A's are contending by the deadline.
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Originally posted by ninerpride:
MLBN Hot Stove had a question about Sheets and over/under him having 20 starts this season.

One analyst picked under the other picked over.

Course there was the thought at the end that Sheets no matter what happens may not finish the year with the A's. Basically if healthy and performing well, A's brass will be this year's Holliday in terms of a huge trading chip...something most A's fans speculate will happen even maybe if the A's are contending by the deadline.

Eh not going to happy...If hes healthy I'm 110 % sure him or the Dukester will get traded...I hope its him though cause Im a huge fan of Duke :)
If those two are both healthy and pitching well, I think the odds are pretty good both will be dealt.

By that time, well the last two months...

Anderson
Braden
Gio
Cahill
Mazzaro
Outman
Ross

...pretty sure the A's could find a starting rotation from the young names listed above.

I think there a shot the A's could land a quality prospect for Sheets if a team is desperate for a top notch arm by the trade deadline, not so sure about Duke.

2011 and more likely 2012 are the years to compete, this season I liken to 99 a decade ago where you saw the youngsters getting significant playing time but it'll take another year or so.

Heck remember in 2000, it took a GREAT SEP where the A's went crazy with some record to end the season going like 22-5 that month to barely win the AL West by one game over SEA. I read years ago from Beane where I think he said 2000 was a year early in terms of their competing and 01 was the year that most in the A's brass was thought to be the year to make a serious run.
Originally posted by StOnEy333:
Go A's!!!


Fangraph's top A's prospect...

Quote:
Oakland Athletics: Top 10 Prospects
by Marc Hulet - February 16, 2010 - Share this Article

General Manager: Billy Beane
Farm Director: Billy Owens
Scouting Director: Eric Kubota

FanGraphs’ Top 10 Prospects:
(2009 Draft Picks/International Signees Not Included)

1. Chris Carter, 1B, Triple-A
DOB: December 1986 Bats: R Throws: R
Signed: 2005 15th round – Nevada HS (Chicago AL)
MLB ETA: Mid-2010 40-Man Roster: Yes Options: 3

If you want to dream on a power prospect, Carter is your man. He has Ryan Howard-like power potential, although there are concerns over his lack of contact and high strikeout numbers. Carter is likely a .250-.270 hitter in the Majors (His .337 average in double-A was aided by a .406 BABIP). His strikeout rate in double-A was 24.3% in ‘09. On the plus side, he also had an ISO rate of .238, an OPS of 1.1011 and a walk rate of 13.8%. Although the 6′4” 210 lbs first baseman is not swift-of-foot, he is a smart base runner who nabbed 13 bags in 18 tries. Daric Barton is Carter’s biggest “roadblock” to the first base job in Oakland; although he’s far from a five-tool player, the prospect is a better all-around player than Jake Fox or Jack Cust.

2. Michael Taylor, OF, Triple-A
DOB: December 1985 Bats: R Throws: R
Signed: 2007 5th round – Stanford University (Philadelphia)
MLB ETA: Mid-2010 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3

Obtained from the Phillies, via the Blue Jays during the Roy Halladay musical chairs, the organization gave up a more promising bat (Brett Wallace) for the better all-around player in Taylor. Oakland has a lot of outfield depth with the likes of Travis Buck, Eric Patterson, Rajai Davis, and Ryan Sweeney, but none of those players can match Taylor’s potential. He’s also MLB ready, so he could step into a full-time or platoon gig in April. Taylor, 24, had a solid ‘09 season in double-A where he hit .333/.408/.569 in 318 at-bats. He displayed a reasonable walk rate at 9.6% and kept his strikeout rate below 20% (16.0%) while maintaining excellent power (.236 ISO). Taylor also added 18 steals in 22 tries. Promoted to triple-A, he hit .282/.359/.491 with a .209 ISO in 110 at-bats. Taylor possesses a strong arm and can play both outfield corners, although he sees most of his time in left field.

3. Jemile Weeks, 2B, Double-A
DOB: January 1987 Bats: B Throws: R
Signed: 2008 1st round – University of Miami
MLB ETA: Mid-2011 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3

Weeks battled through injuries in ‘09 and appeared in just 80 games. The second baseman opened his season with a power burst that was unsustainable and probably a fluke. He posted a .169 ISO in his first 50 games with high-A (all seven of his homers came in his first 97 at-bats) before moving up to double-A where he posted an ISO rate of .105, which was more in line with his debut (.108 ISO in ‘08). A switch-hitter, Weeks performed much better against right-handed pitchers in ‘09 with an OPS of .899 vs .615 against southpaws. Defensively, the 23 year old is athletic with a strong arm, but he makes some careless errors.

4. Adrian Cardenas, 2B, Triple-A
DOB: October 1987 Bats: L Throws: R
Signed: 2006 supplemental 1st round – Florida HS (Philadelphia)
MLB ETA: Late-2010 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3

It was an up-and-down season for the 22-year-old Cardenas. He received a quick promotions to triple-A in ‘09 but struggled by hitting .175 in May and was sent back to double-A, where he set the world on fire by hitting .326/.392/.446 in 325 at-bats. Moved back up to triple-A in August, he posted a line of .287/.354/.396 in August and .340/.392/.532 in September. In the lower minors, the prospect showed the ability to steal 15-20 bases but he hasn’t topped eight steals in the past two seasons. Cardenas’ bat will have to carry him as he is an average fielder at best at the keystone. A permanent spot at third base could be in the cards, but his power output is below average for the position. The former Phillies draft pick should be ready for the Majors right about the time Mark Ellis‘ contract expires.

5. Tyson Ross, RHP, Double-A
DOB: April 1987 Bats: R Throws: R
Signed: 2008 2nd round – University of California
MLB ETA: Late-2010 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3
Repertoire: 89-94 mph fastball, slider, cutter, change-up

If you love ground-ballers like we do at Fangraphs, then you’ll want to meet Ross. The right-hander posted a 56.6% ground-ball rate on the season, including a 61.9 GB% in 66.3 double-A innings. Just 22, Ross is a promising pitcher despite a modest strikeout rate in double-A (8.55 in high-A, 5.58 K/9 in double-A). His fastball can touch the mid-90s so the strikeouts should come once he improves his secondary pitches. He also needs to improve his command and control a bit after posting a walk rate of 3.48 on the seasons. Ross allowed 10 homers in high-A (1.04 HR/9) despite his impress ground-ball numbers. If his secondary pitches don’t improve, he could become a dominating late-game reliever with his sinking fastball.

6. Pedro Figueroa, LHP, High-A
DOB: November 1985 Bats: L Throws: L
Signed: 2003 non-drafted international free agent (Dominican Republic)
MLB ETA: Late-2011 40-Man Roster: Yes Options: 3
Repertoire: 91-96 mph fastball, slider, change-up

Figueroa was not on the watch list when the season began but quickly jumped onto it. A little older than most prospects in low-A at 23, the southpaw posted a solid strikeout rate of 8.13 K/9 at the junior level while showing OK control with a walk rate of 3.23 BB/9. Moved up to high-A for 11 starts, Figueroa’s walk rate jumped to 4.80 BB/9 but his strikeouts also increased to 9.18 K/9. Overall, he allowed 151 hits in 152.0 innings of work, while producing a respectable ground-ball rate of 46.2%. Because he’s now 24, Oakland could be aggressive with Figueroa and move him up to double-A despite his control issues.

7. Fautino De Los Santos, RHP, Injured
DOB: February 1986 Bats: R Throws: R
Signed: 2005 non-drafted international free agent (Dominican Republic)
MLB ETA: Late-2011 40-Man Roster: Yes Options: 3
Repertoire: 89-95 mph fastball, slider, curveball, change-up

One of the key players in the Nick Swisher trade with the White Sox, De Los Santos made just five starts with Oakland’s system in ‘08 before going down with a major injury. He returned in ‘09 to make seven rehab starts in rookie ball and he showed his fastball of old, but his secondary pitches are still being worked back in. The right-hander has the potential of a No. 2 starter if he can harness his breaking ball and change-up but he could also develop into a dominating reliever. We’ll know a lot more about De Los Santos’ potential as the season progresses. If healthy, he should opened the season in high-A ball.

8. Sean Doolittle, 1B, Triple-A
DOB: September 1986 Bats: L Throws: L
Signed: 2007 supplemental 1st round – University of Virginia
MLB ETA: Late-2010 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3

Doolittle was yet another prospect bitten by the injury bug in ‘09. He started the year in triple-A and was just a quick phone call away from making the Majors before knee problems (and surgery) ended his season. When everything is clicking for Doolittle, he is a .280-.300 hitter with 15-20 homer potential. He has always displayed good walk rates (12.4% in ‘09) but he strikes out a bit too much for his power output (21.9%). An above-average defender at first base, Doolittle was moved to right field (Thanks to the presence of Chris Carter) where he is average.

9. Shane Peterson, OF, Double-A
DOB: February 1988 Bats: L Throws: L
Signed: 2008 2nd round – Long Beach State University (St. Louis)
MLB ETA: Late-2010 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3

Acquired in last season’s Matt Holliday trade with St. Louis, Peterson projects to be an average MLB player mainly due to the fact that he possesses below-average power for his best positions (corner outfield, first base). The prospect is actually similar to fellow left-handed hitting Sean Doolittle in the sense that he projects to hit 10-15 homers with a batting average between .270 and .300. After struggling against southpaws in ‘08, Peterson rebounded to post a line of .302/.348/.430 against them in ‘09. The 22-year-old hitter has more speed than Doolittle and he nabbed 16 bags in 17 tries in ‘09.

10. Josh Donaldson, C, Double-A
DOB: December 1988 Bats: R Throws: R
Signed: 2007 supplemental 1st round pick – Auburn University (Chicago NL)
MLB ETA: Late-2010 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3

Part of the loot for Rich Harden during an ‘08 trade with the Chicago Cubs, Donaldson has seen his value improve significantly since joining his new organization. At the time of the trade, Donaldson was hitting .217/.276/.349 in low-A ball. He was immediately promoted to high-A with Oakland and finished the year with a line of .330/.391/.564 in 188 at-bats. He continued to hit well in ‘09 despite being moved up to double-A and he produced a triple-slash line of .270/.379/.415 in 455 at-bats. Although he posted a 20.2% strikeout rate, Donaldson also walked at a rate of 14.8%, good for a BB/K rate of 0.87. He’s shown flashes of solid power, but he’s more of a line-drive hitter and he had an ISO rate of .145 in ‘09. Donaldson has the tools to be an average big league backstop, although he’s still working on his receiving. He threw out 40% of base stealers last season.

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