MLB Pre Season Power Rankings: #20 Oakland Athletics

Projected Record: 77-85 4th in the AL West

Potential Lineup: CF R.Davis, C  Vogt #21, 2B Lowrie #8, DH Healey #25, LF K. Davis #2, RF Joyce #23, 3B Plouffe #3 , 1B Alonso #17, SS Semien #10

Potential Rotation: 1.Gray #54, 2.Manaea #55, 3.Graveman #49, 4.Cotton #45, 5.Triggs #60

Potential Bullpen: CL Madson #44, 8th Doolittle #62, 7th Casilla #46, Dull #66, Axford #61, Hendricks #31, Alcantara #50

Potential Bench: C Phegley #19, 1B/OF Canha #20, OF Rosellas , OF Smolinski #5

Injuries: P Bassitt #40

     The Oakland A’s missed out on the postseason for the second straight season in 2016. Though the team struggled all year long there were some positive emergences of young players and productivity seem from veterans that should at least draw A’s fans to the ballpark in 2017 as they continue to build toward their future. The A’s finished 28th in total runs scored in 2016. All year long they struggled to bring home base runners. Three players however had big years for Oakland. Stephen Vogt made his second straight all star appearance batting .251 with 14 Home Runs behind the plate.Khris Davis hit 42 home runs in his first year since coming over in a trade to Oakland from Milwaukee. Lastly Ryon Healy batted .305 with 13 Home Runs and 37 RBI’s in his first 72 big league games. Having two solid veterans and a rookie with a ton of upside heading into 2017 is a good start. To add on the A’s signed veterans Rajai Davis who was a huge part in the Indians World Series run in 2016, Trevor Plouffe a veteran who has power, and Matt Joyce a veteran power hitter. With all this solid talent the A’s should be a much better hitting team in 2017. As for the starting pitching there are a ton of question marks in Oakland. Ace Sonny Gray a former All Star had his first down year of his career in 2016 pitching to a 5.69 ERA. in just 22 starts. In order to succeed the A’s need the 2015 Gray  who pitched to 2.73 ERA and competed for a Cy young award. After Gray the A’s havre young Sean Manaea who pitched to an ERA of  3.86 in his rookie season. If he can continue to improve he can be a solid mid rotation ption. The A’s also have Kendall Graveman who won 10 games pitching to an ERA just above 4 in 2016. If he can lower the ERA a bit he can also be a solid mid rotation option. Overall the A’s rotation is extremely young and inexperienced so there will be a lot of growing pains there. As for the bullpen Oakland finished 21st in bullpen ERA. Heading into 2017 there isn’t much turnover. The ex factors will be the four veterans in the back of the pen who all have closing experience. Ryan Madson, Sean Doolittle, Santiago Casilla, and John Axford. If we went back in time four years we’d be saying the A’s have the best bullpen in baseball. Now with these guys all having their injury issues and seeing there primes have peaked they are all veterans and different type of pitchers than they were a few years ago. If  they can re discover any of that old not the A’s success this bullen will be very good if  not they are in big trouble. All in all the A’s are still a work in progress but are taking the right steps toward a successful future.

Image result for 2016 A's

The A’s need Sonny Gray more than ever in 2016 (AP)

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