The Oakland A’s have spent most of the off-season making minor upgrades around the diamonds in an effort to acquire the league’s average player from the free agent market to build a more competitive team in 2023. rice field. , but the A’s should be better than the 2022 team with 102 losses.
One reason for that tempered optimism is that the A’s have more depth options around the diamond this season, adding that depth in 32-year-old veteran first baseman Jesús Aguilar on Tuesday. . MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the 2023 season contract is worth his $3 million.
Aguilar has dipped in 2022 with the Marlins and Orioles, posting a .235 batting average, .281 on-base percentage and 86 OPS+ in 129 games. He also hit 16 home runs and hit 51.
329 OBP with 22 homers and 91 RBIs with the Marlins the previous year. A clearly wants to return to the 2021 figures.
Seth Brown was the A’s best first baseman offensively last season, finishing the year with a 117 wRC+. This meant he beat the league average by 17% of his. Christian Bethancourt, who was traded to the Rays, was his second-best option in the A’s with a 100 wRC+, or league average.
Some fans speculate that this means Brownie exits via trade, but as I’ve written in the past, see how shift bans affect his numbers. Last season when he wasn’t shifted, he was hitting like Freddie Freeman. If this trend continues, his trade value will surely rise.
According to Baseball Savant, Brown’s best defensive position is in left field, with just below league averages in right field (-4 out average or better), center (-1 OAA), and starting (-3 OAA). But he’s just better than average in left field with 1OAA in 2022.
I think this move more or less cements Brown more regularly as an outfielder, especially in left field.
A logical way to use Aguilar would be to platoon as a musher against lefties, but in 2022 there was a reverse split. 196 for a left-handed pitcher with a 57 wRC+, which puts him 43% below the league average. Against a right-hander, he hit old Chris Davis’ .247 batting average, well above the 96 wRC+, just 4% below the league average.
Again, the A’s are hoping to recover, so in 2021 he’ll hit .259 against left-handers, achieve a 114 wRC+ (14% above the league average), and against right-handers. He hit 261, 9% better than the league average.
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If the A’s want him in their platoon, Ryan Noda in the Rule 5 draft would be a strong contender for the other half of that mix. Although he didn’t make his debut on the show, being in the Dodgers system presents some challenges for him to shoot at the show.
In Triple-A last season, Noda batted . He has some advantages and is a very interesting player going into spring training. His only problem is the rule 5 attachment. That means he needs to be on his 26-man roster in the A’s all season long. If he doesn’t go to Auckland, Noda will likely go to another organization.
Considering 21-year-old Tyler Soderstrom finished his 2022 campaign in Triple-A Las Vegas and could be ready to make his big league debut sometime in the second half, the A’s might be fine with that result. Meanwhile, the A’s have reportedly tried to lure Noda away from the Dodgers in several different trades over the past few years and finally got him.
My best guess as to what A thinks is: Noda is talented, but not a sure bet. If he hits well and makes a team, great! If he struggles during spring training, Aguilar will take over first base duties fairly regularly until Soderstrom is deemed ready later in the season. I’m there.
The key to this whole thing is having someone on first base until the top prospects are ready, and bringing in a first baseman other than Noda or Darmis Garcia, if they can help it. , is also a signal that he wants to keep Brown in the outfield.
New additions Jace Peterson and Aredomis Diaz also played first base in recent seasons, but are well-suited for third and second base respectively. The A’s offseason has been a house of cards built on platoons, utility players, and average hitters in the league, and bringing in Aguilar meant Seth Brown could stay in the outfield and give him a bit more of an advantage. It seems to be one of his ways of being able to be.
The downside here is that Dermis Garcia and Jordan Diaz may have fewer starting at-bats available while this situation continues. A candidate to start in the minors at 2019, but could progress to the DH role if he can reduce those strikeouts. He’s posted a video on Instagram of himself reworking his swing, teasing a less prominent leg kick. It would be interesting to see
Diaz seems to be adding to his leg kicks and can add a lot of power to his approach. Bonus. The reason he could be heading to Triple-A early in the season is because he’s only played 26 games in Vegas and doesn’t even have a defensive position. Spend a little more time with triple A’s and you’ll learn which positions the A’s are trying to fill.
Aguilar’s aptitude isn’t clear, but if he doesn’t get back on his feet, his tenure in Green and Gold may also be short-lived. We have a lot.