Spring training site: Mesa, AZ.
Reporting dates: Pitchers and catchers, Feb. 13; position players, Feb. 18.
2017 Record: 75-87
January 2018 Pure Sports Network power rankings: 21 (Last in AL West)
Projected batting order:
- Marcus Semien, SS
- Matt Chapman, 3B
- Khris Davis, DH
- Matt Olson, 1B
- Jed Lowrie, 2B
- Boog Powell, CF
- Stephen Piscotty, RF
- Bruce Maxwell, C
- Matt Joyce, LF
Newcomers: Stephen Piscotty came over from the St. Louis Cardinals in one of the better feel-good stories of the offseason. Piscotty’s mother had been diagnosed with ALS, and the trade to Oakland brought him back to his hometown, so he could be around her during this difficult time. The Oakland Athletics are still a young team with some huge potential stars that are beginning to make their way to the MLB. Left-handed reliever Ryan Buchter and first baseman Brandon Moss are also some of the newest members of the Oakland Athletics, coming over from Kansas City in the Jesse Hahn trade.
Key decision for spring: The Athletics are still in perpetual rebuild mode. It’s been a recurring event in Oakland for a number of years now, but the Athletics are going to see if their young talent can produce results on the field. The major decisions for the A’s will revolve around deciding how much playing time they want to give the prospects that were called up later in the 2017 campaign. They include infielder Franklin Barreto, outfielder Boog Powell, and catcher Bruce Maxwell.
Moves they still need to make: The Oakland Athletics appear to be content with using the players currently on the roster/invited to spring training. If they make any moves, it will be to see if the rotation needs to add another veteran or if the team needs another bat to come off the bench.
2018 outlook: The Oakland Athletics appear destined for another year in the cellar of the AL West, but they could surprise teams if the young prospects on the roster perform above expectations. At most, however, the Athletics will not surpass the Los Angeles Angels or Houston Astros. However, the Oakland Athletics do have the player with the best nickname in all of baseball, Herschel Mack “Boog” Powell. He does not share any relation to the longtime Baltimore Orioles’ first baseman, but if the MLB determined records for teams based on the best nicknames, then the Athletics would be championship contenders for many years. This year, though, the Athletics are prepared to continue to develop their prospects and hope that the prospects live up to the expectations that are rooted in Oakland.