Spring Training is underway. It’s time for clubs to evaluate players, and see who will impact the Major League roster. The Oakland A’s have a few players to keep an eye on during this time of year.
The Oakland A’s will most likely have Ryon Healy splitting his time between first base and designated hitter. When Healy isn’t at first, Matt Olson appears to have the remaining time locked up. This doesn’t leave a lot of room for Yonder Alonso. And frankly, he is only hurting himself in the matter.
Overall, throughout his career, Alonso hasn’t proven to be very versatile. The A’s would have an easier time finding him a spot if he could easily transition to another infield position. Granted, Alonso could probably play third. However, the A’s aren’t moving Trevor Plouffe anywhere.
Offensive ceiling is another issue holding back Alonso. He’s a career .269 hitter and has never hit more than nine home runs in a season. While this isn’t terrible, it’s not deserving of a guaranteed roster spot.
Yonder Alonso is going to have to prove something to the A’s during Spring Training.
While there is no doubt that Sonny Gray lands on the roster, he’s on this list for a different reason.
After a terrible, injury-ridden 2016 season, Gray is looking to have one terrific bounce-back season. Gray went 5-11 last year, finishing with a 5.69 ERA in his 22 games. His Spring Training performance will be the first showcase of how well he is recovering. Here shortly, Gray will also be pitching in the World Baseball Classic. If he shows signs of solid recovery this Spring, and if he has dependable performances during the WBC, the Oakland A’s could have suitors for Sonny Gray.
There is a shortage of dependable starting pitchers, and Gray could fetch a decent price in any trade deal. The A’s would most likely be open to moving him if they could add to the youth of their core. Don’t be surprised to see Sonny Gray on the Opening Day roster, just possibly for another team.
Franklin Barreto will almost definitely not make the Opening Day roster. However, the Oakland A’s will probably let him see his first big league action this season. He’s the top prospect within the Oakland organization, and could very well be one special player in the future.
Last season, in Double-A ball, Barreto had a .281/.340/.413 slash line. In addition to that, he slammed 10 homers and had 24 doubles. At the end of 2016, Barreto spent a few games at the Triple-A level. Look for him to start with Triple-A Nashville this coming season, and at some point, land on the big league roster.
The A’s are unlikely to move Marcus Semien from the shortstop role just for Barreto. But, the club could try him in a different infield role. Barreto is onboard with that idea. Be sure to keep your eye on him now, during Spring Training, because you will see him wearing green and gold soon enough.
Check out the Oakland A’s projected starting rotation here.
Check out the Oakland A’s projected lineup here.