The Oakland A’s are a young team on the rise, and while the young pitching staff is coming together, the offense could use some help. The A’s enter Saturday 9.5 games behind the first-place Rangers. Pitching has not been a problem for Oakland, as the team has the 6th best ERA in the majors (3.70). Offense, however, has been the inconsistent variable this season. On the year, only two A’s players have 10 or more home runs (Kurt Suzuki has 12, Kevin Kouzmanoff has 10). As a team, the A’s rank 29th in the majors with just 69 home runs.
Without power, the A’s know their chances at catching the well-balanced Texas team will be very slim. But, with September call-ups looming, the A’s hope to finally give their top minor-league talent a shot at the big-leagues. The A’s top two hitting prospects, Chris Carter and Michael Taylor, are both with Triple-A Sacramento. Carter, who has recently spent time in the OF (potentially his new position), is hitting .259/.366/.525 with 26 homers and 83 RBIs. The slugger has a .314/.455/.571 line in his last 10 games. When in fact Carter makes it to Oakland, fans should expect to see him in the OF somewhere. Current Oakland 1B Daric Barton seems to have finally found his groove, and should be the team’s primary 1B heading into the future. Carter’s powerful bat, however, should find a place in the lineup card come next season.
As for Taylor, who is also an OF, he is currently hitting .272/.349/.395 with 5 home runs and 63 RBIs. Taylor, who has been adjusting to a new organization, seems to have finally settled in. The highly talented Taylor has a .281/.378/.344 line in his last 10 games. Despite being a type-1 diabetic, Taylor does not let his ailment make excuses for him. Taylor is a hard-working individual, who will be a force in the majors for years to come. Originally with the Phillies organization, Taylor was acquired by Oakland via trade with the Blue Jays during the Cliff Lee-Roy Halladay deal last offseason. The A’s are excited about Taylor’s talents, and fans should expect to see him sometime this September as well.
Unlike Carlos Gonzalez, who the A’s brought up to fast (and regret trading), the A’s are being a little more patient with Carter and Taylor. And while Oakland’s playoff chances are relatively slim at the moment, the team’s future seems especially bright with these two young studs on the horizon.