2013 New YeAr’s Resolutions: Making More Contact


New Year’s resolutions are a tricky thing, many people make them with no real intention of actually keeping them, others have good intentions but simply can’t follow through.  This is one of those situations that really needs to not fall in either of those categories.  The Athletics set an American League record for strikeouts in a single season by a team with a mind boggling 1387 K’s in 2012.

July 29, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) reacts after striking out in the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Certainly the strikeouts were a byproduct of the massive power surge that the A’s experienced during the season, swing hard in case you hit it.  While their approach at the plate was not that simplistic, it seemed to happen that way much of the time.  Many solo home runs, and many runners left in scoring position when the right contact needed to be made in a certain situation.

What I absolutely do not want to see is for this team to stop hitting for power like they did in 2012, the threat of the long ball (as well as the fact that the chicks dig them) is extremely useful against opposing pitching staffs.  They have to approach hitters a different way if they feel there is a threat of being taken deep.  In some situations one swing of the bat can change the entire complexion of the game, but that can apply to a crucial strike out just as much as a clutch home run.  What this team needs to be able to do is make contact when needed, hard contact if possible, and good things will happen if they do that.

I’ve already taken Josh Reddick to task for his part in this problem, but Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Moss, Chris Carter, Seth Smith, and Derek Norris need to all cut down their strikeouts to make this happen.  I understand a team like this will have their share of K’s, but they don’t need to set records in the category.  See the ball, hit the ball, it’s very simple, and very doable for the Athletics in 2013.