October 3, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics celebrate on the pitcher
The A’s are a young, exciting, and rather lively team. Their inexperience does not faze them, but rather motivates them to prove their skeptics that they do belong in the majors.The defending AL West Champion A’s enter 2013 with higher expectations and it will be up to their young spirit to help guide them toward another post-season run.
Being just 22 years of age myself, I find it rather easy to identify with this A’s team. From the young starting rotation that rolled out four rookies during last year’s ALDS against the Tigers to the rest of the young clubhouse led by a bearded outfielder who yields a wrestling championship belt, the A’s are an interesting team to watch.
For Bob Melvin and the A’s, however, that does not seem to be a problem. The A’s might be a young team, but after having a small taste of post-season in the form of an exciting five game division series against Detroit last year, the A’s only hunger for more national spotlight.
Offensively, the A’s will likely be led by the likes of Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes. Both outfielders will have high expectations going into this year, since both played significant roles in helping guide the A’s to the post-season last year.
On the flip side of things, the A’s young pitching staff will be headlined by the 25-year old Brett Anderson. Anderson, if healthy, has lights-out stuff and should be an ace for the A’s this year. Oakland will have fellow youngsters Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, A.J. Griffin, and Dan Straily following Anderson’s lead.
The A’s are a young team and they are expected to experience a few growing-pains here and there over the course of the season. Both Parker and Milone won 13 games last year for the A’s and both are expected to play an even bigger role in the rotation this season with McCarthy now pitching in Arizona.
Griffin and Straily will look to continue their own development plans, too. Oakland has always found a way to acquire top pitching talent in recent years, but their depth is what remains the key to their success. Bartolo Colon is expected back this year and should provide plenty of depth to the young rotation.
The AL West is shaping up to be very competitive again in 2013. The Angels enter the year with an improved lineup and the best starting outfield group in baseball. The Rangers are always dangerous and while many may not think highly of the Mariners this year, Seattle could be a surprising team in the west.
Despite the obvious obstacles and challenges, the A’s remain the defending AL West champs. Even with Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, and Josh Hamilton residing in SoCal, the A’s still believe in themselves. Their young spirit remains unchanged.