Believing in Brandon Moss
By Sean Davis
I have made it known over the past year or so just how much of a fan I have become of Brandon Moss. Dating back to an observation of him outside Angel Stadium last September, to a chance to converse with him after his August walk-off home run against the Mariners, Moss has proven to me that he is well worth rooting for on and off the field. Typically I’m a results oriented person when it comes to baseball players, if you produce, then I will whole-heartedly support you. My emotional attachments to players are at a minimum these days, most likely because I’ve grown up watching all of my favorite players get traded away over and over again.
October 5, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss (37) stands on deck during the fourth inning in game two of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at O.co Coliseum. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Detroit Tigers 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
With all that said, I believed in Brandon Moss after his surprise power surge in 2012. I’ll admit that I wanted him to succeed, but I truly believed he would as well. While many expected a major dose of regression for Moss in 2013, I figured he would produce a bit more power, and see his batting average drop a little from the .291 mark he posted in 2012.
From a ZiPs projections article I wrote back in February:
"I find it odd that many people seem to expect a major regression for Brandon Moss in 2013, that it’s simply a foregone conclusion that he will slip backwards. I may be biased by my general affinity for the guy, but the projections for him seem incredibly low. He hit 22 home runs last year in just about half a season, so it seems weird to expect him to fail to reach that number over the course of a full season. Just watching him hit last season, there’s not a doubt in my mind that his power is legit. A .260/.340/.500 line with 30 longballs seems absolutely attainable for Moss."
Brandon Moss’ slash line for 2013… .256/.337/.522 with exactly 30 home runs. I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. The power Moss displayed in 2012 simply didn’t look like an abberation, he was launching balls out of the ballpark. He did more of that in 2013, and I expect more of the same in 2014.
Moss is far from a perfect hitter, and he strikes out a TON, but he is an extremely legitimate power threat from the left side. His value to the Oakland Athletics is enhanced by his ability to move from first base to right field as he did when Josh Reddick was injured, and he’s very capable out there.
Brandon Moss has now cemented himself as a cornerstone of this Athletics team, and his contributions have had a major impact on the success of the team over the last two seasons. I expected him to make the same contributions in 2014 and beyond.