Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Today’s player of the day is the man who was voted as the face of the team, a fan favorite Eric Sogard. While I myself would argue that someone else should have been voted that, the fans have spoken and that’s who they chose. Let’s take a look at why that is.
Eric Sogard had an amazing spring training last year, having one of the highest averages out of everyone the A’s had there. He showed that he can hit. Not big flashy hits, not homeruns or anything like that. For the most part it was just simple hits like singles, but sometimes in baseball that’s all you need. He wasn’t as hot when the actual season came around but he was still very useful, just look at his numbers. He hit for an average of .266, 45 runs, 35 RBI, and had on base percentage of .322. They’re not flashy numbers but they’re good solid ones.
Sogard’s defense was questionable at times, but reliable for the most part. Sogard wasn’t the best defensively, making 9 errors in 128 games played on defense, starting 110. That’s not a number to be too proud of. Yet Sogard on second was the best option for the team with Rosales not performing up to par. Sending him down to the minors was the best decision made, allowing Jed Lowrie to stay at shortstop and Sogard at second. His defense could use some work, but he was the best option there for the Athletics before Alberto Callaspo joined. Sogard isn’t the best defense player in the world, but he was decent enough to be there most of the season.
Sogard is good hitter, but with the addition of Nick Puntos, Sogard will be in yet another fight for the second base position. The infield is crowded yet again and spring training will determine who will be there when the season begins. Sogard’s offense will most likely come in a platoon role, which means his numbers will go up since he will only be batting against right handed pitchers. Sogard’s average will go up and so will his other stats, but he wont play in as many games. The infield will be full of platooning. Sogard will benefit from it.
Sogard isn’t the best defender. He’ll still play, but he won’t be great at defense. Expect more errors from Sogard and a few missed opportunities. That’s what Sogard’s defense will be like in 2014, but we can live with it because he’ll make up for it later with his at bats. They balance each other out. Sogard might even improve slightly with his job depending on it. Sogard will still have his nerd power and still be a fan favorite though, and I think Sogard can live with that.