Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Today’s Player of the Day is different. Craig Gentry wasn’t on the team last year, he was on our rival team, the Texas Rangers. In the picture above, he’s hitting a single against our beloved A’s. Now, he’ll be hitting those for us, not against us. So we’ll look at his numbers from last year, and then see what we can expect from him.
Last year, Craig Gentry played in 106 games with the Texas Rangers. He had a .280 average, 39 runs, 69 hits, 2 homeruns, 22 RBI, 29 walks, and 24 stolen bases over 246 at bats. Gentry was not an everyday player. He played in 106 games, but only started in 71 of those. He would fill in a lot for the outfielders in Texas, or start when some of them would be injured or things of that nature. He was able to produce a good amount of offense for being more of a role player and not an every day starter. This will come in handy for him in Oakland.
Gentry had 4 games at DH last year, so he only played in 102 games defensively. Defensively Gentry wasn’t bad. In those 102 games, he made 2 errors, had 183 putouts, and 7 assists. Keep in mind in those 102 games played, he only started 69 of them, so he didn’t get as many innings as 102 games might imply. He played in 647 innings. His defensive numbers are solid, he’s a guy you can trust in outfield to get the outs that come his way.
Craig Gentry is actually the perfect fit for Oakland. Last season Billy Beane signed Chris Young to come to Oakland to be a role player. He was supposed to be able to fill in where he was needed. He wasn’t going to be an everyday player. He wasn’t able to perform. He couldn’t adjust to being a role player and being someone that didn’t have playing time every day. Chris Young was the type of guy who strives when he’s out there all the time. Craig Gentry is exactly what Beane wanted Chris Young for last year. Gentry fits in perfectly in Oakland because he strives and does well even when he doesn’t play every day. He does well when called upon. And so you can expect Gentry to keep a high average and good offensive numbers. Picture all of the times that Chris Young came up short, and fill it in with success from Gentry. That is what the A’s have in store from Gentry. It means the A’s will only do even better than last year thanks to Gentry.
Gentry is a solid player defensively. If Reddick fails to perform offensively again, Bob Melvin might consider having Gentry in right field instead of Reddick. I don’t see it happening but it is a possibility. Gentry well get plenty of playing time regardless however. Last year there were questions as to how all the outfielders on the roster were going to get playing time. Melvin is a genius and he knows exactly how to shuffle his players around. This year he will do the same. Gentry will get his fair share of playing time just like everyone did last year.
Gentry was a great addition on the part of Billy Beane. He is just what the A’s needed on offense to help get them through the rough patches in which the rest of the team isn’t producing as well as they should be and is also a great veteran presence to have. This move definitely will prove to be the best offensive move by Beane this offseason. Overall Gentry will do great things for Oakland this upcoming season. He may have been a rival last year, but this year he will be a hero.