Coco Crisp has long been considered the engine of the A’s offense, but in 2014, that engine sputtered in the second half, leading to lows in his time with Oakland in batting average (.246) and stolen bases (19). The previous year, Crisp hit .261 and had just 21 steals (a low mark by his standards) but hit a career-high 22 home runs. With Crisp entering his age 35 season, and health always a concern for the center fielder, which player can we expect to see in 2015?
It’s tough to imagine that Crisp will hit 22 homers again in his career, but on average he’s good for nine a season over 13 years. If he stays healthy, it’s reasonable that he could crack twelve or thirteen over the fence. Granted, they won’t be tape measure shots, but they’ll count just the same.
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In his career, Coco Crisp holds an 80.05 percent successful stolen base percentage. Over the last two seasons, that number has stayed right at that mark, but he has been attempting to steal much fewer bases as well, just fifty combined attempts in 2013 and 2014. In 2011, he stole 49 bases. In 2015 we should see somewhere between fifteen and twenty steals. My thinking is that he has been told to go less often in an attempt to keep him healthy.
One of the things Coco has gotten better at recently is getting on base. In 2011 and 2012, when he was stealing more bases, his OBP came in at .314 and .325. The past two seasons, with decreased steal totals, his OBP has hovered around .335. The reason? He’s walking about twenty times more a season.
My early predictions for Coco Crisp in 2015 are as follows: .260 batting average with 12 homers and 20 stolen bases. His OBP will stick at .335, which will be just what the A’s offense needs next season. With Coco on base, he can still play with the pitcher’s head, because he is always a threat to steal. The threat is sometimes more effective that than actual act. With Crisp dancing off of first, Brett Lawrie, Billy Butler and Ike Davis will have a better chance of squaring one up and putting the A’s on the board early.
In 2015, as it has been for years now, as Coco goes, so do the Oakland Athletics.