When a professional baseball player is acquired via-trade or simply claimed off waivers, there always seems to be some uncertainty — especially from the fanbase as to whether or not their role on the ball club will prove dividend immediately, or disrupt the chemistry in the clubhouse altogether. If you’re an Oakland Athletics fan, it’s difficult to criticize the moves of Billy Beane and his front office — especially when they find a “diamond in the rough” like catcher Stephen Vogt.
After making his major league debut with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012, Vogt accumulated 25 at-bats before making his way to the East Bay the following season. Since joining the A’s Vogt has proved to be extremely versatile for an Oakland squad not only behind the plate, but at first and occasionally making appearances in left and right field.
With the trade of Derek Norris this past off season, Vogt has been given the role as the team’s everyday catcher and performed quite well might I add. Not only is he a hard-worker but his ability to call pitches in clutch situations, block anything off-speed in the dirt and calm down his pitchers during stressful moments — has proven to be ideal — especially with a fairly young staff that includes: Jesse Hahn, Kendall Graveman, and several members of the bullpen like Chris Bassitt, and Arnold Leon — who are still trying to make their mark at the major league level; however are on the Triple-A Nashville Sounds squad at this point.
From an offensive standpoint there is no question that Vogt has been one of the best, if not the single best player for the A’s compiling a .308/.400/.583/.983 slash line through 51 games this season. Lets not forget Vogt’s statistics in the month of May where he posted a .301 average, with seven home runs and 23 runs batted in — increasing his average to a grand total of .308, 11 homers and 39 runs batted in. Based on this information alone, there is no doubt in my mind that Vogt will be one of Oakland’s representatives in the 2015 MLB All-Star Game in Cincinnati this July. As of Tuesday, May 26th, Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez is the front-runner to be the starting backstop for the 2015 American League All-Stars — with a total of 1,447,753 votes. Vogt is not far behind Perez for the leading spot at 795,848; however knowing A’s fans I believe that his number will increase dramatically over the next few weeks.
You can cast your ballot for the 2015 All-Star Game by heading over to MLB.com/vote
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As if Vogt’s on-the-field production wasn’t enough, the Oakland faithful in the right-field bleachers — who have become fond of the Visalia native, creatively came up with an “I BELIEVE IN STEPHEN VOGT!” chant, resembling a familiar tune for soccer fans during last summer’s World Cup.
Since then Vogt has made an appearance on MLB Network’s Intentional Talk dressed up as an NBA referee; putting up a comical routine for the ages! This “crazy character” sporting a black and white stripped shirt, black shorts, a green headband, nerd-power specs and high-socks made his performance that much more memorable. But don’t just take my word for it! Check it out for yourself HERE
Having observed this sketch first-hand — I had to voice my opinion on a promotional giveaway for the 2015 season and what do you know, I think they heard me out!
The Stephen Vogt bobble head was scheduled on Thursday, May 28th at the Coliseum against the New York Yankees and what a night it was! Not only did several fans emulate Vogt’s costume, but the referee chants were on point as well. And if that wasn’t enough to get excited about; Vogt made another appearance on Intentional Talk following the promotion and gave fans across the nation an encore with his Matt Foley, motivational speaker impression HERE
Oakland A’s catcher Stephen Vogt is a character for sure; in fact he’s a cast of characters that has ultimately become one of the staples in the Athletics organization. Vogt is a hard-working athlete on-the-field — who isn’t afraid to have fun along the way and make a positive impact in the community. When you sport the green and gold you can be sure it’s greatly appreciated amongst the Bernie leaning, mustaching grooming, nerd-power spec wearing, diehard fans in the East Bay. He plays such a vital role for this ball club, he’s a “gem” or “diamond in the rough” that’s for sure.