The Oakland Athletics are using September wisely by evaluating some of their young rookie players and their potential success in the Majors. Thankfully, the youngsters have been stepping up to the plate and performing quite well on the big stage. These rookies are the future of the Athletics and their production thus far is giving the fans an optimistic view of the team for the seasons to come.
First there is Billy Burns. Burns has been a force this entire season and is proving that he is still a valuable asset to the team even in September of his first year in the MLB. Even though he has slightly fallen out of the Rookie of the Year running due to not having a power bat, he has consistently batted around .300 throughout the season and has stolen 26 bases.
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Then there is Mark Canha, who got off to a slow start this season. However, he has recently been heating up and has been batting over .300 for the past two months. Just last night, he slammed a 3-run homer against Scott Kazmir, the A’s former veteran ace who is now with the Houston Astros. If Canha brings this power bat next season, he will be an offensive force for the Athletics.
Some of the more recent call-ups are also showing their potential. One of those is relief pitcher Ryan Dull. Even though he was drafted in the 32nd round in 2012 by the Athletics, he has quickly worked his way through the Minor Leagues and was brought up to the Majors on September 1. Since joining the A’s bullpen, Dull has pitched six scoreless innings, allowed just one hit, and struck out seven. He has been lights out and will be a great relief pitcher for the Athletics next season.
There is also Sean Nolin, who was called up on September 4. Nolin was predicted to make the Oakland Athletics starting rotation this year, but he continued to struggle with a sports-hernia injury that he incurred in 2014. He finally made his Athletics’ debut on Sunday against the Seattle Mariners and was quite impressive. Besides giving up 3 runs in the fifth inning, he was pretty much flawless. He pitched six innings and allowed just five hits. Nolin will be an effective starter for Oakland in 2016.
Additionally, it will be great to see Carson Blair receive more playing time even though Stephen Vogt is unfortunately injured. Blair split his time between Double-A and Triple-A this year, and had a .252/.348/.437 slash line. Additionally, he is a great defensive catcher with a .983 fielding percentage for 2015 in the Minors. With Vogt out, Blair will hopefully be a blessing for the Athletics as he becomes the A’s backup catcher.
There are still many more talented bats and arms in the A’s farm system. This is only the tip of the iceberg. These rookies are giving fans a glimpse at the future team and the future’s looking bright. Let’s hope that some of the other players who come up from the minors either this September or during spring training in 2016 show the same aptitude for success.