Over the past few years, the Oakland Athletics have gone through a few rebuilds. New players have come, and old players have gone – especially this past offseason. However, there has been one player who has been a constant on the A’s roster and one of the very few returning infielders this season. This would be Eric Sogard.
Even though Sogard has never been a particularly dominating force, he has been consistent. Additionally, during spring training this year, he demonstrated an improved swing and more regularly connected with the baseball. It was one of his better Cactus League outings and he batted .355/.379/.500 this past spring.
When it comes to the regular season, Sogard had his second most successful season in his five year MLB career. Sogard batted .248 with 30 RBI and one home run. His homer, which he hit on September 23, broke his 141-game homerless streak. Sogard’s numbers may not be great, but his timely hitting this season was hugely appreciated as the A’s offense struggled.
Even though he only has 30 RBI for this season, it seems as though each of those hits mattered greatly to the final outcome of the game. Like this RBI single that helped the A’s tied up a game against the Houston Astros:
Or this hit that allowed the Athletics to take the lead against the San Diego Padres in the ninth inning:
Besides his offense, Sogard’s defense has been rock solid. Marcus Semien and Brett Lawrie now start at short and second respectfully yet, out of the entire team, they have committed the most errors this season. Semien has 34 errors while Lawrie has 23. The next most number of errors committed by an Athletic this year is 6. The Oakland Athletics’ know that they can always count on Sogard when it comes to defending the middle infield. This is just a sample of the plays Sogard makes on a daily basis:
Even though the A’s have Semien and Lawrie covering the middle infield, Oakland should give Sogard more playing time next year. With his plus defense and improved swing, Sogard needs more time in the lineup and on the field to keep his skills sharp. Additionally, with his ability to play at second, short, and third, this gives the A’s more flexibility to get a lefty bat up at the plate. The Oakland Athletics obviously value Sogard since they have kept him around for so many season, so they should start showing him some appreciation. All in all, it will benefit the team as whole to have Sogard in the lineup on a more regular basis.