Four Oakland Athletics That Surprised the Most in 2015

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Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Valencia: It was surprising when the Blue Jays waived Danny Valencia who was enjoying a career year. When the A’s claimed him off waivers and I saw how he had produced up to that point of the season, I kept holding my breath waiting for the wheels to fall off thinking there had to be a serious issue with the guy, but he continued to mash pitching just as he had in Toronto. I like to think of him as a 5th player the A’s received in the Josh Donaldson trade since Donaldson’s presence on the Blue Jays roster made Valencia expendable to them.

In just 345 at-bats, Valencia had 18 home runs and 66 RBI while batting .290. Many A’s fans despise the Donaldson trade, but if you compare the would-be stats of a Donaldson/Eric Sogard combination for this season to the Valencia/Brett Lawrie combination and project their stats over the same number of at-bats, the Valencia/Lawrie duo compares well, hitting .271 with 37 HR’s with the Donaldson/Sogard duo at .278 with 42 home runs.  Considering that we also received starting pitcher Kendall Graveman, potential 2016 rotation candidate Sean Nolin, and the organizations number one prospect, Franklin Barreto, this deal might pan out better for the A’s in the long run.

Next: 4. Josh Phegley