Four Oakland Athletics That Surprised the Most in 2015

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Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Phegley: I liked Derek Norris, but when the A’s acquired Josh Phegley as part of the Jeff Samardzija trade (both right-handed hitting catchers), I knew Norris would soon be traded. In the 2014 AL wild card game against the Royals, Norris’ throwing arm (or lack thereof) had been exposed while allowing 7 stolen bases to 7 different Royals while only throwing out Eric Hosmer (who only had 4 steals that whole season).

Up Next: Oakland Athletics Prospect Profile – Raul Alcantara

Phegley was a guy who mashed minor-league pitching with a triple slash of .316/.368/.597 with 15 HR’s in just 231 at-bats in 2013 and .274/.331/.530 with 23 HR’s in 2014 but struggled to find any consistent at-bats at the major league level. In 2015, Phegley showed off his above average defense and his cannon of an arm while throwing out 39% of base runners. Phegley also demonstrated his power with 9 home runs in only 225 at-bats, and excelled in his half of the catching platoon with Stephen Vogt with a triple slash of .276/.323/.466 against lefties. The Vogt/Phegley platoon gave the A’s more production from the catcher position than any other team in baseball where they posted a triple slash of .259/.328/.467 while leading the majors in total bases and OPS, and finishing 2nd in home runs, RBI, and doubles.