Oakland Athletics’ Spring Training Non-Roster Invitees: Chad Pinder


A look at the Oakland Athletics’ non-roster invitees for Spring Training: Chad Pinder

Oakland Athletics’ infield prospect Chad Pinder is a non-roster invitee for the A’s 2016 Spring Training, and he’s someone to keep an eye on. Pinder has only been with the A’s since 2013, when they drafted him out of Virginia Tech. College players tend to come a little more developed that high school stars, which may explain why Pinder tore up Double-A Midland pitching last year, in just his second full season of professional baseball. In 2015, he batted .317/.361/.486 and helped lead the team to a playoff berth.

Although he’s listed as a second baseman on MiLB’s website, the A’s have used him primarily as a shortstop. Pinder fields well, and his offense last year was incredible in a league that often poses a difficult transition for even the best of hitters. Pinder had 32 doubles – the fifth most in the league – and 15 home runs. He also led the league with 86 RBIs, had the second-highest average and slugging percentages, and the third-best OPS.

More from Oakland A's News

Pinder’s 2015 accomplishments made him a household name among Athletics’ fans, all of whom were stuck watching Marcus Semien’s struggles at the major league level. He continued that performance with a strong start to the Arizona Fall League season, and although he finished with just a .235 average, he had an OPS of .865.

Pinder is a viable option for the “shortstop of the future” tag, if Franklin Barreto does not stick at short. Given Barreto’s size, it’s possible that the A’s could move him – in winter ball, he picked up some outfield experience. But if there isn’t room at shortstop, Pinder could find his home at second base as well, especially when considering that long-time Oakland Athletics’ utility man Eric Sogard is nearing free agency. The A’s will need a new crop of infielders soon, and Pinder is quite possibly the best of the bunch.

Chances of Making the Club:

None. Although there was already some clamoring from fans last season for Pinder to join the depleted Athletics’ roster in September, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be called up this year either – at least not until rosters expand. Pinder is talented, but he’s certainly not ready to be an every day major leaguer. The Athletics’ also aren’t desperately in need of middle infield help yet, given that they have Sogard, Semien and Jed Lowrie, as well as Danny Valencia at third base. While those names certainly won’t fill anyone with confidence, the Athletics are unlikely to burn Pinder’s service time on a losing season.

A strong Spring Training will benefit Pinder by showcasing his power and defense in an organization that has several other strong infield prospects for him to compete with..

Prediction for Next Season:

Pinder has already proven himself at Double-A, so his next stop would seem to be in Nashville. The Triple-A Sounds will have two very talented infielders on their squad at that point, if Joey Wendle hasn’t advanced yet. If Pinder continues to hit well, he has the potential to earn a September call-up, but it seems improbable. Wendle played well last season and still did not earn a place on the expanded roster, despite the fact the Athletics were struggling with injuries and poor play.

Will Pinder really be different? He’s more talented than Wendle, but then again, that almost gives the A’s more incentive to keep him in the minors and conserve service time. There’s also the matter of finding a 40-man roster spot for him before he makes his debut – sometimes, that’s enough to keep a player from joining the major league club as well. Regardless, look for Pinder to continue to hit well, although probably not quite as well as he did in 2015.

Next: Spring Training Non-Roster Invitees: Franklin Barreto

Do you think Pinder will play any part of the season with the Athletics? If so, when would you project his call-up to the big leagues to happen?