The Oakland Athletics’ rookie shortstop, Marcus Semien, was not a fan favorite last year. He committed an absurd amount of errors while playing in the middle infield in 2015. So many that he led the MLB in errors. Thankfully, infield coaching specialist Ron Washington joined the team to help Semien improve his defense. Even though it did get better toward the end of the season, fans did not easily forget Semien’s disastrous first half at short.
However, 2016 is a new year. Out of all of the A’s players, Semien has the most potential to have a breakout year. His defensive skills are now refined and he will continue to work with Washington throughout the upcoming season. As he continues to become a better shortstop defensively, his chances of becoming a long term solution for the Oakland Athletics rises. Additionally, with Semien’s defensive woes behind him, he now has more of a chance to focus on his offense.
Many forget that Semien’s offense last year was not bad for his first full season in the MLB. He had a .257/.310/.405 slash line with 15 homers and 45 RBI. So, Semien was right up there up there with some of the other A’s sluggers. Additionally, his statistics were similar, if not better, than that majority of shortstops around the big leagues. Among all Major League shortstops, he ranked seventh in slugging, sixth in OPS, and eighth in WAR.
If he can take time to focus on his offense a little more now that his defense is up to par, Semien could have a very powerful bat in the big leagues – maybe even one of the stronger bats among MLB shortstops. It must also be noted that many are predicting that Semien will be good in the coming years now that his defense issues are resolved. He even ranked eighth on MLB Network’s Top Ten SS Right Now. Throughout his time in the Minor Leagues, Semien was known for having a power bat that made contact on a consistent basis. If he can bring a little more of that to the Majors, Semien could be extremely successful at the plate.
With his optimistic attitude and readiness to learn, the sky’s the limit for Marcus Semien. Semien now has the ability to focus more on his overall game play as opposed to just his defense. Since this will be his second year in the MLB, there is a good chance he could be the A’s breakout star now that he has mastered shortstop defensively.