Oakland Athletics Season Predictions: A Guide To 2016

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2016 Predictions: Fill in the Blanks

_____ will win the _____ Award in 2016.

Andrew: Billy Burns, Gold Glove
Mark: Marcus Semien, Silver Slugger
Melson: Khris Davis, Silver Slugger
Katrina: Stephen Vogt, Silver Slugger
Rich: Mike Trout, MVP
Rylan: Josh Reddick, Gold Glove
Samantha: Sonny Gray, Cy Young

It’s a little surprising to see only one vote for Gray as the 2016 Cy Young winner, but then again, the A’s are projected by nearly every major outlet to lose more than half their games, and wins are a large component of Cy Young voting. It was not surprising to see Mike Trout’s name appear as the MVP winner, because that’s one thing we can be all but certain of heading into 2016.

Most of the recipients selected by the staff were picked to win awards with multiple recipients. Between Reddick’s arm and Burns’s speed, at least one outfielder is a safe bet to pick up a Gold Glove.

The idea that at least one Athletics hitter will take home a Silver Slugger Award this off-season is also not far-fetched. While there are definitely holes in the A’s lineup, there are also a lot of solid bats. Between power and pure hitting ability, it’s likely that at least one of these predictions will come true.

* * * * *

_____ will no longer be with the A’s by September 1st.

Andrew: Danny Valencia
Mark: Billy Butler
Melson: Josh Reddick
Katrina: Josh Reddick
Rich: Rich Hill
Rylan: Stephen Vogt
Samantha: Jesse Hahn

This was another interesting list. Reddick is one potential candidate, given that the A’s showed no urgency in signing him to a long-term deal when he set a very public deadline for contract talks. His camp has since walked back that deadline, but it’s telling that Oakland didn’t speed up their process in an effort to appease him.

Butler is on here for obvious reasons: he underperformed last season in the first year of his deal, and it’s every fans wish that he might quietly disappear if he repeats that performance. Hill had a rough Spring Training, and it’s questionable as to whether he’ll last in the A’s rotation once prospects like Sean Manaea are ready to make their debut. Hahn is a potential trade candidate at the deadline.

Andrew had this to add about Valencia: “He aggravates every team he’s ever been on, and Billy Beane is a loose cannon – who has a history of trading high-performing third basemen.”

* * * * *

_____ will not start the season with the A’s Major League club, but by the end of the season, he’ll be considered a lock for 2017:

Andrew: Sean Manaea
Mark: Matt Chapman
Melson: Jake Smolinski
Katrina: Sean Manaea
Rich: Tyler Ladendorf
Rylan: Franklin Barreto
Samantha: Matt Chapman

Matt Chapman is young, but he had a stellar Spring Training, and at least two people on the staff believe that he’ll be a guaranteed a spot on next year’s roster. Rylan went with Franklin Barreto, who is even younger than Chapman. Barreto had a tough camp after an outstanding first few games, but he’s certainly talented enough to end up on a major league roster.

The remaining picks were “safer”, given the nearness of Manaea, Smolinski and Ladendorf, who are all at Triple-A Nashville. Both outfielders will likely have at least a brief stint with the Major League club this season, which will give them ample opportunity to prove they’re ready for an everyday role.

Manaea is expected to debut this year, and if he pitches anything like he did in Spring Training, at least one of the current A’s starters will be out of a job next season.

Next: 2016 Predictions: Breakout Stars and Busts