Oakland Athletics: New Kid On The Block Ryon Healy

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Jul 15, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Ryon Healy (48) gestures to fans prior to the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 15, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Ryon Healy (48) gestures to fans prior to the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Oakland Athletics forwent a few familiar faces on Friday night, as Billy Burns was sent down in favor of prospect Ryon Healy. Who is he? What can he do for the A’s?

There was a fresh face at third base the entire evening at Oakland Coliseum on Friday night. Ryon Healy, fresh off a promotion from Triple-A Nashville to the Oakland Athletics and an appearance at the 2016 All-Star Futures Game this past week. He came to town with a grin and a story or two to tell.

Apparently, he was pranked by his coaching staff with the Nashville Sounds. The coaches told him he was to be benched following his Futures Game performance. Then, after a long argument where he said he didn’t want a game off, his hitting coach came in telling him he better not mouth off like that in front of Bob Melvin. Obviously, this is to say nothing of his hustle as he proved pivotal in Friday’s game.

Now, Healy is known for his bat, as he was quickly promoted through the minors because of it. Through 85 games in the minors this year, playing for both Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville, Healy was hitting .326/.382/.558 with 14 home runs, 60 runs scored, and 64 RBI.

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True to the 2016 Athletics’ form, Healy strikes out a bit more than he walks: he has 31 walks to 75 strikeouts. But for a 24-year-old who rose quickly through the minors and got here shortly after other infielders like Max Muncy, Arismendy Alcantara, and Tyler Ladendorf, Healy’s has plenty of room to grow and has a bit of thump to go with it.

Of course, his bat went quiet as he went 0-for-4 in his big league debut with a strikeout and left three men on base Friday night.

But his pivotal role was that of his defense: he initiated a double play in the eighth inning hit by Josh Donaldson, preserving the close one-run lead. He played a part in three additional putouts. He has played first and third base.

Healy has essentially supplanted Danny Valencia as Valencia will see more time at first base and outfield with Healy’s presence. The Oakland Athletics are likely to trade Valencia sooner rather than later and are also likely to market him as a player who has experience at first base, outfield, and third.

The Oakland Athletics are grooming their youth to stay in the big leagues, and with the trade deadline looming like a cat about to strike, the Oakland Athletics may sell their veterans high and continue to breed their prospects like Healy, Sean Manaea, and Daniel Mengden.

Next: Terry Steinbach 1988 All-Start Game MVP

What other prospects will show up in green and gold this year? What other veterans will see their playing time reduced? Let us know in your comments below.

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