The Oakland Athletics will be contenders for years to come and it all starts with developing their young phenom pitcher in Jesus Luzardo who has all the potential to be an ace.
Twenty-one-year-old Jesus Luzardo was called up to the Oakland Athletics on Sept 9th, 2019, and he dazzled to start his MLB career. He made six appearances for 12 innings while striking out 16 batters and hovering around 97 MPH on his fastball as witnessed here on his first MLB strikeout.
Luzardo gave Oakland A’s fans a reason to be excited about the future. The team has not seen a number one ace that they can count on in the postseason in a long time, the last one being Sonny Gray when he dazzled against the Detroit Tigers in 2013.
The A’s have made two straight Wild Card games, and their disappointment has come from not having a bona fide ace. Last year versus the New York Yankees they had to go with an opener and it did not work out well, this year yielded the same results vs the Tampa Bay Rays.
Putting themselves in an early hole has been disastrous, as they have not been able to catch up against dominant opposing pitchers/ Having Jesus Luzardo’s potential gives them the ability to go toe-to-toe with some of the biggest names in baseball if the offense is struggling, which it has done often in the playoffs.
Luzardo turned 22 on September 30th and even made his Postseason debut against the Tampa Bay Rays, pitching three shutout innings in relief in the Wild Card Game loss, only yielding one hit and striking out four. His stuff was untouchable for Rays hitters and it was a glimpse of what we can expect next year from the phenom.
Although he pitched out of the bullpen this year, he got a taste of the MLB and showed how dominant he could be. This A’s team needs an ace and his potential paired with A.J. Puk and Frankie Montas gives the team a potential trio (or quartet, with Sean Manaea) it’s long coveted since the days of Tim Hudson, Barry Zito and Mark Mulder.
This team is on the cusp of being a real contender and Luzardo can take them to the next level. With the growth of all their younger players it makes for an exciting future for the A’s.