Athletics: Does Dustin Fowler Have a Future in Oakland?

 

Dustin Fowler was one of the prized players in the Sonny Gray trade. Now 17 months later, he is the Oakland Athletics’ forgotten prospect.

When the Oakland A’s traded Sonny Gray, they wanted to make sure they received the best possible package in return. The team had enjoyed a great amount of success with Gray but were no longer contenders. They wanted to maximize his value because they didn’t see him in their long-term plans.

So along came the New York Yankees, who were looking for another pitcher to add to their staff. They offered up three prospects, James Kaprielian, Jorge Mateo and Dustin Fowler. They weren’t at the top of their pipeline but they were three prospects that all figured to make MLB impacts in the future.

One name on that list Fowler once was a top prospect, he worked his way up all the way to the Yankees before a horrific leg injury in his first game ended it. Fowler since then has bounced around the minors, enjoying success there but struggling in his short time in Oakland.

With that being said, is there a future in Oakland for Fowler or is the team set in the outfield and could look to trade him?

With many options to go around, including Chad Pinder, Ramon Laureano, Stephen Piscotty, Mark Canha and even Franklin Barreto and Mateo. The team seems set with a mixture of your guys and veterans which leaves Fowler out of the mix.

Still only 24 years old there is reason to believe he has the potential to be a good baseball player at the highest level. Last season in AAA across 606 plate appearances, he batted .277 and showed tremendous pop, slugging 25 home runs to go along with 89 RBI’s. He also showed gap-to-gap capabilities by logging 22 doubles and seven triples.

In 2018, while going back-and-forth between Oakland and Las Vegas, over a total 239 plate appearances he hit .341. He only hit four home runs and drove in 27 runs, so he is showing the growth he is making in his swing. The potential is there for him to make an impact if given an opportunity.

With that being said, AAA and the MLB are a lot different and could go either way. I don’t think that opportunity will come in Oakland and they will look to possibly trade him for a second baseman. A trade that could help both teams and get Fowler a fresh start with a new team that isn’t log-jammed in the outfield position.

If Fowler can continue his growth he will be a decent outfielder in the league. But will he put it together? Time will tell, but it would be a shame if that one play in Chicago defined his entire career and derailed his chances.

 

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