Oakland Athletics: The battle for second base
By David Hill
At this point, it is far more likely that Jorge Mateo begins the season with another team.
Another former top prospect for the Oakland Athletics, Mateo was acquired from the Yankees as part of the Sonny Gray deal. He was a consensus top 100 prospect from 2016 through 2018, although he lost that prospect shine with a disastrous showing at AAA that season. In his first taste of the Pacific Coast League, Mateo posted a .230/.280/.353 batting line, drawing just 29 walks with 139 strikeouts in his 510 plate appearances. On the positive side, he did hit 17 doubles and 16 triples while stealing 21 bases.
Mateo’s second turn in AAA went better. In his 566 plate appearances in Las Vegas, he produced a .289/.330/.504 batting line. While he produced better power numbers, hitting 29 doubles, 14 triples, and 19 homers while stealing 24 bases, his plate discipline remained questionable at best. Mateo again drew just 29 walks, and struck out 145 times.
He also has not exactly lit spring training ablaze. Mateo had just a .231/.375/.231 batting line in 32 plate appearances, drawing six walks and striking out six times. As he plays the same positions as Franklin Barreto, but has not made his major league debut yet, he seems to have the longest road to cracking the A’s roster.
If the Oakland Athletics decide to move on from Jorge Mateo, they do have possible trade partners as the Royals and Tigers are interested in the speedster. Chances are, he will end up on another team when the regular season begins.