The Oakland A’s need to find someone that can produce at second. It may be time for Sheldon Neuse to get a look in the lineup.
The Oakland A’s knew that they had questions at second base heading into the season. Tony Kemp was penciled in as the starter, but he did not exactly have a track record of sustained success. Neither of the backup options, Franklin Barreto or Vimael Machin, had any major league success. Chad Pinder was the fallback option, but he is best suited in his super utility role.
Needless to say, second base has been a sore spot in the A’s lineup. They have combined for a .170/.291/.234 batting line heading into Friday; their .525 OPS ranking 22nd in baseball to this point in the season. A’s second basemen have just one extra base hit thus far, a home run by Pinder on August 1st.
Understandably, second base is a position the A’s could look to upgrade at the trade deadline. But they may already have an option in their system with Sheldon Neuse. And, even better, he is already on the A’s 40 man roster.
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Neuse was a second round pick of the Washington Nationals in the 2016 MLB Draft, and came to the A’s as part of the Sean Doolittle trade. He rose through the minors quickly, but it was not until last season that he really put himself on the map as a possible impact prospect.
While the ball was juiced in AAA, his stats at Las Vegas were still impressive. Neuse posted a .317/.389/.550 batting line with 27 homers and 31 doubles. That production led to a callup late in the season, where he had a .250/.295/.304 batting line in 61 plate appearances while showing solid defense at second and third.
At this point, what the A’s have gotten at second base is not good enough. While they have a lead in the AL West, and the offense is starting to come to life, second base remains a problem. Neuse may not be the answer, but nothing they have tried has worked either. Why not give him a look?
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Sheldon Neuse deserves a look at second base for the Oakland A’s. Given his production in the minors, he may be the best option they have.