Oakland A’s: An autopsy of the 2020 season
By David Hill
An over-reliance upon the home run
The Oakland A’s offense struggled during the 2020 regular season. The A’s were 14th in the league in batting average, tending to rely upon the home run to push any runs across the board.
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That was especially true in the postseason. The A’s belted 12 homers, accounting for a third of their hit total during the ALDS. Those 12 homers accounted for 16 runs; the A’s scored a total of 22 runs against the Astros in that four game series.
That dependency upon the home run shines a spotlight upon a major weakness for the A’s this season. While Oakland finished in the top half of the AL with their .322 on base percentage, their inability to string hits together to push a run across the plate was problematic at times during the regular season.
In theory, this is why a player such as Tommy La Stella was brought in. He provided a stellar approach at the plate, and his ability to spray hits around the diamond made him the type of player the offense needed. But even that acquisition was unable to make enough of a difference, as could be seen in the ALDS.
The Oakland A’s were a flawed team, but one that had a lot of potential this season. Unfortunately, those flaws reared up at the worst possible time.