Oakland A’s: Jordan Weems – from catcher to closer

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 05: Jordan Weems #70 of the Oakland Athletics delivers the pitch against the Houston Astros during the ninth inning in Game One of the American League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 05, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 05: Jordan Weems #70 of the Oakland Athletics delivers the pitch against the Houston Astros during the ninth inning in Game One of the American League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 05, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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Jordan Weems took an unconventional route to the Oakland A’s bullpen, but he could make a major impact in 2021.

The 2020 season was the culmination of years of hard work for Jordan Weems. The former third round pick of the Red Sox had been drafted as a catcher, only to see his bat fail to develop as hoped. However, he had an excellent arm, leading Boston to hope that he could be a weapon on the mound.

It turned out that the Red Sox were right. Weems quickly showed his potential on the mound, moving through Boston’s system faster than expected. He had gone from making his first professional pitch to reaching AAA in two years, making him an intriguing arm to watch.

It was understandable that the Oakland A’s were interested in the previous offseason. Weems had signed as a minor league free agent, receiving an invitation to the major league portion of spring training. He was viewed upon as a longshot, but a nonetheless intriguing pitcher to keep an eye on.

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Weems opened a lot of eyes in spring training, making the A’s Opening Day roster. Although he missed time with injury, he still impressed during his time in the majors. He allowed just five runs on ten hits and seven walks over his 14 innings, striking out 18 batters. Although Weems did not exactly pitch in high leverage situations, he still performed well.

With the A’s likely needing a closer in 2021, Weems has been mentioned as a possibility. His rising fastball is amongst the best in the game, and he compliments it well with an excellent splitter. To this point, the biggest knock on Weems would be his lack of pitching experience, but the A’s have used rookies in the closer role before.

Chances are, Weems would be a longshot for the role. Lou Trivino has a similar profile and could be considered a future closer. There is the question of what the A’s will do with A.J. Puk, who has displayed flashes of being able to dominate in relief. But if there is one thing that Weems has proven thus far in his pitching career, one should not count him out of any competition.

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The Oakland A’s will need to find a closer for the 2021 season. Jordan Weems could be that option.

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