Oakland A’s land pair of prospects on All Defense Team
By David Hill
A pair of Oakland A’s prospects have been named to the minor league All Defense Team ahead of the 2021 season.
The Oakland A’s have built a strong defensive roster. With former Platinum Glove winner Matt Chapman at third, and Matt Olson at first, the A’s are strong defensively at the corners of the infield. Ramon Laureano has made a habit of highlight reel catches in center, and seems destined for a Gold Glove of his own. Meanwhile, young catcher Sean Murphy was considered a future Gold Glove backstop as he was rising through the minors.
That focus on defense can be seen in the A’s minor leagues as well. They have several players that could be defensive stars at the major league level, to the point where their gloves may be ready years before their offensive game catches up.
This focus on defense was noticed by Major League Baseball as well. They announced their minor league All Defense Team, with Nick Allen and Buddy Reed being honored. The A’s were the only franchise to have two players make that list.
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Depending on what happens in free agency, Allen may have the opportunity to seize the starting shortstop job during spring training. His glove is considered to be major league ready although he has yet to appear above A-ball. While there are questions about his offensive game and whether or not he will hit enough to be a starter in the majors, he is considered a potential Gold Glove winner at either second or short.
Reed is the first player to be named to the All Defense Team with two organizations, having been honored last season when he was in the Padres organization. He has impressive tools and incredible athleticism, but that has yet to translate at the plate. However, his speed and impressive arm have led to his being named to the All Defense Team once more.
It remains to be seen when either of these players will reach the majors. Both could use more seasoning in the minors, particularly on the offensive side of their games. However, when they are ready, Allen and Reed could give the A’s another pair of Gold Glove caliber players for their lineup.
The Oakland A’s have focused on having an impressive defensive team. That focus can be felt in the minor league ranks as well.