Oakland A’s: Mark Canha as the third best left fielder
By David Hill
As we get closer to the start of the regular season, MLB Network has been running down their list of the top ten players at each position. Recently, the network ran down their list of the top ten left fielders, with Oakland A’s outfielder Mark Canha getting a good deal of attention.
Although he may not be a household name, or command the attention of some of the other players on the list, Canha had an impressive showing. He finished third on that list, moving up two spots from 2019.
Is Mark Canha really the third best left fielder?
Based on his production last season, Canha would seem to be a strange choice as the third best left fielder in the majors. His .246/.387/.408 batting line with five homers and 12 doubles in 243 plate appearances was solid, but not spectacular. Likewise, while he can play all three spots in the outfield, Canha cost the A’s a run in 2020, so he is not getting that spot based on his defensive capabilities.
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But Canha has been more than just a decent showing in 2020. His .393 on base percentage is the eighth highest in the majors with a minimum of 400 plate appearances since the start of 2019. He has also finished second amongst major league left fielders in on base percentage and walk rate, and third in WAR, since the start of the 2019 campaign.
Canha has displayed some pop in the past. He did hit 26 homers in 2019, and appears to be a late bloomer as he continues his strong showing. He is also everything the A’s need him to be, slotting anywhere in the outfield and getting on base to help ignite Oakland’s offense.
Those traits make him an extremely valuable player for the A’s. Those same traits also tend to make him overlooked throughout the game as his one truly remarkable skillset is easy to ignore. Playing in Oakland certainly does not help with recognition; however, his appearance on MLB Network’s list of the top ten left fielders may draw the attention he deserves.
Mark Canha was named as the third best left fielder in the majors. Based on his production, he deserves that title.