Ramon Laureano should be Oakland A’s leadoff hitter
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s have a question when it comes to their leadoff hitter. The roster, as constructed, does not have the traditional leadoff type. Typically, one would find an on base machine with, at minimum, solid speed to take that top spot at the lineup. But that does not exist on the A’s roster.
There are players that fit one or the other of those options. Elvis Andrus has the speed to be the A’s leadoff hitter, but does not get on base nearly enough. On the other hand, Mark Canha has the on base skills, but not the speed. If only the A’s could combine the two…
Ramon Laureano should be the Oakland A’s leadoff hitter
The closest that the A’s could come to that would be Ramon Laureano. He has a career .343 on base percentage in his 879 plate appearances, a respectable enough mark for a leadoff hitter. Laureano may only have a career 7.6% walk rate, but he has drawn walks at a better than average rate in two of his three major league seasons.
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He certainly looked the part of a future leadoff hitter during his time in the minors. Laureano drew walks at just over a 10% rate in his 1677 minor league plate appearances. He was also extremely successful on the basepaths, stealing 100 bases while only being caught 24 times. The skillset is seemingly there.
Laureano has had success with the stolen base in the majors although he has not run as frequently. He is 22 for 26 in stolen base attempts, an excellent success rate. Add in his desire to be better at stealing bases, and how he has been picking Andrus’ brain on the topic in spring training, and the answer could be right there.
One of the more dynamic players on the A’s, Laureano would be the perfect solution. He has displayed a solid ability to get on base in his career, has the speed for that spot in the lineup, and has enough pop where pitchers could not just look to get that first pitch ‘get over’ fastball to try to get ahead in counts.
The Oakland A’s need to figure out their leadoff hitter. Ramon Laureano is the obvious choice to take over that role this season.