Prior to June 6, the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays were in the same boat. They were the last teams to have a position on their roster that had yet to hit a home run this year. However, Yandy Diaz broke that streak for the Rays, belting his first of the year and giving Tampa Bay first basemen a mark in the home run ledger.
Entering Thursday, the A’s remain as the only team with a position that has not hit a homer. That offending position? It should not be a surprise that the A’s shortstops are the ones with that goose egg in the home run column.
Oakland A’s shortstops in unenviable class of their own
This really should not be much of a surprise. Even with Elvis Andrus‘ recent hot streak, A’s shortstops have been the worst in the majors in terms of OPS. Chad Pinder may hit well, but he plays other positions on the diamond. And Vimael Machin has almost no power to speak of.
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Andrus may not be an automatic out right now, but even with that hot streak, his overall performance is substandard. Over the course of his 207 plate appearances, he has produced a .207/.261/.267 batting line with nine doubles and a triple. Considering that he had belted 12 homers back in 2019, this power outage is a bit of a surprise.
It is, however, not entirely unprecedented. Andrus had gone without a homer in his 674 plate appearances in 2010, a year in which he made his first All Star Game. He had hit six homers the year before as a rookie, and followed up that zero in 2010 with a five homer season in 2011.
Chances are, someone will hit a homer for the A’s at the shortstop position by the end of the year. Andrus may tuck one inside of a foul pole, or put one into a gap and run around the bases. Pinder may hit one in a random start at short. Or the A’s could make a move at the trade deadline for an upgrade at the position and add something worth noting in the lineup.
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Oakland A’s shortstops have yet to hit a home run in 2021. This leaves them as the last position on a major league team without a homer this year.