The Oakland A’s have thrived on finding hidden gems. Those late round picks or unheralded international signings have made a drastic difference over the years, helping keep the A’s conveyer belt of talent churning along. Jonah Bride may be the next of those unheralded pieces.
Bride certainly fits the mold. A 23rd round draft pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, he has played at third, first, and second since joining the organization. He has also steadily moved up the ladder, reaching Double-A in 2019 before repeating the level last year.
Jonah Bride starting to attract deserved attention
He had performed well with the bat last year. Bride produced a solid .831 OPS in his 334 plate appearances, hitting 11 doubles and nine homers. He added second base to his defensive repertoire after spending most of his time at either corner infield position.
But Bride’s season ended early because the A’s wanted to add even more versatility. He headed down to the instructs, learning how to catch. While he is still very raw behind the plate, adding the ability to catch once or twice a week with his capability at other positions will only make him more intriguing.
As it is, there are plenty of players who have moved out from behind the plate to other positions. Daulton Varsho and Isiah Kiner-Falefa have become even more valuable due to their ability to play behind the dish as well, even if the Rangers infielder has seemingly stopped being an option there.
But for Bride, that could be his ticket. The A’s value defensive versatility, and adding catcher to his resume will only help him stand out even more. If that transition goes well, it may not be a surprise to see Bride in Triple-A to start 2022, becoming a true super utility player.
Jonah Bride had performed well with the bat since being drafted. Adding the ability to play catcher will only help him stand out for the Oakland A’s.