The Oakland A’s would seem to be in a strong position heading into the 2022 season. Their core is intact, and with the right free agent signings, they could be a factor in the AL West once again.
But that is the problem – ownership will not spend. If the A’s are going to contend once more, they will need to have their core players step up and have some younger players take that next step forward. At times, that may be easier said than done.
3 Oakland A’s players that need to prove themselves
That is particularly the case when some of those players have giant question marks attached to them. The A’s need those players to prove themselves in 2022, or else they may not have much of a future with the franchise going forward. Likewise, they need those players to take that step forward in order to contend.
Let’s take a look at three members of the Oakland A’s who need to prove themselves during the 2022 season.
It is strange to think that Matt Chapman would be someone that needs to prove himself with the Oakland A’s. However, after his struggles over the past two seasons, that is the case.
Heading into the 2020 season, there was a case that Chapman was the best third baseman in the game. A two time Platinum Glove winner and an All Star in 2019, he was an all around threat – a power hitter with an impressive glove and howitzer for an arm. He was the type of player that the A’s could build around.
But that has not been the case since. A torn hip labrum torpedoed his 2020 campaign, and he just never seemed right in 2021. Chapman set an A’s record with 202 strikeouts while his 100 OPS+ was easily the worst of his career. While he did draw 80 walks and hit 27 homers, he was not able to provide much else in the lineup.
That has to change in 2022. If the A’s are going to contend next season, they need Chapman to be the player he had been prior to the 2020 campaign.