It can be difficult for a late round draft choice to grab the attention of a major league front office. More often than not, those players are viewed more as projects, someone that will fill out the minor league rosters in the hopes that they will develop into something. If that does not happen, it is not as though they were given a large signing bonus, making their release an easier pill to swallow. Jonah Bride is bucking that perception.
Bride was a 23rd round back in 2018, someone that the Oakland A’s were intrigued by due to his ability to put the bat on the ball and approach. He rose quickly through the system, getting a brief look at Double-A just a year later, but really did not fit the profile as a starting third baseman.
Jonah Bride impressing Oakland A’s in Arizona Fall League
That did not deter the A’s front office. Bride became more of a utility player in 2021, seeing time at first and second as well. Then, towards the end of the year, he was sent to the Instructional League to learn the catcher position as well, a transition that has impressed the team.
Bride’s journey to becoming a super utility player has continued in the Arizona Fall League. He has three games at both first and third, two at second, and four behind the plate. His progress as a catcher has been impressive, as he has just one error in 24 chances. While he has yet to throw out any base stealers, that will happen as he gets more experience.
Learning the new position has not affected his bat. Bride produced a .240/.441/.400 batting line in his 68 plate appearances, hitting two doubles and two homers. His excellent approach and contact skills were on display as well, as he walked 15 times with just 12 strikeouts.
It may be a matter of time before Bride finds his way to the A’s. His solid showing in Double-A, and improved power, should lead to an assignment for Triple-A next season. Should he perform well there, and his conversion into a super utility player continues to go well, Bride could find himself in the majors by the end of the 2022 season.
Jonah Bride was not expected to get this far based on his draft position. His versatility and skill have caught the eye of the Oakland A’s front office and could lead to a major league role.