3 unexpected building blocks for Oakland A’s

May 20, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Paul Blackburn (58) throws in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
May 20, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Paul Blackburn (58) throws in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Sheldon Neuse

Sheldon Neuse did not seem as though he would be a part of the Oakland A’s future at all until recently.

He had gotten a brief look at the majors in 2019, making contact and performing reasonably well defensively at second and third. However, even with all of the A’s issues at second base in 2020, he never got a look. Neuse was then sent to the Dodgers as part of the trade for Adam Kolarek, appearing in 33 games as a utility man before being let go after the 2021 season.

Then the A’s came calling. He returned to Oakland on a minor league deal, getting a chance to force his way onto the Opening Day roster. Neuse was able to do exactly that as his defensive versatility earned him a place on their bench.

He has become much more than a bench player. Neuse has been one of the A’s better hitters thus far, producing a .269/.329/.366 batting line in his 146 plate appearances entering Sunday. While he may not be much of a power threat with three doubles and two homers, he makes consistent contact and has enough pop to be a useful piece going forward. Even if he is not a starter at the corner infield spots, Neuse should be a valuable option as a super utility player.

Langeliers pounding on the door. dark. Next

Sheldon Neuse has been one of the Oakland A’s better hitters thus far in 2022. That production could make him a part of their future core.

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