For all of the Oakland A’s offensive issues, there is hope with one area of the lineup.
It is possible that the A’s head into the 2023 campaign with a quietly solid outfield. A starting trio of Ramon Laureano, Conner Capel, and Seth Brown may not grab national attention, but could be the start of a core to the lineup.
Oakland A’s could have pieces for strong outfield in place
Of course, that depends on several factors. Laureano would have to stay with the A’s, something that is not a given considering the general refusal to spend on players, while bouncing back to his previous levels of production. Brown would need to prove his breakout 2022 campaign is sustainable. And Capel would need to show that his excellent debut with the A’s was more than just a short sample size success story.
But there is plenty of reason to hope. Brown led the A’s in homers in 2022 and was their second best hitter behind Sean Murphy in most metrics. Laureano was third in homers, averaged a 119 OPS+ in his first four seasons, and has typically been a solid all around option on the diamond. Capel has been considered someone that could be a Laureano type of player offensively, contributing in every category. If Cristian Pache can ever figure out how to hit, that could be a strong group.
Chances are, the A’s are not going to contend in 2023. They still need to find plenty of pieces for the roster, especially in the rotation and around the infield. However, they could have plenty of power next year and be on their way to contending in the near future. It all depends on how well these players either bounce back or build on their 2022 showings.
The Oakland A’s could have a surprisingly solid outfield next season. It would be a great step toward putting together their future core.