Ryan Ward could make sense for Oakland A’s in Rule V Draft
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s are in a perfect position to add to their roster in the Rule V Draft.
Armed with the second overall selection in the draft, the A’s may not land a superstar. Those days of impressive players falling through the cracks appear to have ended. Nonetheless, the A’s have found solid players in Mark Canha and a possible utility man in Vimael Machin through the draft.
Ryan Ward could be next Oakland A’s steal in Rule V Draft
But there is always the chance of finding that diamond in the rough. Rebuilding teams such as the A’s still consider the draft as a way to rebuild their roster and potentially find a future building block. Ryan Ward could be that sort of player.
Ward had a solid showing in Double-A last season, posting a .255/.319/.486 batting line with 28 homers and 18 doubles in his 506 plate appearances while chipping in five steals. He may be limited to either corner outfield position, but he does have the type of power potential that the A’s need.
As is the case with any player available in the Rule V Draft, there are some flaws. Ward has struggled against left handed pitching and is likely to be on the strong side of a platoon. He trusts in his ability to make contact a bit too much, leading to his chasing pitches out of the zone. And the Dodgers had to work with him to shorten his swing so that he could tap into his potential.
But none of that should scare the A’s away. Ward has the type of power that the A’s need in their lineup. And, with Cristian Pache appearing to be a platoon bat against lefties, they could easily mix and match that duo in the outfield, especially since either Ramon Laureano or Conner Capel could play center.
The Oakland A’s need to find more power for their lineup moving forward. Adding Ryan Ward via the Rule V Draft would help fix that problem.