5 Oakland Athletics to be excited about in 2024

The Oakland Athletics have some bright spots to look forward to in 2024. Here are a few of them.

Toronto Blue Jays v Oakland Athletics
Toronto Blue Jays v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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I'm not sure if I'm alone in this but I love watching JP Sears pitch. His effortless delivery and high leg kick finish are just excellent, and he's a pretty good pitcher to boot.

Sears build off a solid 2022 campaign and finished with a 4.54 ERA in 172.1 innings in 2023. He struck out just under 22% of hitters last year but combined it with a 7% walk rate which is a full percentage point better than league average.

Sears relies pretty heavily on the four-seam fastball, throwing it over 50% of the time, but adds in a sweeper, as well as a changeup that he throws against right handed hitters. All three are decent pitches that he controls well and can use to get whiffs outside the zone.

The biggest problem for Sears has been his inability to induce ground balls. His 29.1% ground ball rate was second lowest among qualified pitchers last year. Because Sears doesn't have elite velocity, hitters were able to square him up more often than you'd like in 2023.

All in all, Sears has a strong foundation to build off heading into 2024. He turns 28 in a couple months, so he's still plenty young enough to further develop his pitches and become a reliable top of the rotation starting pitcher for the A's.