In his first full season at the major league level, Brent Rooker hit .247/.329/.488 and smashed 30 home runs. His Statcast numbers jump off the page. 93rd percentile barrel rate, 91st percentile hard hit rate. Rooker swings hard and does a ton of damage on contact.
Rooker does strike out quite a bit, which is a consequence of swinging hard all the time. However, when he's producing results like he did last year, the 32% strikeout rate is palatable for the time being.
Maybe he won't be this guy forever. He's not the best defender in the outfield and he's already 29, so we might not get this version of Rooker for the next decade. But it sure is a treat for A's fans at the moment.
Rooker pulled most of his home runs in 2023. According to Statcast, he hit just one homer to right field, and three to right center. Everything else was to center and the left side of the outfield. The one homer to right is the one highlighted above.
Yes, it just scraped over the wall, but it came off a nasty 91 mph cutter from Shohei Ohtani. Rooker dug it out of the bottom of the strike zone and pushed it 370 feet out of the park. Look how peeved Ohtani is afterward. What a gem.
Rooker will look to build upon his all-star campaign and become a force in the middle of the A's lineup in 2024. There's a world where Rooker repeats his 2023 season and finds himself in another all-star game next year. We're certainly here for it.