Oakland Athletics: The Emergence of Brent Rooker

Brent Rooker has shocked the baseball world in 2023, turning into one of the best power hitters and becoming an All-Star in his first full season in MLB. He's now part of the Athletics' future and is ready to lead them into a new era.
Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros
Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

Brent Rooker was drafted in 2016 and then in 2017 by the Minnesota Twins. He was then traded to the Padres before getting traded to the Royals. The Royals put Rooker on waivers, and he was claimed by the Oakland Athletics on November 17th, 2022. Since joining the Athletics, he hasn't looked back, even becoming an All-Star in 2023.

He started his Athletics career going 0-7 with 2 strikeouts and grounded into a double-play in 3 games. In his next 5 games, he went 9-19 with 4 home runs and 11 RBIs, while also batting .474 along with an on-base percentage of .500 and an OPS of 1.605.

In April, he had his best month, hitting 9 home runs and bringing in 22 RBIs, while batting .353 with an on-base percentage of .353. He struggled a bit in May, hitting 2 home runs and recording 10 RBIs along with batting .198 and an on-base percentage of .290 but got even worse in June, hitting 2 home runs and knocking in 7 runs while batting .191 with an on-base of .267.

In July, he hit .283 with an on-base of .355 while hitting 4 home runs and recording 8 RBIs, while continuing to slug again in August with 5 home runs and 8 RBIs but struggled batting .228 with an on-base of .276. In September, he's struggled quite a bit in the 9 games with an .188 average and .297 on-base percentage along with 2 home runs and 3 RBIs.

While he's been struggling quite a bit as of late, he's just been underperforming. On the season, he's still showing so much talent, hitting 24 home runs and recording 48 RBIs while batting .239 with an on-base of .324 and OPS of .785. He has an OPS+ of 122, meaning he is around 22% better than the average hitter.

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While he's been struggling, if you look from an analytics point of view, it shows he's been hitting the ball well, he just needs to stop chasing the ball so much and striking out. While he does walk quite a bit, the number of strikeouts is just too excessive. When it comes to hitting the ball hard and in the right spot, he's been doing that but has been getting very unlucky at times with many warning track shots that should be home runs. In 2024, as long as he puts all his tools together, I would not be surprised if he was an All-Star again because he's a really good power hitter, as we've seen in 2023.