Athletics 2016 Season Preview
Ready to check out our 2016 Oakland Athletics predictions? Mastermind Billy Beane had a formula that worked in cash-strapped Oakland for a long time, but perhaps all good things come to an end.
MLB Athletics Predictions & Handicapping Insight
It might be time for a scorched-Earth rebuild for the American League representative from the Bay Area.
Oakland will likely be on the hind teat in the AL West division this season.
2016 MLB Team Previews
- Athletics American League West Future Odds: +1200
- Athletics American League Pennant Future Odds: +3300
- Athletics 2016 World Series Futures Odds: +6600
- Yonder Alonso – 1B (Padres)
- Henderson Alvarez – SP (Marlins)
- Liam Hendriks – RP (Blue Jays)
- Jed Lowrie – INF (Astros)
Alonso is a slick fielder and makes good contact; he’ll start at the one bag for the A’s. He doesn’t have the power you want from a corner infielder, however. Hendriks added a bunch of velocity to his repertoire when the Jays moved him to the bullpen last year.
The Australian will be an important component of Oakland’s 2016 ‘pen.
- Jesse Chavez – SP (to Blue Jays)
- Brett Lawrie – 2B/3B (to White Sox)
- Drew Pomeranz – SP (to Padres)
The high-energy Lawrie was the main return in the infamous Josh Donaldson deal, surely the nadir of Beane’s managerial career. Oakland has Toronto castoff Danny Valencia and re-acquired Jed Lowrie to fill the void in the infield. Oakland may also miss Jesse Chavez’s versatility.
2016 Athletics Predictions – Projected Lineup:
1. Billy Burns CF
2. Yonder Alonso 1B
3. Billy Butler DH
4. Danny Valencia 3B
5. Josh Reddick RF
6. Mark Canha/Coco Crisp LF
7. Stephen Vogt C
8. Jed Lowrie 2B
9. Marcus Semien SS
Oakland has some tough outs in this lineup, but it is also one with warts.
Alonso’s fluid swing near the top will be a welcome complement to lead off man Burns’s Ichiro-like slashing hack and impactful speed. Beane has a misguided faith in Billy Butler, who continues to leak bat speed and probably won’t hit over .260, with underwhelming power.
Catcher Vogt is an impactful bat for the position, and Reddick is the most feared hitter in the lineup. Outfielder Mark Canha impressed as a rookie last year, he may have a timeshare with the injury-prone Crisp.
Marcus Semien can turn on a fastball, but he is too impatient and is one of the worst defensive shortstops in the entire major leagues. He really shouldn’t be starting.
2016 Athletics Predictions – Projected Rotation:
1. Sonny Gray
2. Jesse Hahn
3. Henderson Alvarez
4. Chris Bassitt
5. Kendall Graveman
Oakland has at least one gem, and that’s its ace pitcher, Gray. He has a dynamic four-pitch arsenal with a fastball that tops out at 95 mph and breaking pitches (curveball, slider) with filthy action on them.
Alvarez is erratic, though he can be very good. Graveman is another piece the A’s received in the Donaldson deal, a piece that would be far more useful with an improved infield defense behind him (ie. Semien in the dugout).
Graveman is a heavy ground-ball pitcher.
Jarrod Parker was once a promising starter, but elbow issues have probably relegated him to the bullpen.
2016 Athletics Predictions – Projected Bullpen:
1. Sean Doolittle
2. Liam Hendriks
3. John Axford
Doolittle suffered through shoulder problems last year, missing the bulk of the 2015 campaign. He is aggressive and effective when healthy. Hendriks will be a valuable piece, as might Axford if he keeps control issues under wraps. He walks too many batters.
2016 Oakland Athletics Season Predictions:
For years, Beane – now VP Baseball Ops as David Forst has taken over as general manager – was able to acquire the right guys to make Oakland competitive, even with their tiny budget. Yet, even Beane acknowledges it’s time to change tack.
The Donaldson deal with Toronto, yes, last year’s AL MVP, that Donaldson, will go down as an all-time blunder for the Oakland organization.
The A’s may need to endure a couple of 100-loss seasons to build the farm system up through the draft. Until Oakland gets a new stadium, payroll will not increase. Oakland won’t improve tangibly until some impact youngsters come up through the system.
Twenty-six year old Sonny Gray is a major building block/trade chip, however.
All in all, it could be a long season on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge.
What do you think of our 2016 Oakland Athletics predictions? Comments are welcome below.
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