After coming off a statement year where the Oakland A’s unexpectedly finished in first place in the American League West, they are off to a spectacular first half of the season.
With the All-Star break right around the corner, the Athletics are 54-39, which puts them in first place in the AL West over the Texas Rangers by one game. The A’s are one of the better teams in the league because of their explosive offense along with solid pitching and fielding. Nevertheless, there are three players on the team who are having tremendous seasons, and are key factors as to why the A’s are playing such great baseball.
1) Jed Lowrie
Oakland’s starting shortstop, Jed Lowrie, is having a phenomenal season for the Athletics. He is a career .262 hitter with average power, however, he has elevated his game tremendously.
We are just a bit over the half way mark of the regular season, and Lowrie is batting .301 with seven homers and 37 RBI’s. One thing Lowrie lacks is arm strength, but his defensive ability at short stop has been solid throughout the year. He has become a hit machine for the A’s, and Oakland fans have learned to love the guy.
2) Bartolo Colon
Talk about greatness, the 40-year-old veteran Colon has been amazingly sharp on the mound this year. He was the only selected All-Star on Oakland, and it was certainly deserved. At 40 years old, he has some of the best pitching numbers in baseball with a 2.69 ERA and a record of 12-3.
If he continues to pitch this well, he will be in the conversation for the American League Cy Young award without a question. It feels like whenever Bartolo is on the mound, the A’s win the game. It’s as simple as that.
3) Josh Donaldson
The fact that Josh Donaldson did not make the All-Star game is arguably a bigger snub than when Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry did not make the All-Star game. It is just flat out ridiculous.
Donaldson plays third base for the Oakland A’s, and he has been their MVP without a doubt. His numbers will tell you a little something, with a batting average of .310 along with 15 homers and 58 RBI’s. Donaldson is on track for beyond 100 RBI and possibly 30 homers. The stud third baseman just recently became the first Athletics player to reach 100 hits before the break since Miguel Tejada in 2002.
One of the greatest assets to Donaldson’s game is his defensive ability as he has made quite a few jaw dropping plays this year along with tremendous arm strength. If Donaldson keeps plaing stellar defense, he will definitely be in the conversation for a gold