Oakland Athletics: Predicting the team’s best hitter in 2020

Oakland Athletics (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Oakland Athletics (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Oakland Athletics’ season is on a temporary hiatus, but today we make our prediction for who the A’s best hitter will be in 2020.

As the baseball world anxiously awaits word on the fate of the 2020 MLB season, now is the perfect time for fans in the Bay Area to take an in-depth look at the Oakland Athletics roster.

Despite playing in the same region as a recent three-time World Series champion San Francisco Giants, it is the A’s who have established themselves as the biggest postseason threat at the beginning of the decade.

A huge reason for the high expectations in Oakland is the franchise’s dynamic offense. The team boasts one of the most dangerous collections of power hitters in the league. Let’s take a look at which of these sluggers will be the team’s best hitter in the 2020 season.

Matt Olson

The 26-year-old first baseman has improved as a power hitter in each of his seasons in the major leagues. He burst onto the scene in 2017 with 24 home runs, followed by 29 in 2018, and a career-high 36 in 2018.

This increase in home run hitting has helped establish Olson as one of the premier first basemen in MLB.

The rising star is expected to produce another great season in 2020. Rotochamp projects Olson will continue his power surge by hitting 35-38 homers to go along with a .254 average, 98 RBI, and 85 runs scored.

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If he is indeed able to reach these marks, and there is no reason to believe he won’t, Olson should be in line to earn his first All-Star appearance in 2020.

Matt Chapman

Matt Chapman held the distinction of arguably the franchise’s best player in 2019. Chapman, like Olson, was able to set career highs across the board with 36 home runs, 91 RBI, and a .257 average.

He also earned his first All-Star berth and continued to flash incredible defensive abilities at a prime position.

The third baseman is projected to hit between 32 and 36 homers in addition to 91 RBI and 96 runs scored with a .253 batting average.

This, along with another gold glove season (which seems automatic at this point), would not only make Chapman the MVP of his own team. It would also likely result in him receiving a considerable number of votes for the MVP of the American League.

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Marcus Semien

Barring an unexpected breakout season by another member of the Athletics’ roster, Marcus Semien likely joins Olson and Chapman as the only three players with an obvious path to staking claim to the title of best hitter.

While Semien represents more of a wildcard, there is no denying his high ceiling. The star shortstop put the rest of the league on notice when he broke out to the tune of 27 homers and 75 RBI in 2017.

After two sub-par campaigns, the rollercoaster ride returned to the top of the peak again in 2019. This time, Semien again shattered his career highs with 33 homers and 92 RBI. While he was snubbed from the All-Star game, his 2019 production was enough to give him third place in the AL MVP voting.

Semien is projected to return back to earth with 25 homers, 79 RBI, and 96 runs on a .270 average. However, if he is able to recapture some of the magic from last season, Semien could very well be the team’s most productive batter.

Honorable mention

Khris Davis

It was a rough season from Khris Davis in 2019. Despite near career lows in nearly every major category, the DH did average a ridiculous 44 homers and 111 RBI from 2016-2018. Keep a close eye on him this year.

And the Winner is….

Matt Olson!

In my mind, and presumably the minds of most Oakland Athletics fans, Olson and Chapman are neck-and-neck for the mantle of the franchise’s best hitter. It felt like Chapman edged out the competition in 2019. I predict that Olson will follow suit in 2020.

Next. Oakland Athletics: Team preview and prediction for 2020 season. dark

Expect the first baseman to pace the team in home runs and RBI as he stakes claim to the title of best hitter in Oakland.