You Heard it Here

Thearon W. Henderson

Jerry's Position Player Primer for 2014.

With the season just a few days away (thank God), I thought I would recap all my season predictions so I can reference them in one source. That way, it will be easier to gloat at the end of the season. All of the predictions are based on 162 games played. I am not going to try to break down playing time. Let's start behind the plate.

Derek Norris - .268/.372/.435 18 HR.

Notes: Feeling pretty good about this one - I was the OG on the Norris breakout campaign. I am hoping Norris can secure the majority of the catcher at-bats by the end of the year and (gosh) get some at-bats in the playoffs.

John Jaso - .262/.370/.377 8 HR.

Notes: I am not as big of a fan of Jaso as others. Between the concussion and his defense I have concerns about him behind the plate.

Stephen Vogt - .257/.315/.400 15 HR.

Notes: Vogt looks to be the odd man out on the roster cuts. Which is apparently the correct move. For someone who wasn't an A's fan until 2011 (I missed Barton's glorious 2010) and seems to recall Vogt starting all five games in the ALDS last year, it is a little difficult to swallow.

Daric Barton - .258/.340/.370 6 HR.

Notes: What hasn't been said about Barton at this point? DarBar (the nickname) is terrible.

Brandon Moss - .265/.342/.540 31 HR.

Notes: I don't know how long Moss can keep up this production, but I am going to keep my fingers crossed it is through 2014.

Nate Freiman - .260/.315/.390 10 HR.

Notes: Freiman is going to start the season in AAA, where he will probably kill the ball. I am just not sold on Freiman - the whole huge-guy-who-only-hits-lefties-with-little-power-with-questionable-defense-at-first-base just doesn't do it for me.

Eric Sogard - .262/.342/.375 5 HR.

Notes: I see a good second half for Sogard after the usual "Can Oakland upgrade second base" talks are over past the trade deadline.

Alberto Callaspo - .274/.335/.400 9 HR.

Notes: I am higher on Callaspo than most, I realize that. But mark my words: Callaspo will be valuable in 2014.

Jed Lowrie - .285/.335/.440 17 HR.

Notes: I think Lowrie will rebound a little at short, and grab some MVP votes. This guy is good.

Josh Donaldson - .303/.392/.505 25 HR.

Notes: MVP! MVP! MVP!

Josh Reddick - .242/.310/.414 19 HR.

Notes: I have little confidence in this projection. I think it could easily go north or south of this by a good bit. I pray he gets off to a good start or the confidence may tank.

Coco Crisp - .267/.340/.400 13 HR.

Notes: My original offseason projection was extremely unpopular, so I boosted it a little.

Yoenis Cespedes - .255/.312/.429 22 HR.

Notes: Another one I have zero confidence in, especially the SLG. From last night it looks like his swing is back to 2013 form - not 2012 - if not a little worse. His improvement on his front leg's function from early Spring Training is GONE and his swing is DEFINITELY not shorter. I am more concerned about the former rather than later. His swing has just as long in 2012. Sigh.

As a side note, I am starting to lose faith in Chili Davis. Between the Josh Reddick opposite-field-hitter disaster, not being able to get Chris Young to hit his weight, and now the whole Cespedes debacle.... I don't know. He did standby Norris when Norris wanted to go to a leg lift. But I am going to be concerned if I hear Susan Slusser reporting Davis is reworking someone's swing.

Craig Gentry - .276/.370/.360 2 HR.

Notes: I loved this trade when it happened, and I still do. Hopefully Gentry's back doesn't hold him back too long into the season.

Nick Punto - .252/.365/.330 1 HR.

Notes: I think Punto was added to the team so Sogard and Jaso don't have to feel bad about their ISO's.

Sam Fuld - .231/.310/.319 1 HR.

Notes: Good defense.

Other notes/predictions for 2014:

I am really looking forward to seeing some games in Stockton this year. I am really intrigued by Daniel Robertson. I will get some video on him so I can do a swing analysis. I am also hoping McKinney shows up sooner than later. AN day in Stockton anyone?

I think it is critical for the A's to get off to a hot start to bury the Rangers while they are hurting. That way come trade deadline, they make panic moves like the Matt Garza trade.

Michael Taylor will get 250 PA this year from someone and hold his own. I really have no justification for this - I am just rooting for the guy.

Addison Russell gets off to his customary slow start in Midland, gets going, gets sent to Sacramento around June 20th, then gets the September call-up. Barring injury, I don't see him making much of an impact in 2014 for Oakland. I think Lowrie/Sogard/Punto/Callaspo will have the middle infield in pretty good shape. I don't see the point in having Russell in Oakland to face the occasional LHP instead of playing every day in the minors. Now, come 2015...

Most of all I am just looking forward to bringing my kids to their first A's game in 2014. I think I have my wife convinced to have their 1st birthday party at the Coliseum in a box (with a visit by Stomper, of course).

Go A's!!

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