clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Hidden 2010 MVP: Bob Alejo?

Perhaps the best return in the Jason Giambi signing was the return to Oakland of Bob Alejo. (And let's face it, it certainly wasn't Giambi's bat or glove.) Bereft of impressive "slash lines" or high "3-letter acronyms" (UZR, WAR, ERA, take your pick), Alejo is easy to overlook. But remember...

Brett Anderson is a hugely important, as well as a not naturally well conditioned, piece in the A's rebuilding plans, who reportedly doubled his upper body strength and tripled his lower body strength under the tutelage of Alejo. Unlike Clarence Cockrell, whose philosophy of "Lift weights! More! Better! More!" seemed to systematically harm some (Harden?) while conditioning no one, Alejo's understanding of the word "conditioning" to mean more than "Beeeeg muscles!!!!!" has already paid off for Anderson and could be a key factor in the future of...

Brett Wallace? By all accounts, Wallace has strengths as a 3Bman, including soft hands, good instincts, and a determination to do what it takes to succeed at 3B. Unfortunately there are some physical realities that limit his range and mobility. Perhaps an exceptional Strength and Conditioning coach could help Wallace to develop and keep more of a 3Bman's body for the next few years. It may or may not be possible, but if it's possible I'd wager that Alejo is a good bet to be the right mentor for the job.

When you look at how many good 1B/DH prospects the A's have in the immediate pipeline, it would be huge -- pun kind of intended -- for Wallace to be able to stick at 3B, as a decent defender, for the next 2-3 years. If you're skeptical, remember that Wallace already has the work ethic and the hands for the job, just not the body/range, and that the A's have a S&C coach who came back with Giambi in 2009 but who, unlike Giambi, neither failed nor moved on.

See you at 3:00pm for some NLDS!