The Oakland A’s have called up outfielder Jaycob Brugman from Triple-A Nashville, according to Minor League Baseball reporter Kelsie Heneghan. The team has not yet officially announced the move, and there’s no word on a corresponding transaction to clear room on the 25-man roster.
Brugman was a 17th-round draft pick back in 2013. He’s graded out as an average or better hitter every pro season he’s played, at every level of the A’s minors, with an offensive profile that includes a little bit of everything. He also plays all three outfield positions, including CF. Here are his career Triple-A numbers, dating back to last May (126 games, 578 PAs):
Brugman, 2016-17 AAA: .296/.360/.423, 108 wRC+, 8 HR, 8 SB, 9.3% BB, 19.0% Ks
Note: He missed the beginning of 2017 to a minor injury. His ‘17 season stats are similar to those above, but with a better BB/K and less power.
We’ll have to wait to find out the full nature of this callup — is it just for a few days while the A’s shuffle around their pitching staff, like the brief cups of coffee enjoyed by Matt Olson and Bruce Maxwell so far this season? Or is Bruggy here to play, potentially for good if he earns it?
There’s certainly space in CF, where the A’s rank as arguably the worst team in baseball (30th in fWAR, 28th in bWAR). Rajai Davis sports an untenable 62 wRC+, and the current backup is former 1B Mark Canha, who has himself stopped hitting after an encouraging early surge. If Bruggy does get in the lineup, then in particular he can hope to offer a blend of acceptable defense and offense that Oakland has failed to achieve in center in 2017.
When Brugman makes his debut, he will become the first MLB player ever named “Jaycob.”
Hot takes: WOOOOOOOOOOOOO! It’s happening!
If you read Athletics Nation with any regularity, then you probably know that I love Jaycob Brugman. He’s not the best prospect in the A’s system (No. 18 on our CPL), but he’s my favorite. I like his all-around game, I like the glowing reports of his makeup, and I like his underdog story as sleeper prospect without eye-popping stats. It’s not that I think he’ll be a star, but even a quality platoon player would be a wonderful find in the 17th round.
And now he’s here! You guys, I’m so excited I don’t know what to do with my hands. The A’s have been awful the last few years so I’ve been following the minors as closely as the majors, and that means getting attached to a lot of prospects who don’t pan out. And my favorite one has made it! Even if he winds up flaming out of the bigs, at least he’ll put on that uniform a few times.
Furthermore, this is hopefully one step closer to the next phase of the A’s rebuilding season. Several boring veterans are struggling in the lineup, and as many prospects are thriving in their second go-rounds in Triple-A. Each youngster who debuts, much less wrests away regular playing time, takes the team one step closer to its future and to the new core of hitters that stand to lead them back into contention.
Oakland already has sophomore Ryon Healy and rookie Chad Pinder playing regularly, and more of Nashville’s crew has debuted — Olson and Maxwell, plus Joey Wendle and Renato Nunez last year. This weekend, we should be able to add Brugman to that list.
This has been a rough season already for A’s fans, though at least many of us have had the Warriors to keep us occupied in the meantime. But things might finally be starting to get interesting in the world of Oakland baseball.