The Oakland A’s called up outfielder Ramon Laureano on Friday, the team announced. They had previously optioned Dustin Fowler down to Triple-A Nashville, so Laureano takes his spot on the roster.
This is the first trip to the bigs for Laureano, and when he takes the field he’ll make his MLB debut. He was acquired from the Astros last winter, having not played about Double-A ball. The 24-year-old missed the beginning of this season to a broken finger, but returned in May for his first taste of Triple-A. After a slow start he exploded in July (189 wRC+) right as Fowler was slumping in Oakland, and that breakout has now earned him a ticket to the Show.
Laureano, 2018 AAA: .297/.380/.524, 135 wRC+, 14 HR, 10.9% BB, 24.6% Ks
At the plate he brings on-base ability and solid power, and he has the speed to be a factor on the bases as well (11-for-13 steals). His defensive reputation includes the ability to cover all three positions, with an excellent throwing arm. His tools are strong across the board, and his top-notch work ethic once earned him the nickname “The Machine.” Click here for more details on Laureano.
Moving on to speculation, it remains to be seen what kind of role Laureano will find in Oakland. The A’s currently have Stephen Piscotty entrenched in RF, Mark Canha holding his own in CF, and Nick Martini emerging in LF, all with Matt Joyce on a long-term DL stint and Chad Pinder out briefly. Laureano has notable platoon splits in his minor league career, so perhaps a partnership with Martini could make sense. The A’s face lefty starters in four of their next five games, as well as seven of their next 10, so there should be plenty of opportunities for Laureano to get his right-handed bat in the lineup.
Ramón Laureano started for the Sounds on Wednesday. He didn't know his first call-up to the big leagues was in the works. This was in the 6th inning Wednesday night. CC: @espn, @MiLB, @Athletics pic.twitter.com/HYfcXlqJg8— Nashville Sounds (@nashvillesounds) August 3, 2018