The Oakland A's offense has finally woken up, and they have a few new faces to thank for it. Bobby Crosby came off the DL, and in 27 AB has put up a good line (I know, I know...small sample size...but have the Athletic's had 27 AB of this magnitude before this all year?):
Bobby Crosby 2005 Oakland
Nick Swisher has finally started hitting, with a .389/.421/.444 line in June so far, coming off a .192/.276/.308 May. Small sample size yet again obviously, but seeing life from these bats is refreshing in whatever doses it comes in. The player I really want to focus on though is Dan Johnson. Johnson was called up from the Sacramento River Cats in May, and started playing May 27th. Check out his minor league statistics for the past few years, including this one:
2003 Midland AA
SB: 7/11 (64% success)
2004 Sacramento AAA
2005 Sacramento AAA
Judging from his 2004 and 2005 minor league campaigns, it looked as if Johnson had learned all he really could in the minors; he had plate patience and power, and some excellent saber-figures to go along with good looking traditional stats. After his promotion to Oakland, this is what he has done so far:
Johnson 2005 Oakland
His power has not shown in the major leagues, but it is early yet and he has shown plate patience already. At his current walk rate, at 650 PA he would have roughly 111 walks. The power will come in time; be thankful he is getting on base after his promotion. Once the power sets in expect Johnson to put up some pretty good numbers, and make up for some of the lost bats of last year.
Here is his PECOTA Projection for 2005:
Johnson is somewhere in between his 60th and 75th percentile projections, but without his power. If he keeps up everything else he is doing while developing his power he might finish somewhere between his 75th and 90th percentile projection, especially if his plate patience keeps up.
With Crosby, Swisher, and Johnson all added (or re-added) to the lineup recently, and Eric Chavez finally looking like he might be out of his massive funk, the A's offense might go and do what I expected it to do in the first place, which was score somewhere around 800 runs. That has to be a scary prospect for the Angels, who seem to be falling as of late with the rise of the Rangers in the West. Barry Zito is pitching better lately, Dan Haren has settled down somewhat, and Rich Harden won't be out forever. Now if Joe Blanton could just remember how to strike people out...