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These 2016 Oaklan A’s projections and notes are a part of a series that we’ll be running throughout January and February, and updating right up until Opening Day. You can see all the MLB Team Projections that have been completed or you can use the links at the bottom of this article to go to specific teams.

The A’s are usually an underrated source of Fantasy value, and I’m sure they’ll produce some sleepers this year, but the lineup is a little more set than usual. The only questions are who will fill in when Coco Crisp and Jed Lowrie get hurt.

Oakland has a lot more intrigue on the pitching side. The ballpark makes average pitchers look near elite, so there’s always a chance of a breakout starter emerging. In fact the A’s have one of my favorite pitching sleepers for the 2016 season, but you’ll have to read on after the pitching projections to see that name. The closer situation could also be interesting. I love Sean Doolittle, and he’s probably an elite closer if everything is right in his shoulder, but that’s far from a sure thing.

One caveat on my 2016 Oakland A’s projections, as well as all the other teams, is that these are focused only on Fantasy. If a player won’t have value at least in a 12-team AL-only league, you won’t find them here.

On a similar note, my initial projections mostly targets players with clear-cut roles. The A’s seem pretty set on the hitting side, but their pitching staff has plenty of room to change. As roles become more clear in Spring Training I’ll add more reserve players and potential minor league call-ups. Until then here’s the first run through my 2016 Oakland A’s projections.

2016 Oakland A’s Projections: Hitters

Pos.
PLAYER
G
AB
H
2B
3B
HR
R
RBI
BB
SO
SB
AVG
OBP
C
Stephen Vogt
130
438
109
20
2
17
54
63
48
96
1
.250
.323
1B
Yonder Alonso
138
521
141
29
1
13
73
70
60
123
8
.270
.346
2B
Jed Lowrie
132
425
111
24
1
11
57
56
43
74
1
.262
.331
3B
Danny Valencia
142
477
128
30
2
18
62
72
35
109
2
.269
.319
SS
Marcus Semien
150
538
143
23
5
14
65
50
44
123
10
.266
.322
LF
Coco Crisp
100
343
87
15
2
7
47
35
43
55
9
.253
.333
CF
Billy Burns
150
618
174
23
10
6
86
46
33
94
31
.282
.324
RF
Josh Reddick
140
516
139
25
5
22
68
77
52
77
6
.270
.335
DH
Billy Butler
145
517
141
29
1
11
58
67
52
93
0
.272
.343
1B/OF
Mark Canha
120
403
98
19
1
12
51
57
31
89
4
.243
.303
C
Josh Phegley
78
232
58
12
1
10
26
32
14
54
0
.248
.293
2B
Eric Sogard
111
275
69
11
2
2
32
22
21
36
4
.249
.306

Notes on 2016 Oakland A’s Hitters:

  • I love Stephen Vogt and he helped me out in plenty of leagues last year, but if you look at his second half stats, you see what his floor is. I trust the mid-teens power, but there’s a good chance he finished well below his .261 batting average from 2015.
  • I battle myself on being too optimistic on Yonder Alonso. He looks like a better hitter than his numbers would indicate. I think there’s some untapped potential, but he’s got to stay on the field to start fulfilling it.
  • You wouldn’t know it from his 2015 numbers, but Jed Lowrie has solid offensive potential, especially if he’s eligible at shortstop in your league (17 games played). Once you get past the know quantities in the middle infield, Lowrie is one of the better gambles toward the end of your draft or in the reserve rounds.
  • I was hoping Marcus Semien would run a little more than he did in 2015, but we should probably get used to his 2015 numbers. He’s not exciting, but shortstop is obscenely thin so double-digit steals and homers is nothing to thumb your nose at. Now we just have to worry that he loses his job because of defense.
  • Danny Valencia was a nice story in 2015 and his second half was impressive. I don’t buy it. He’ll hit his share of homers, but 2015 is the first time he’s ever hit right-handed pitching. His career average against righties is .205. You can probably still get Valencia pretty cheap, but don’t feel like he’s a safe fallback, as there’s plenty of room for Valencia to fall back.
  • Fantasy Baseball is supposed to be fun. Owning Coco Crisp is not fun. The minute he teases you with an interesting mix of speed with a bit of power, he heads right back to the DL. The projection above for 100 games? It’s a guess. Don’t pay for it. Crisp is perfect as a reserve pick where you don’t have to rely on him.
  • I’d like to see Billy Burns walk more, and his minor league numbers hint that he may have trouble repeating last year’s .294 batting average. That’s okay, he’s still one of the few players in baseball with a realistic shot at 50 stolen bases. Burns doesn’t come with the hype of a Billy Hamilton, but will help your team more.
  • I always want more from Josh Reddick, but at 28, he’s getting a little old to expect a true breakout season. Still there’s no hype and 25 HRs is not out of the question. Nice end-game outfielder that could be a nice value.
  • I still remember when Billy Butler was arguably the top hitting prospect in baseball. To be fair he did have some nice seasons for the Royals, but for the last two years he’s been about as vanilla as it gets. He bounced back a bit in the power department in 2015, but at the expense of his average. Add in no position eligibility and it’s hard to justify drafting Butler in mixed leagues.
  • Meet Mark Canha, your Coco Crisp handcuff. Exciting I know. Canha has a bit of pop, but lacks any real upside. Leave him for AL-only leagues until further notice.

2016 Oakland A’s Projections: Pitchers

Player
G
GS
QS
IP
W
L
ERA
WHIP
SV
HLD
H
SO
BB
K/9
BB/9
Sonny Gray
33
33
24
223
15
11
3.27
1.12
0
0
183
186
67
7.5
2.7
Jesse Hahn
22
22
14
130
9
6
3.50
1.28
0
0
126
97
40
6.7
2.8
Rich Hill
28
28
19
188
12
9
3.56
1.19
0
0
151
195
73
9.4
3.5
Chris Bassitt
28
28
18
151
7
12
4.01
1.38
0
0
154
114
55
6.8
3.3
Sean Doolittle
54
0
0
55
3
5
2.73
0.90
27
2
37
66
12
10.9
2.0
Ryan Madson
64
0
0
63
4
3
3.14
1.08
9
20
53
59
15
8.4
2.1
Liam Hendriks
66
0
0
69
3
3
2.99
1.05
0
14
60
71
12
9.4
1.6

Notes on 2016 Oakland A’s Pitchers:

  • Listen, Sonny Gray had a nice year and he’s a No.1 starter in MLB, but 169 Ks? Gray pitches for a team that will struggle to score runs and is likely to lose 90 games or more. For my Fantasy money there are a lot of starting pitchers out there that come at a better value.
  • If he could stay healthy Jesse Hahn would be a nice little No. 6 starter for your Fantasy team. He’s been unable to do that thus far in his young career. I like him as an end-game play, just realize that a 6.0 K/9 is a liability.
  • Prior to four late-season starts for Boston, Rich Hill had not started a game in the majors since 2009. That season his ERA was 7.80. Now after just those four starts, Oakland rewards Hill with a $6 million dollar contract for 2016? That’s because Oakland is smart. Rich Hill is my favorite deep sleeper of 2016. First of all he’s always had the talent. At one point he was on the verge of breaking through and becoming a pretty nice No. 2 type MLB starter. If you saw his four starts last year you know why. He looked like a shorter version of Chris Sale, with a little less velocity, but a lot more bend. I’m not saying to reach for Hill, but he’s got as much upside as any pitcher you’re likely to see available in the last two rounds of your drafts this year.
  • Sean Doolittle was an elite pitcher in 2014, but rotator cuff issues put a big damper on his 2015 season. The good news is that he’ll likely slide in drafts this season. The bad news is that recoveries from rotator cuff problems are almost impossible to predict. I like him as a late play, but he’s probably best used as your extra closer. Then if he’s healthy and effective, you can deal another closer to add offense or starting pitching.
  • The years 2012 thru 2014 seem to be missing on Ryan Madson‘s stat line… It’s not often we see a pitcher return from three years of injuries and dominate the way he did for the Royals. I’m a big advocate of using middle relievers over innings eater types, and Madson fits that bill. He’s likely second in line for saves and should vulture his share of wins.
  • To say Liam Hendriks excelled in his move to the pen does not do it justice. He bumped his strikeout rate over 3.5 Ks per nine. His fastball velocity was up over 3.0 mph. His 2015 numbers paint the picture of a closer in waiting, and it could be this year if things fall right. You’ll get him almost free even in AL-only leagues, and you’ll be happy with what you get even if he doesn’t close.

Those are the 2016 Oakland A’s Projections. Oakland isn’t sexy, and outside of Sonny Gray, they have no other player even in the neighborhood of elite, but they do have some nice pieces, and of course my deep sleeper starting pitcher of the year. I’ll keep these updated right up to Opening Day, so please check back. Also feel free to hit me with your thoughts in the comments below.

2016 MLB Projections By Team

NL WEST
NL CENTRAL
NL EAST
SD
SF
CHC
CIN
MIL
PIT
STL
ATL
MIA
NYM
PHI
WAS
AL WEST
AL CENTRAL
AL EAST
SEA
TEX
CWS
CLE
DET
KC
MIN
BAL
BOS
NYY
TB
TOR

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Doug "RotoDaddy" Anderson

Doug Anderson took on the moniker RotoDaddy with the birth of his son in 2003. He's a veteran of the industry and has been playing Fantasy Baseball for over 20 years. His work has been seen on RotoExperts.com, SI.com, Yahoo, USAToday.com and also in the pages of various Fantasy magazines. He's currently also in charge of aggregation efforts at The Fantasy Sports Network and represents them in the LABR Mixed Experts League.
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