First baseman Brandon Moss is making a strong case to scratch the platoon strategy the Oakland A’s currently have in place at first base. Moss has been hot throughout the month of May however does not see a consistent amount of playing time – especially when the Athletics are facing left handed pitching. Nonetheless, Moss makes every at-bat count and has become the Oakland A’s best player so far this season.
Last week Moss was named the American League Player of the Week and for a good reason. During that week, Moss batted .455 which included three home runs, five doubles, and 11 RBI. He also walked five times over the six games in which he played.
For the season, Moss has been regularly driving in runs for the Athletics. He is batting .298 with 39 RBI – the second most in the American League. He also has the third highest slugging percentage and OPS in the AL with a .576 and .961 respectively. If his red hot hitting continues throughout 2014, Moss is projected to have 144 RBI by the end of the season – thats 57 more RBIs than he had last year.
Even though Moss has been on a tear, he is not consistently in the lineup due a platoon strategy being used at first and his past struggles against left handed pitchers since he bats lefty. Despite this, he has faced some lefties so far this season and he has actually found some success. In 26 at-bats against left handed pitchers, Moss has nine hits and even one home run. Even though this is a small sample size, he is batting .346 against lefties, which is higher than his batting average against right handed pitchers.
When Moss is in the lineup, he is usually put in the cleanup position in between Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes who are both powerful right handed hitters. And, because of Moss’ recent RBI success, Donaldson is now second in the AL for runs. This specific spot in the lineup seems to be working well for Moss, so the A’s should consider keeping him there permanently.
Moss’ success does not stop at the plate. He has been doing a great job defensively as he has in seasons past. This season he has already played first base, right field, and left field. Like many of the other Athletics, Moss is a very versatile but also quality fielder who can play multiple positions. His fielding percentage for 2014 is .998.
Moss use to be a homer-or-nothing type of batter. Now, after three years with the Oakland A’s, he is showing that he can do much more than just knock it out of the park. With a more controlled swing, Moss has become a well-rounded and effective offensive player. He is able to hit those RBIs and drive runs in on a consistent basis. Even though Moss is not in the lineup every night, he has become Oakland A’s best player so far this season.