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Call PG&E There’s A Power Outage in Oakland

January 29, 2012

Let me tell you something you already know the A’s haven’t hit many home runs lately. And the members of their current squad haven’t exactly torn the cover off the ball in their careers either. The Barry Bonds (or Hank Aaron) of our team is Jonny Gomes. Gomes has launched a mere 118 dingers in his time in baseball. All together the present 40-man roster A’s aren’t exactly dean’s list students when it comes to hitting the long ball, below are their totals:

Player HR
Jonny Gomes 118
Coco Crisp   75
Kurt Suzuki   56
Seth Smith   51
Daric Barton   26
Cliff Pennington   18
Scott Sizemore   14
Adam Rosales   13
Brandon Allen   11
Kila Ka’aihue   11
Josh Reddick   10
Chris Carter     3
Eric Sogard     2
Jemile Weeks     2
Collin Cowgill     1
Josh Donaldson     1
Tommy Milone     1
Michael Taylor     1

There are a few guys on the 40-man roster who have yet to hit an MLB home run and of course a few guys invited to spring training but not on the 40-man roster who have. But the severe lacking in experience and home runs on this club was really driven home by the Susan Slusser Drumbeat post about Manny Ramirez on Friday where she wrote,

“the team can test out a DH [in Manny Ramirez] who has 555 career homers – eighth-most all-time among right-handed hitters.

Who is the A’s current top home-run threat? Well, the man with the most career homers on the roster is Gomes, with 118, followed by Coco Crisp, with 75.”

While Slusser gave some perspective, she didn’t give it all. That 555 career home runs by Manny eclipses the combined 414 that the eighteen players on the A’s with at least a home run (and one is pitcher in Milone!) have. The 141 additional home runs that Manny has of course eclipse the 118 home runs that the A’s leader has.

There are seven other players who have more home runs that the combined present-day A’s, Alex Rodriguez (629), Jim Thome (604), Chipper Jones (454), Vladimir Guerrero (449), Albert Pujols (445), Jason Giambi (428) and Andruw Jones (420).  Gomes’ 118 home runs is 103rd best among active players tied with Josh Hamilton, Alex Rios and Chris Young (though interestingly aside from Hamilton, Gomes has done it in fewer plate appearances than all the others and the difference between he and Hamilton isn’t even that great at just 212 plate appearances). For more perspective the A’s batters (so this excludes Milone), have hit as many home runs in their careers (413) as the Rangers and Red Sox combined for in 2011 alone.

Since 2008, the A’s have the hit the fewest home runs in baseball despite the benefit of having nine true hitters swinging for the fences with just 483. With the crew we have now it seems unlikely we suddenly become a power threat. But just how anemic the home runs have been for these players – and granted many of them are very young and haven’t had the time to build up career stats – is pretty staggering. Manny Ramirez as an addition would change the way this team looks. Heck he’d represent 57.3% of our club’s career home runs if he joined the A’s! But there is one thing to always remember, from this great Athletics Nation post,

“acquiring a slugger simply for the sole purpose of getting a slugger, when you have the opportunity to get a better overall hitter? That’s a bad move. There’s no reason to covet someone like Mark Trumbo, who has tons of power but nothing else, adding up to a below-average hitter for a first baseman. Better sluggers don’t necessarily make offense. Better hitters do.”

Sadly, the A’s don’t have many of those in abundance either. But regardless, let’s see what these guys can do, there’s a reason you play the games.

I published a near identical piece today as my regular Sunday column over at Athletics Nation. I encourage all of my readers to head over there and comment and engage in lively debate with fellow A’s fans.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kasper & Ghosts permalink
    January 30, 2012 12:17 am

    I’m one of the few that enjoyed Jack Cust. He was amusing too watch on Defense because we share similar abilities.

    Speaking of power, Chris Carter should hit 20+ if given the chance. Probably below average… And the ‘mighty mouse’ of the team Scott Sizemore could hit 20+ as well. He was very surprising last year, He packs a big bag for a small dude. Like my hometown hero, Dustin Pedroia.

    • January 30, 2012 3:25 am

      I loved Jack Cust – and today I was told I look like him, which I am not entirely sure how I feel about. I don’t know what to make of Carter, he just looks intimidated and flails at pitches. No power in his swing, as it lacks seemingly all confidence. He certainly should hit 20 even 30+ and has the build and size to do it – I just hope he can get over the mental block that he seems to have. I am VERY high on Sizemore, really liked him as a pickup and do see him as someone who could poke 20+ out of even the Coliseum with a full year.

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