Can the Oakland Athletics Count on Brandon Moss in 2013?

Kyle Terada – USA TODAY Sports

The 2012 Oakland Athletics were one of the best stories in all of baseball last season. While some may prefer the Baltimore Orioles as the feel good story, I tend to support teams that actually had the statistics to back up their win/loss record. In 2013, however, it’s hard to imagine that the Athletics can repeat their success, since most of their hitters have either left for another team or bound to regress. The A’s hitter that is the biggest question mark heading into 2013 is none other than the .596 slugging percentage machine Brandon Moss.

Out of all the surprises that we saw during the 2012 regular season, Moss’ season is easily the most shocking. You’re talking about a 28-year old OF/1B that hasn’t played full-time since 2009, in which he had an OPS under .700. Those type of players are normally out of baseball by the age of 28-years old – - they’re not expected to have a wOBA over .400. But will Moss have the same type of success this season?

Let’s check the basic batted ball statistics first. Moss’ .359 BABIP was over .50 points higher than his career BABIP, meaning his batting average – all things considered – should drop about 30 points next season. However, that isn’t the most telling statistic in regards to Moss’ random power burst. Moss’ career FB/HR ratio is 13.6%. In 2012, however, Moss’ FB/HR ratio was 25.9%, meaning that one out of every four flyballs he hit was a home run. That is flat out asinine.

I would say that Moss is the next Mike Napoli rather than the next Jose Bautista. Napoli’s 2011 season had the same red flags heading into 2012 as Moss does heading into 2013. Moss was a great story last season, but it would shock me to see him produce like that in 2013, unless he gets sprayed with some of that magic “Moneyball” pixie dust again.

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