In an offseason where the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim gave Josh Hamilton a $125M contract it’s easy to overlook who actually won the American League West in 2012. The Oakland Athletics took MLB by storm last summer and won a division that they had no business winning, here are three reasons why history could repeat in 2013.
Depth – As a small market team the Athletics have always had to nickel and dime their way to the top so quiet acquisitions like Chris Young and Jed Lowrie seem protocol for General Manager Billy Beane. What fans don’t know is that these two players give the A’s depth at six different positions–two thirds of the diamond now has a plan B if the starter indeed goes down. The Athletics are the best in the league at covering themselves in case of an injury.
Yoenis Cespedes – This kid turned heads at a ridiculous pace in 2012 and I expect even more from a guy who planted 23 home runs in his rookie campaign. A five too player, Cespedes played in just 129 games last year and still tallied 82 RBI, 16 Stolen Bases all while hitting .292. No sophomore slump here as the Athletics 3-4-5 hitters of Cespedes, Josh Reddick and Brandon Moss are just too powerful to overlook.
Return of Brett Anderson – Anderson’s four year career has been riddled by injury and Tommy John surgery sidelined him again in 2012. Entering spring training healthy he will be asked to shoulder a bigger load now that Brandon McCarthy is out of town. The Athletics have let some big name pitchers leave the bay but, insisted that Anderson is an ace–2013 will be the perfect time for Anderson to prove himself yet again.
Don’t expect much praise for the Athletics this spring training as all of the headlines belong to the Angels and Texas Rangers but, they could very well win the AL West again this season.