This wasn’t supposed to happen. Daric Barton’s days in the green and gold were supposed to be over when Billy Beane released him in spring training. Barton was supposed to sign a contract with another team in MLB. Maybe, just maybe, A’s pitching would have had a chance to feast on him as he wore a Houston Astros jersey.
Yet with a multitude of injuries hitting the team all at once, Barton is back at first base for the Oakland Athletics.
Hopefully, this will be a short stint for the bottom-of-the-order first baseman. Barton is one of the least popular A’s players over the last decade. You can put Barton in the same category as former shortstop Bobby Crosby, who was booed out of Oakland a few years ago.
When the A’s traded for Barton nearly a decade ago, he was supposed to be the reincarnation of Scott Hatteberg. Beane salivated over Barton’s keen eye and gold glove-caliber defense. Yet nearly a decade later, Barton has not shown enough results to be more than a starting-caliber first baseman on the Sacramento River Cats.
With a batting average that hovers around the Mendoza line and home run power that rivals Juan Pierre‘s, Barton has been a seventh or eighth hitter for the A’s over the year. Although Barton does get his fair share of walks, it means nothing when he has Adam Rosales or Eric Sogard batting behind him.
The A’s do have some young talent for the River Cats in Grant Green and Michael Choice that should see some action in MLB soon, so hopefully Barton is just a temporary fix for the depleted A’s lineup.
Jorge Contreras is an Oakland Raiders writer for RantSports.com. Follow Jorge on Twitter @jraycontreras