Oakland Athletics: Brandon Moss is an All-Star Against Righties

By Karl Buscheck
Brandon Moss Watching A Home Run
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday afternoon, in the decisive seventh inning of the Oakland Athletics‘ 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs, Brandon Moss popped out as a pinch hitter.

I bring this up because it was the 163rd time that Moss had appeared in a game for the club after getting called up early last June. So in what amounts to just over a full season of games, Moss has put up the following line:

.263 average, 510 at-bats, 575 plate appearances, 86 runs, 26 doubles, 36 home  runs, 94 RBIs, 53 BB and 175 SO

36 home runs in 510 at-bats would be impressive for anyone. What’s more, in parts of five MLB seasons before arriving in Oakland, Moss had never once topped eight home runs.

What’s really striking about those power numbers, however, is the fact that of the 36 home runs that Moss has launched, 32 of them have come off right-handed pitchers. In 2012, he put up a 1.006 OPS  against righties. That number has dropped to .829 in 2013, but when you consider that Moss is tied for the team lead with 15 home runs, it’s still been a productive year for the Loganville, Georgia native.

In 2013, Moss is hitting just .184 in 49 at-bats against left-handers, but that works out just fine, as the team has rookie Nate Freiman to face lefties. Freiman, who was a Rule 5 selection, and who had never played above Double-A before this season, is hitting .342 off lefties.

As he makes a run at 30 home runs, Moss will be quite the bargain with a salary $1.6 million. So just how exactly did GM Billy Beane find this guy?

The club  originally scooped up Moss as a minor league free agent back in December of 2011. He didn’t make the squad last year out of spring training, but in just over 50 games with the club’s Triple-A affiliate, he clubbed 15 home runs before earning a promotion on June 6.

He cracked seven home runs that month, and hasn’t looked back since.

Quietly, Moss is one of Beane’s shrewdest and most productive acquisitions of recent seasons. There’s no denying Moss struggles with lefties, but with Freiman around, the team should be just fine. Closers aside, any manager who allows Moss to face a right-hander in an important late-game situation has made a very poor choice.

Karl Buscheck is an Oakland Athletics writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @KarlBuscheck or add him yo your network on Google+.

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