Coming off an impressive 2013 campaign that produced 30 homers, Oakland Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss has seemingly picked up right where he left off. The left-handed slugger has been on quite a tear of late, with almost all of the damage being done against right-handed pitching.
On Saturday night against the Cleveland Indians, Moss homered yet again, his ninth homer of the season and third in four games. The first baseman also walked and doubled, driving in three runs on the evening while raising his average to a solid .287 for the season. This brings Moss’ RBI total to 36 for the year, placing him among the MLB league leaders. The homer against the Indians came off righty Josh Tomlin, which is a common phenomenon for the left-handed hitting Moss.
A cursory glance at Moss’ numbers reveals a pretty definitive pattern in regard to lefty/righty splits. Moss has accumulated 144 at-bats thus far in 2014, with all but 25 of them coming against right-handers. Despite the fact that Moss rarely sees the field against a lefty starter, he is still among the team leaders in plate appearances, and leads the Athletics in RBIs while trailing only third baseman Josh Donaldson in homers. Due to these severe splits, all but one of Moss’ homers have come against righties, although he is currently batting .320 against lefties, albeit in a limited sample size.
These numbers are nothing new for Moss, as the slugger had similar splits in his breakthrough 2013 season, facing a lefty only 80 times in 446 at-bats. As a result, 26 of Moss’ 30 homers were hit off righties, and 71 of his 87 RBIs were produced against right-handers. Moss did hit only .200 against lefties in those 80 at-bats, but he does seem to be handling southpaws a bit better in 2014.
It will be interesting to see if the Athletics allow Moss to face some more left-handers down the road. He is hitting pretty much everyone at the moment, and is currently on a pace to drive in well over 100 runs despite losing plate appearances against lefties. Moss seems to be putting it all together this season, and should continue to produce for the Athletics, regardless of how he is used.