Third base and football: A's links

By Jason Wojciechowski on March 22, 2012 at 3:50 PM

I'm going to try this with numbers to see if I think it's any prettier. Yes, I'm blatantly ripping off FK's format.

  1. Dan Hennessey writes that Eric Sogard is the "clear" choice for third base. I don't think it's clear in the least. Adam Rosales hasn't hit in the majors, but his minor-league numbers, while oriented more for power than OBP, are just as solid as Sogard's. Josh Donaldson hasn't shown as much in AAA, but he's still shy of 27 and was once halfway decently regarded. PECOTA projections for all three:

    Player BA OBP SLG TAv
    Sogard .256 .328 .342 .253
    Donaldson .227 .306 .374 .252
    Rosales .240 .304 .354 .247

    The 90th percentile projections for the three are equally as close, so PECOTA doesn't see anyone having substantially more upside than anyone else. I don't have a lot of faith in Rosales's glove at any position, but don't have much opinion on that of Sogard and Donaldson (particularly the latter, who I've never seen). The A's probably have some thoughts, but if those thoughts were in the direction of "we think X is way better than Y and Z," they'd probably have named a third baseman by now.

    If it were up to me and all I had were the stats, I'd probably take Sogard, too, with Rosales the utility infielder and Donaldson trying to earn his way up from Sacramento and/or waiting for an injury, but I'd stop well short of calling anything "clear."

  2. Joseph Lopez also likes Grant Balfour as the closer.

  3. Simon Burnton of The Guardian profiles Billy Beane. It amuses me to no end that Burnton judges Beane as a player by his batting average. The second half of the article, when Beane talks football/soccer, is pretty fun.

  4. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs has this note on the third base battle in Oakland, in which he rather sensibly suggests a platoon with both righty-lefty and offense-defense features.