Oakland Athletics: Why the A’s can win the AL West

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 27: Sean Manaea #55 of the Oakland Athletics pours beer into his mouth as he celebrates clinching a wild card spot after the game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on September 27, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 27: Sean Manaea #55 of the Oakland Athletics pours beer into his mouth as he celebrates clinching a wild card spot after the game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on September 27, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 10
Next
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Oakland Athletics: Why the A’s can win the AL West

Shortstop

The Astros are widely thought of as having a powerhouse left side of the infield, beginning with shortstop Carlos Correa. But since that memorable 2017 in which he led the Astros to their World Series victory, Correa has been far more ordinary, and it is now fair to wonder whether Oakland’s Marcus Semien has surpassed him.

Begin with the 2019 MVP voting. Semien finished third behind Mike Trout and Alex Bregman, while Correa received no support whatsoever.

Semien had other strengths. He was far more reliable, playing in all 162 games in 2019 and leading the league in plate appearances with 747. Showing up is a big deal in baseball since it’s gosh darn hard to help the team from the training room.

Over the past two seasons, Correa has occupied that training room for 139 games, making him basically a part-time player. As a result, he has produced just 174 hits. That is exactly half as many as Semien over the same period.

The Astros and Correa have both pronounced him fit and ready to go for 2020, but given his track record skepticism is always in order.

The rate stats make Semien and Correa out to be essentially mirror images of one another. Semien produced a .892 OPS and 132 OPS+ in 2019, not much different from Correa’s .926 and 137. But that’s where a solid counting stat like WAR can be elucidating. Because he actually contributed so much more, Semien’s 8.1 WAR dwarfed Correa’s 2.9.