The Oakland A’s just couldn’t hit in 2011 and that doomed them. They were 74-88 on the year, which had them in 3rd place in the A.L. West, 22 games behind the Rangers. Here is a look at the things that really stood out to me about the A’s in 2011:
TEAM MVP: 32-year old righty swinging LF Josh Willingham was the only A’s batter with more than 14 homers or 72 RBIs in 2011. Willingham played in 136 games for the A’s in 2011 and he was 120 for 488 (.246 avg, .810 OPS) with 69 runs scored, 29 homers, 98 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Willingham led the A’s in homers and RBIs, while finishing tied with Coco Crisp in runs scored.
BEST PITCHER: 26-year old lefty starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez was very solid for the A’s in 2011. He pitched in 32 games (all starts) for the A’s in 2011 and he was 16-12 with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. Gonzalez only gave up 175 hits in 202 innings last year while whiffing 197 batters. He still needs to cut down on his walks a little bit (he had 91 of them in 2011), but that’s nitpicking.
PLEASANT SURPRISE: This was a tie between 27-year old righty starting pitcher Guillermo Moscoso and 28-year old righty starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy. Moscoso pitched in 23 games (21 starts) for the A’s last year and he was 8-10 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. McCarthy pitched in 25 games (all starts) for the A’s last year and he was 9-9 with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: 31-year old lefty swinging RF David DeJesus was a career .289 batter with a .787 OPS in his first 9 years in the majors. That is the reason why the A’s picked him up last winter. But, in 2011, DeJesus was awful with the bat for the A’s. DeJesus played in 131 games for the A’s last year and he was 106 for 442 (.240 avg, .698 OPS) with 60 runs scored, 10 homers, 46 RBIs and 4 stolen bases.