The A’s finished the first half of the 2012 season in third place in the A.L. West with a 43-43 record, 9 games behind the Rangers. The A’s had a lot of younger players step up and their pitching staff has been rock solid so far in 2012. Here are the players that made the biggest impacts for the A’s in the first half of the 2012 season, in my opinion:
Team MVP: Ryan Cook & Josh Reddick – 25-year old righty reliever Ryan Cook and 25-year old lefty swinging RF Josh Reddick were both acquired in trades with the A’s over the winter. Ryan Cook has taken over as the A’s closer. He has pitched in 38 games (0 starts) for the A’s so far this year and he is 2-2 with 8 saves, a 1.41 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. Cook has only given up 13 hits in his first 38 1/3 innings for the A’s so far this year! Josh Reddick has been the A’s best hitter so far this year. He played in 83 games for the A’s in the first half of the 2012 season and he was 84 of 314 (.268 avg, .880 OPS) with 52 runs scored, 20 homers, 43 RBIs and 8 stolen bases.
Biggest Surprise: Brandon Moss & Travis Blackley – 28-year old lefty swinging 1B Brandon Moss and 29-year old lefty starting pitcher Travis Blackley essentially were acquired off the junk heap by the A’s and they have both really stepped up. Moss has played in 26 games for the A’s so far this year and he is 22 of 87 (.253 avg, .959 OPS) with 15 runs scored, 10 homers and 18 RBIs. Blackley has pitched in 11 games (7 starts) for the A’s so far this year and he is 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. The A’s hope that both Moss and Blackley can keep up the good work in the second half of the 2012 season.
Biggest Disappointment: Jemile Weeks – 25-year old switch-hitting 2B Jemile Weeks had a solid rookie season in 2011, but he is having a rough time so far in 2012. Weeks has played in 79 games for the A’s so far this year and he is 69 for 311 (.222 avg, .620 OPS) with 33 runs scored, 2 homers, 13 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. The A’s need Weeks to pick up the pace with the bat in the second half of 2012.