How A’s stack up in FanGraphs’ 2022 MLB season projections originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Athletics organization is at a crossroads heading into the 2022 MLB season.
Prior to the lockout in early December, it was reported that the A’s were fielding calls on stars such as first baseman Matt Olson, third baseman Matt Chapman as well as others. Faced with another possible rebuild/re-tool situation — which A’s fans are all too familiar with — it remains unclear which direction the organization will turn once the Players Association and the league agree to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
FanGraphs recently released their early 2022 MLB projections, which do not favor the A’s, who finished the 2021 season with a respectable 86-76 record.
AL West Projections
Houston Astros: 91-71
Los Angeles Angels: 81-81
Oakland Athletics: 81-81
Seattle Mariners: 80-82
Texas Rangers: 73-89
According to FanGraphs’ ZiPS Projection system, the A’s are projected to have plenty of offense.
Matt Olson: .264/.366/.529, 149 hits, 40 home runs, 118 RBI
Matt Chapman: .230/.324/.458, 130 hits, 31 home runs, 86 RBI
Ramon Laureano: .259/.329/.472, 126 hits, 23 home runs, 70 RBI
Seth Brown: .232/.283/.449, 117 hits, 25 home runs, 81 RBI
Stephen Piscotty: .243/.300/.401, 123 hits, 18 home runs, 67 RBI
Sean Murphy: .228/.314/.423, 92 hits, 18 home runs, 61 RBI
Chad Pinder: .244/.303/.415, 117 hits, 17 home runs, 63 RBI
Tony Kemp: .263/.358/.393, 125 hits, 10 home runs, 50 RBI
FanGraphs’ system does project the A’s pitching staff to have a productive season, led by three solid arms at the top of the rotation.
Frankie Montas: 12-9, 3.54 ERA, 175 innings pitched, 191 strikeouts, 51 walks
Sean Manaea: 12-9, 3.68 ERA, 172 innings pitched, 173 strikeouts, 38 walks
Chris Bassitt: 10-7, 3.69 ERA, 171 innings pitched, 161 strikeouts, 50 walks
With the lineup consisting of four 20-plus home run hitters and the rotation bolstered by three starters capable of putting up ace-level numbers, oftentimes that is a recipe for success in the big leagues.
If one thing is clear from these projections, it’s that the A’s could benefit from a dominant arm or two out of the bullpen. FanGraphs projects FIPs (Fielding Independent Pitching) of above 4.00 for every primary A’s reliever minus Acevedo (3.85). For context, a FIP of 4.00-4.20 is considered to be about league average.
After longtime manager Bob Melvin left to join the San Diego Padres earlier in the offseason, first-year manager Mark Kotsay will have his hands full with an A’s squad that might be without some of its star players if the organization opts to trade away players like Chapman, Olson or any of the three top-end starters.
At the end of the day, these are just projections. If there’s one thing the A’s have shown over the years, it’s that they are capable of defying any and all expectations.