Playing in what was the worst park in the American League last year for home runs, and with a lineup full of journeymen and second-tier cheapie pickups, the A’s have done something remarkable: become one of the best power-hitting teams in baseball. First baseman Yonder Alonso (16) and leftfielder Khris Davis (17) have led the homer barrage, with Alonso crafting a gigantic breakout and Davis continuing his all-or-nothing approach to hitting, fueling Oakland’s march to fifth in the majors in long balls from 21st last season. Now we can add another surprising Oakland power source to that crew: Chad Pinder.
Oakland’s second-round pick in the 2013 draft, Pinder showed moderate power at Class A Stockton and Double A Midland, then batted a seemingly modest .258./310/.425 last year at Triple A Nashville. The Sounds’ home park plays much differently than the rest of the Pacific Coast League, though, severely suppressing offense. Thus Pinder’s 14 homers in 107 games last year offered a hint of his power potential.
In his first clear shot at regular playing time in the majors, that power has blossomed. The rookie second baseman launched two over the wall last Wednesday in a 3-1 win over the Indians. All told, he’s cranked seven home runs in 30 games, compiling a lofty .603 slugging percentage.
So if you’re feeling restless in the Bay Area and you’re looking for a powerful evening, swipe right on Pinder.