For a Season Athletics' Laureano was Never Sure Would Happen, He's off to a Great Start

John Hickey

Ramon Laureano had a homer, a double and a couple of singles in his first two games of the 2020 season.

The Oakland center fielder’s hits have been clutch, too. Twice he’s tied the game. His single in the eighth inning Saturday against the Angels came with a man on and brought the tying run to the plate, although the A’s wouldn’t score.

He’s walked once and was hit by a pitch, the HBP coming in front of Matt Olson’s 10th-inning walkoff grand slam against the Angels on Friday.

What does he make of all this? Not much.

“This is early; I don’t really know; this is just two games,” Laureano said in a video conference call Sunday morning. “I don’t know if it’s a hot start or whatever. It’s just two games. I don’t pay much attention to it. I just put my work in and just feel good during the games and see what happens.”

While Laureano is downplaying his quick start, the rest of the Athletics are not.

“He’s pretty good right now,” manager Bob Melvin said before putting Laureano in the No. 2 spot in the A’s lineup for the third consecutive game, “wherever you put him in the lineup. He’s tracking the ball really well and not trying to do too much. He’s probably our most consistent hitter.”

And pitcher Chris Bassitt, who has been a close observer of Laureano, has been nothing but impressed.

“In our clubhouse, he's just a ball of energy, Bassitt said. “He’s just a spark because he is such a positive influence. We have a lot of guys like that, but when the somewhat outspoken guys like Chappy (Matt Chapman) and Ramon get got, it’s like insanely contagious.”

It hasn’t been yet. The A’s have played 19 innings and put 25 men on base. Laureano has been six of them, so that’s 24 percent of the A’s on-base total has been the center fielder.

“Some guys get ready in 20 or 30 at-bats,” Laureano said shrugging off his teammates’ slow start. “Some do it in 100. Everybody is different. Streaks come and go during the course of the season. You make adjustments. It’s hard. Eighty percent of the league is going to be struggling for a while.”

Laureano is one of just three Oakland players to have multiple hits in both of the first two games of the season in the last 15 years, joining Jed Lowrie (2017) and Sam Fuld (2015).

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

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