Who saw this coming? No one. Billy Beane did it again putting together a playoff team with the second lowest payroll in baseball. Beane signed Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes in the off-season opening the eyes of the baseball world. Beane can't get all the credit though as manager Bob Melvin, somehow willed this team to an AL West title. For his season at the helm, Melvin picked up the American League Manager of the Year award ahead of Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles. The 2012 season is one to remember in Oakland and hopefully the success will continue out on the west coast in Oakland.
Pitchers- Coming into the season Brandon McCarthy was slated to be the teams' ace. When healthy, McCarthy was great with a 3.24 ERA, winning 8 games and losing only 6. McCarthy battled shoulder injuries all year until getting hit by a line drive on the head on September 5. McCarthy was able to walk under his own power, but had to undergo surgery to reduce swelling of the brain and missed the rest of the season. Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker made the most starts for Oakland with 31 and 29 respectively. Milone was great winning 13 games with a 3.74 ERA and Parker was able to win 13 games with a 3.47 ERA. The A's missed their arguably best starter for much of the year in Brett Anderson. In the 6 games Anderson started he won 4 with a 2.57 ERA. The bullpen was pretty good for the A's with Grant Balfour converting 24 saves in 26 opportunities and Ryan Cook converted 14 saves in 21 chances. Both sported ERAs below 3.00.
Infield- The numbers across the infield were not very good for the year as Brandon Moss led them in average hitting at a .291 clip. Moss also led the infield with 21 home runs and drove in 52 runs. Moss did all of this in just 84 games. Brandon Inge, after being picked up after being cut by the Detroit Tigers, was able to hit 11 home runs and drive in 52 runs in just 74 games at third base. Jemile Weeks was not very good at the plate for the A's. Weeks was only able to hit .221. and steal only 16 bases.
Outfield- The outfield for the A's was made up of a bunch of new pieces in 2012. Outfielder/DH Jonny Gomes had a .377 OBP hit 18 home runs and drove in 47 runs. J.J. Reddick was great for the A's playing great defense and hitting 32 home runs and driving in 85 runs to lead the Athletics in both categories. Reddick was key to the A's in that he played in 156 games, 27 more than anyone else. In any other year, Yoenis Cespedes would have walked away with the American League Rookie of the Year, unfortunately for Cespedes, this was not any other year as Mike Trout was the unanimous selection. Cespedes hit 23 home runs and drove in 82 runs in 129 games. Cespedes did miss time with nagging injuries. Cespedes did lead the A's in average at .292. The future looks to be bright for this young superstar.
Twitter Account of the Day. When it comes to athletes and twitter, there aren't many better to follow than Oakland Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy. Follow Brandon @BMcCarthy32. Brandon is a free agent right now so if you want him on your favorite team be sure to send him a tweet and beg him to sign with your team. Not only does McCarthy seem like a good guy, but he definitely will keep you laughing when you log into Twitter.
Don;t forget to follow us on Twitter @FullCountBlog and follow us individually @WadeCArthur @cniermann and @TommyM44
As the Winter Meetings start today, please check with us on Twitter and on the blog for the latest news. Check back all week as we conclude our season reviews and get into off-season tid bits and thoughts.