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Smith's production will be vital in 2013
This will be the dominant lineup because there are many more right-handed starters than left-handers in the American League. So here goes:
Leadoff—Coco Crisp, CF
While not the ideal leadoff man from a traditional sense (.329 career on base percentage), Crisp is a plus baserunner and much more versatile than any other current option.
2nd—John Jaso, C/DH
Jaso is a fantastic option at the number two slot. He walks more than strikes out in his career and is the epitome of a contact hitter. Coming off his best year offensively, Jaso seems primed to have a bump in his numbers as he escapes from the cavernous Safeco Field.
3rd—Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Cespedes is the harbinger of this lineup. The A's were 82-46 with him and 12-22 without him. I don't think he's going to be a 35+ home run guy, but he has a lot of Kirby Puckett in him. A stat line of .310/30/105 is definitely not out of the question for 2013, assuming good health.
Cleanup—Josh Reddick, RF
Is Reddick going to duplicate his 32 home runs? I don't necessarily think so. But is he a .240 hitter? I don't think so either. If Reddick hit 20-24 home runs but hit somewhere in the .280 range, that might be better for the A's overall.
5th—Brandon Moss/Chris Carter, 1B
As I've already said, I have an inclination that Carter is primed for a big year with his power numbers. I don't think it is fair to expect Moss to match his fabulous 2012 numbers, but he remains a solid option opposite Carter at first base.
6th—Seth Smith, DH
Smith is a one trick pony, but he does it well. Smith hits right-handed pitching. Always has and probably always will. So pencil in about 110 or so starts at designated hitter and hopefully a second year in the American League leads to greater production overall from a solid hitter like Smith.
7th—Josh Donaldson, 3B
The real wild card of this lineup is the converted catcher Donaldson.
After an atrocious start that led to an early demotion to Triple-A Sacramento, Donaldson returned to Oakland and proceeded to hit. Overall, he hit .290 in the second half of 2012. His defense was also surprisingly solid and most surprising, Donaldson showed himself to be a clutch hitter down the stretch. The A's need the Donaldson that's closer to July-September as opposed to April and early May
8th—Hiroyuki Nakajima, SS
The new "Hiro" of the East Bay, Nakajima already has the charisma to fit right in the A's clubhouse. The question will be if he has the game to match. He will begin towards the bottom of the lineup but will have the chance to move up depending on his performance. If his year is really good, you could easily see a bump towards the second spot.
9th—Jemile Weeks, 2B
Weeks has to be designated the number nine hitter by default. After a promising rookie year, Weeks was a big victim of the sophomore jinx, watching all of his number plummet (.303 to .221 batting average, .340 to .305 on base percentage and 16 to 11 stolen bases).
If there was another option to step in, I'm not so sure Weeks would even be the starting second baseman for 2013. But the A's don't really have that (Grant Green is likely not quite ready), so Weeks will have the opportunity to bounce back.