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Moss seems to be a lock at first.
There is not a better first baseman on the team than Brandon Moss. Daric Barton has had multiple opportunities to earn and keep first base. Yet, he's been sent down to the minors as recently as last season.
Meanwhile, Moss hit .291/.358/.596.
Jed Lowrie may be a better hitter than Scott Sizemore and Jemile Weeks, but it's hard to tell at this point. While Lowrie has played in five major league seasons to Weeks' and Sizemore's two, his time has been very inconsistent (only 353 games). Sizemore has played in 158 and Weeks played in 215.
So there's sample size issues.
The facts we do know are these: Lowrie is a career .250 hitter with some to little power. Sizemore has similar power, but his career average is lower. Weeks replaces power with speed but has otherwise been streaky.
It's very close.
Lowrie gets the nod here because of Weeks' inconsistency and Sizemore's combination of position changes and injury. Weeks must prove 2012 was a fluke; Sizemore must maintain health and consistency in one spot.
Until then, it's Lowrie by default.
Here I've used WAR as the tiebreaker. Sizemore and Weeks own a career 0.5 to Lowrie's 4.6. Lowrie's highest WAR bests the other two; his low is better than their lows.
Hiroyuki Nakajima, so far, seems to be making a smooth transition to Major League Baseball. Between showing up to camp early and rave reviews from the coaching staff, Hiro's setting himself up for success. On the field, he's turned a smooth double play defensively, but he is just 1-for-7 at the dish.
It's too soon to worry about his hitting, however. Keep in mind, though, it may not fully translate over, as he was a consistent near-.300 hitter in Japan. The talent and ability are there.
Josh Donaldson is another guy who somewhat wins by default.
If Nakajima and Lowrie are on the field, there's not much competition to take third away from Donaldson. Sizemore stands the best chance, so let's compare those two.
In 2011, Sizemore hit .249 in 93 games playing third base for the A's. He also hit 11 home runs and knocked in 52 RBI.
Then he got hurt and sat out a year.
Donaldson played 75 games at third last season in Oakland. He hit .241 with nine home runs and 33 RBI. Pretty similar production, and this is considering he did it in less games and hitting lower in the order.
But it's Donaldson's split that earns him the job.
In the second half of the season, after bouncing back from a Triple-A stint, Donaldson hit .290. He finished the season very strong and arguably was an integral part to Oakland's playoff push.
In a tiebreaker, a hot finish beats a missed year.