With 62 RBI heading into Monday's game against the San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss has his team's highest RBI total before the All-Star break since 2000, per the A's' official Twitter account.
Oddly enough, the A's had three players top 62 RBI before the break in 2000, with Jason Giambi (78 RBI) leading the way, followed by Ben Grieve (65) and Miguel Tejada (63).
Though the A's have had plenty of team success since 2000, they've largely relied on pitching, defense and a balanced lineup.
Giambi famously left Oakland to sign with the New York Yankees after the 2001 season, and Tejada left for the Baltimore Orioles following the 2003 campaign. Around the same time, third baseman Eric Chavez started to decline, morphing from a borderline superstar into a glove-oriented player who still offered a bit of pop with the bat.
Fortunately for the Oakland faithful, the lack of offensive firepower appears to be a thing of the past. Moss already has 19 home runs this season, and he has an outside shot to reach 70 RBI before the All-Star break, needing eight more over the next seven games. While his .272 batting average is nothing special, his .530 slugging percentage is exceptional for a player who logs half of his games in the cavernous O.co Coliseum.
Joining Moss in the race toward superstardom are third baseman Josh Donaldson and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Donaldson is in the midst of an awful slump that has sunk his numbers, but he was a fringe MVP candidate last season and is still on pace for 35 home runs and 114 RBI in 2014. Cespedes, meanwhile, is on pace for 26 homers and 101 RBI.
If one of the three emerging stars reaches 100 RBI—seemingly a near certainty—he'll become the first Athletic since Frank Thomas in 2006 to hit the century mark.
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