Oakland Athletics Take AL West Lead, Led by Billy Beane

Landis MarksSenior Analyst IMay 13, 2008

The Oakland Athletics are proving the genius that is Billy Beane. Beane’s team built on the cheap is leading the AL West by playing smart percentage baseball.

The A’s will not beat themselves.

The A’s are 21st in the majors in batting average. The A’s are 28th in home runs. Yet the A’s are in the top ten in runs scored.

So how are the A’s scoring while not hitting for average or for power? It’s simple.

The A’s are walking their way around the bases. They may only be batting .254 as a team, but they have an OBP of .340.

The Beane Law of a minimum of a walk per 10 ABs has instilled plate discipline in a team that is near the bottom of the MLB salary heap.

The A’s work the pitchers and give up few easy outs, something that teams like the Kansas City Royals need to learn. Small market teams that can’t afford to bid for the services of the prolific long ballers have to learn to build by instilling plate discipline in their young hitters and free agent castoff players.

The A’s will be even better when the newly re-acquired Frank Thomas gets his eye and swing back.