Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 2/6/13
In case you needed another reminder to never believe what a front office lets the public hear, here’s what Billy Beane told Jane Lee of MLB.com just six days ago: The talent is still there, insists Billy Beane. That’s why the A’s general manager was so patient with a struggling Jemile Weeks last year. That’s why the second baseman, hitting just .220 over 113 games, wasn’t demoted until August. And that’s why Weeks, who turned 26 last week, will be considered very much a part of what manager Bob Melvin deemed the “open competition” for the second-base position this spring. Three days later, the Athletics acquired Jed Lowrie in exchange for Chris Carter, Brad Peacock and Max Stassi. Now Weeks is buried on the depth chart — either Lowrie or Scott Sizemore is likely to start at second base (with the other starting at third base). Adam Rosales, Josh Donaldson and Eric Sogard all have MLB experience at one if not both of the positions in question, all with the potential to keep him off the roster. Weeks, therefore, has an uphill battle to climb if he is to break camp with Oakland instead of Triple-A Sacramento. The trade puts the stamp on a precipitous drop for the younger Weeks brother. He was the one player the Athletics deemed untouchable last winter according to Ken Rosenthal’s sources. He had just polished off a brilliant rookie season in which he hit .303/.340/.421 (110 wRC+). A .350 BABIP played a role, but Weeks’s speed could at least explain some of it, and with more experience against major league pitching it wasn’t difficult to see his walk rate rise from a poor 4.8 percent to his minor league norms (in the 8-14 percent range) to offset some of the impending drop. Although the discipline returned — he walked in 9.8 percent of plate appearances in 2012 — the bottom utterly fell out of his BABIP. He pounded the ball into the ground (49.5 percent of balls in play) and didn’t seem to gain much from his speed — he mustered just a 4.3 percent infield hit rate. He hit 11 fewer doubles despite taking 74 more plate appearances. The final result was a .256 BABIP driving an awful .221/.305/.304 (73 wRC+) line. He earned the boot back to Sacramento 118 games into his second season. Is there anything left with Weeks? He is already 26, but he has shown a consistent ability to make contact at the major league level (13.9 percent strikeouts in 945 plate appearances). There’s no reason to believe he can’t sport at least a normal BABIP (like his career .301 mark), but without any semblance of power (four career home runs) that isn’t enough to deserve a starting job on a team trying to contend like Oakland. Weeks owns a .260/.321/.360 (90 wRC+) line in his two seasons in Oakland, and with his mediocre-at-best defense at second base, that makes him a well below average player. Weeks still has options left, and perhaps he flashes what made him so successful in 2011 in spring training or in the early goings at Sacramento to earn a trip back to Oakland. Neither Lowrie nor Sizemore have been beacons of health throughout their careers, and with second base looking like a wasteland — the position put up just a .701 OPS last year, besting only shortstop (.688) — Weeks serves as a perfect second or third option in a situation where one might well be needed. Still, “good second option” can only be considered a disappointment given the lofty expectations Weeks set with his rookie year. Now, the club who once deemed him untouchable has buried him deep down the depth chart, and he faces a rough climb between him and his old starting role.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sandoval expected to miss rest of season after shoulder surgery

Falcons GM: ‘I don’t think we’ve hired anyone from Scouts Inc.'

Report: Bryce Harper signs historic Under Armour deal

Bellator MMA fighter loses leg after gruesome accident

FSU SGA bans Native American headdresses at athletic events

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Yadier Molina does pushups after pitch nearly hits him

Report: Zika virus concerns could doom series in Puerto Rico

Former NFL DPOY Dana Stubblefield charged with raping disabled woman

Bob Condon: Teams were interested in Peyton Manning

Report: Chris Bosh wants union to force Heat to let him play

Raiders' Clive Walford suffered knee injury in ATV accident

Most exciting games of the 2016 NBA playoffs so far

Dale Earnhardt Jr. lays favorite car ‘Amelia’ to rest following bang-ups at Talladega

Former Rockets star Robert Reid: ‘Harden looks after Harden’

New Drake songs that explain why Raptors can beat Heat

Will Letang face suspension for hit on Johansson?

Philly-area BBQ joint creates sandwich to rip Sam Bradford

Ten players who could go No. 1 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft

How Leicester City won the Premier League

Curt Schilling's wife goes off on ESPN over alleged snub

John Harbaugh likens fourth round of NFL Draft to Star Trek

Four MLB stars that must be traded in 2016

Ten best fits from Round 1 of 2016 NFL Draft

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Most exciting games of the 2016 NBA playoffs so far

Five bizarre moments in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

How the Sharks have 'weathered the storm' against the Predators

Okay, who stole the Kansas City Royals player off that billboard?

Eight players to watch in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

A Round-By-Round Look At the NFL Draft

10 biggest takeaways from the NBA playoffs thus far

QUIZ: Name every No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft since 1985

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Sharks vs. Predators

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Blues vs. Stars

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker