The Oakland Athletics are one of the most successful baseball franchises in history. Established in 1901 as the Philadelphia Athletics they claimed the AL Pennant in just their second season, and another in 1905. Their first World Series title came in 1910 and they retained their championship in 1911 and won again in 1913. They claimed back-to-back titles in 1929 & 1930 before suffering a drought all the way through to the 1970's that included a move to Kansas City and then Oakland.
Behind Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Sal Bando, and Vida Blue the Oakland A's dominated baseball. They claimed 5 straight AL West division titles from 1971, and in 1972 started a monumental run that included winning the World Series three times in a row. That wasn't the last time the A's would be in three consecutive World Series either. From 1988 to 1990 Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco took the A's to the World Series every year, but they only claimed one title in 1989. That would be their last, and despite helping to usher in a new era of sabermetrics in the early 2000's the A's have not been back to the World Series since they were swept in 1990.
Can you take over the Oakland Athletics in MLB The Show 19 and lead them back to the promised land? Can you bring the franchise a 10th World Series?
In MLB The Show 19 there isn’t a team OVR like in other sports games. Instead, you get a ranking from 1st to 30th. This helps you see exactly where each team stands compared with one another, but you have no idea how big the gap between 10th and 11th is.
The Athletics come into The Show 19 ranked 16th overall. This is powered by their 2nd ranked power and 8th ranked defense. The more suspect parts of the team is their 24th ranked contact and 20th ranked speed, while their pitching comes in at a barely acceptable 18th.
Financially the A's are not in as bad a shape as you would think. Their team budget of $124.5 million still won't compete with the Yankees or Red Sox, but they should be able to re-sign their some stars. Tough decisions will have to be made though and the development of young players will be key. Who are those you could build a strong roster around?
Blake Treinen, Closing Pitcher (95 OVR)
Contract: 1 year/$6.4 million + 1 year arbitration
Pitches: Sinker, Slider, 4-Seam Fastball, Cutter
Best Stats: Velocity (99), Break (99), Clutch (95), H/9 (95), HR/9 (86), Control (84), K/9 (83)
Blake Treinen was a seventh-round pick in 2011 for the Athletics but was traded to the Washington Nationals ahead of the 2013 season and made his MLB debut there in 2014, pitching 50.2 innings over 15 appearances with a 2.49 ERA. Treinen continued to impress and in 2017 he was traded back to Oakland to be their closer. In 2018 he was a superstar, pitching 80.1 innings with a 0.78 ERA and made his first All-Star appearance.
In The Show 19 Treinen is superb. His velocity (99) and break (99) is elite and he is excellent in the clutch (95). He has very good control (84) and greatly limits hits (95) and home runs against (86).
Matt Chapman, Third Base (85 OVR)
Contract: 1 year/$575,000 + 1 year renew + 3 years arbitration
Secondary Position: 1B
Hitter Tendency: Whole Field
Best Stats: Fielding (99), Reaction (95), Durability (89), Arm Strength (89), Discipline (72), Power vs R (70), Contact vs L (69)
Matt Chapman was a first-round pick in the 2014 draft for Oakland and made his debut in 2017, playing 84 games with 14 homers, a .234 average and exceptional defense. In 2018 he became an everyday player for the A's, mashing 24 homers with a .278 average and such good defense that he won both the gold and platinum glove.
In The Show 19 Chapman is an elite fielder (99) with the reaction (95) to catch basically everything. At the plate he has solid contact skill (64/69) and ok power (70/59) and ok discipline (72) at the plate.
Khris Davis, Left Field (84 OVR)
Secondary Position: CF, RF
Hitter Tendency: Extreme Pull
Best Stats: Power vs R (98), Durability (92), Arm Accuracy (88), Power vs L (87), Discipline (69), Clutch (62)
Khris Davis was a seventh-round pick for the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2009 draft. He got his MLB debut with them in 2013, playing 56 games and hitting 11 home runs with a .279 average. His power was slow to develop but after arriving in Oakland in 2016 he mashed 42 homers with 24 doubles and went on to hit 43 bombs in 2017 and led the Majors in 2018 with 48 home runs.
In The Show 19 Davis has excellent power (98/87) and good durability (92). He has good arm accuracy (88) too but he can be a little one-dimensional. His contact skill isn't great (60/51) and his fielding (48) is poor, but that power can put runs on the board in a hurry.
Oakland Athletics MLB Roster
There can be small changes in player OVR in The Show 19, but the underlying stats are all the same. We'll start our look at the Athletics MLB roster with their position players and then their pitchers.
|Player||OVR||Age||Position||Bat Hand||Best Contact||Best Power||Fielding||Speed|
|Matt Chapman||85||25||3B||R||69 (L)||70 (R)||99||69|
|Khris Davis||84||31||LF||R||60 (R)||98 (R)||48||36|
|Matt Olsen||82||25||1B||L||59 (R)||98 (R)||84||31|
|Jurickson Profar||78||26||2B||S||66 (L)||59 (R)||69||58|
|Marcus Semien||78||28||SS||R||58 (R/L)||68 (L)||68||69|
|Stephen Piscotty||77||28||RF||R||70 (R)||64 (R)||62||43|
|Chad Pinder||76||27||LF||R||66 (L)||69 (R)||69||53|
|Robbie Grossman||75||29||LF||S||84 (L)||46 (L)||53||59|
|Ramon Laureano||73||24||CF||R||59 (R)||48 (R)||75||79|
|Josh Phegley||70||31||C||R||57 (L)||53 (L)||64||34|
|Nick Hundley||70||35||C||R||80 (L)||65 (L)||44||26|
|Franklin Barreto||68||23||2B||R||61 (L)||38 (L)||53||70|
|Chris Herrmann||67||31||C||L||40 (R)||59 (R)||62||48|
The Athletics MLB roster consists of 13 position players and 12 pitchers. That is your 9-man lineup with a 4-man bench and your 5-man rotation with a 7-man bullpen, including your closer.
The bulk of the offensive production for the A's will come from the bats of Khris Davis (power R 98, power L 87) and Matt Olson (power R 98, discipline 81). Their awesome power will do a lot of damage but they will have some support too from the likes of Stephen Piscotty (contact R 70, contact L 65) and Matt Chapman (power R 70, contact L 69) as well as Robbie Grossman (discipline 99, contact L 84) and Marcus Semien (power L 68, contact R/L 58).
In the field Chapman (fielding 99) is a superstar while Olson (fielding 84) and Ramon Laureano (fielding 75) are quality players too.
The starting rotation is a worry for the Athletics. Sean Manaea (stamina 83, break 74) tops the rotation and he is a nice pitcher but he's more of a #3 than he is a #1. Andrew Triggs (stamina 69, break 69) and Daniel Mengden (stamina 78, control 71) take the #2 and #3 spots, while Marco Estrada (stamina 82, control 58) and Paul Blackburn (stamina 78, velocity 62) fill in the back of the rotation. You can't expect these guys to go deep into games very often. Perhaps using an "opener" strategy could be a smart move here.
The A's bullpen is very strong. Blake Treinen (velocity 99, break 99) is one of the best closers around and Lou Trivino (velocity 99, break 99) has the ability to mow down hitters. Ryan Buchter (break 97, velocity 68) and Liam Hendricks (break 86, velocity 83) are able to get through an inning each while Joakim Soria (break 81, velocity 64) and Yusmeiro Petit (control 84, break 82). This bullpen can dominate in the right situations.
MLB The Show 19 has four lineups for your to set. These are against right-handed starters with and without the DH and against left-handed starters with and without the DH. As the Athletics are in the American League most of their games will be played with the DH.
Against righties with the DH the preset lineup sees SS Marcus Semien lead off followed by CF Ramon Laureano and RF Stephen Piscotty. DH Khris Davis hits #4 and 1B Matt Olson is #5. 3B Matt Chapman is next, followed by LF Chad Pinder, 2B Jurickson Profar, and C Josh Phegley. Without the DH Davis plays left field with Chad Pinder dropping to the bench.
Against lefties with the DH the preset lineup has LF Robbie Grossman leading off with Profar and Piscotty next. The big bats of Davis, Olson, and Chapman are still in the heart of the lineup, while Nick Hundley takes his place behind the plate and hits #7, followed by CF Pinder and SS Semien. Without the DH Pinder once against drops out while Davis plays center field.
These lineups are fine, but we can do better.
Against righties we have promoted Piscotty to lead off thanks to his nice contact ability and put Chapman at #2 with Davis and Olson moving up too. This gets more at-bats for your better hitters. Semien and Laureano hit #5 & #6, with Pinder, Profar, and Phegley rounding off the lineup and again without the DH Pinder disappears for Davis to play the field.
Against lefties Grossman stays atop the lineup and Piscotty hits #2. Again we have Davis and Olson at #3 & #4, with Chapman behind them. Nick Hundley's 80 contact vs lefties gets him to #6 in the lineup, followed by Profar, Pinder, and Semien. Without the DH Pinder still drops out for Davis.
The farm system in MLB The Show 19 can be frustrating as those minor fluctuations in OVR also affect potential, which will impact how well young players develop. There is also a lack of some real life prospects so you can’t just pull up a list of top prospects and call those guys up. Still, there are useful young players in the Minors for the Athletics. Who are they?
Frankie Montas, Starting Pitcher (68 OVR)
Pitches: 2-Seam Fastball, Slider, 4-Seam Fastball, Changeup
Best Stats: Velocity (89), Stamina (71), Arm Strength (68), Control (59), Break (56)
Frankie Montas signed as an amateur free agent with the Boston Red Sox in 2009 but was traded to the White Sox in 2013 and got his MLB debut there in 2015, pitching 15 innings with 20 strikeouts but a 4.80 ERA. He moved to the A's and in 2017 struggled his way through 32 innings, posting a horrible 7.03 ERA. In 2018 he was much improved, making 11 starts with a 3.96 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 63.2 innings.
In The Show 19 Montas is worth a look if you want some change in your rotation. His velocity (89) is very good and he has nice stamina (71) already. His control (59)is shaky but better than some on the A's roster, but his break (56) is poor which means his slider won't bite too much.
Julio Chacin, First Base (65 OVR)
Secondary Position: None
Hitter Tendency: Extreme Pull
Best Stats: Contact vs L (75), Discipline (73), Power vs L (69), Clutch (63), Power vs R (58)
Julio Chacin can bring some much-needed contact skill against lefties (75) and a bit more power (69) to the lineup immediately, but he isn't quite ready for the Majors just yet. His durability (43) is poor and his vision (49) needs work. He already has decent discipline (73) for a young player though and is definitely worth giving some September at-bats to.
Wallace Nix, Starting Pitcher (64 OVR)
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, Sinker, Changeup
Best Stats: Stamina (86), Arm Strength (74), Arm Accuracy (73), Velocity (68), Break (63)
Wallace Nix is some way off being MLB-ready, but he is definitely a prospect to keep an eye on. He already has good stamina (86) and has enough velocity (68) and break (63) to be a good foundation for future improvement. His control (44) is poor but you'd expect that from a teenager, and his performance in clutch situations (40) is dire. Still, with the Athletics rotation in a poor state you should monitor his progress.