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Saturday, April 16, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL STOCK WATCH: MARCUS SEMIEN SS OAKLAND A'S

The Oakland A's have historically been one of the most trade-heavy teams in all of baseball under the guidance of Billy Beane and under that scenario, the club has always tried to make moves where the players coming back to them are young and full of upside.  Such was the move they made prior to last season when the dealt away veteran starter Jeff Samardzjia to the Chicago White Sox for shortstop prospect Marcus Semien.  A former sixth-round pick in the 2011 draft, Semien caught attention coming up the White Sox system when he cracked 15 home runs and stole 7 bases while at Triple-A in 2014.  Once the move was completed in the 2015 winter, Semien was immediately penciled in to be the A's everyday shortstop.  After a hot start to the season, Semien went through the typical ups and downs that any rookie has to go through but the overall results were impressive enough as he compiled the following numbers:

.257
15 HR
45 RBI
65 R
11 SB

Looking at those numbers, we can see some nice power/speed ability from Semien which is especially impressive at the shallow shortstop position.  However there were some black marks, most notable in the K rate where Semien struck out in 22 percent of his at-bats while only walking at a 7 percent clip.  Some more patience and a closing of the holes in his swing would allow Semien to move forward as a player and as a result there was some muted but still present fanfare when it came to his stock for the 2016 season.  Well more than a week into the proceedings, Semien has been one of the early success stories as he already has smacked 4 home runs and collected 5 RBI in just 33 at-bats.  At the age of 25, it is not a shock that Semien might be growing into some more power and he always has profiled as a guy who can reach the 20 mark there.  While he has not stolen a base yet, we still expect Semien to be a factor on that side of things as well before too long.  While 20/20 might be pushing it, Semien can go 20/15 and collect north of 65 runs and RBI.  As far as the average is concerned, Semien is currently batting .276 which is an improvement on last season but he also is striking out at a higher 24.2 clip.  The flip side is that Semien is walking more at 12.1 percent so it is a wash there.  If he can keep those ratios, Semien can hit .270 which looks a lot better then what he did last season and goes more positively with his power/speed game this season.

 

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