Athletics

Athletics

Editor's note: Over the next few weeks, NBC Sports California will be analyzing a different A's player each day to project their numbers for next season.

Mark Canha is coming off the best season of his career. The 29-year-old hit .249/.328/.449 with a career-high 17 home runs, 22 doubles, and 52 RBI in 122 games (100 starts).

Canha tore up left-handed pitching, posting a .282/.337/.604 slash line with 13 homers and 28 RBI in 149 at-bats. The 13 round-trippers were tied for second-most in the American League against lefties.

Canha had to split time in the outfield with Nick Martini and Ramón Laureano, but his versatility allowed him to still get 365 at-bats. The San Jose native can play all three outfield positions as well as first base, which should allow him to get some decent playing time in 2019.

Canha figures to start just about every game against left-handed pitching and he should see some pinch-hitting opportunities too. Last year as a pinch-hitter, he went 6-for-14 with a pair of home runs and five RBI.

The former Cal Bear also put together a strong defensive season, making it through the whole year without committing a single error at any position.

Baseball-Reference projects Canha to hit .234/.305/.416 next season with 15 home runs, 22 doubles, and 47 RBI. That would represent a drop-off from last year in nearly every category.

We humbly disagree and expect Canha to get plenty of opportunities in left field and as a pinch-hitter. If he stays healthy, he has a real shot at his first 20-homer season.

 

Projection: .251/.335/.451, 19 HR, 23 doubles, 61 RBI