When Ramón Laureano was snubbed for a Gold Glove Award during the 2020 season, he was heartbroken. It’s a major career goal of his, but perhaps another honor could get his mind off of it.
“He certainly has a chance to be an All-Star,” Athletics manager Bob Melvin said after Oakland's 7-3 win over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Saturday.
“Ramon’s capable of doing just about everything on a baseball field,” Melvin added. “He hits homers, when he’s hot, he gets red hot, he’s a great defender, he throws well, he does everything well, he runs well.”
Laureano went 3-for-4 on Saturday including a two-run home run in the fifth inning.
The centerfielder, who is hitting .296 following Saturday's game, has five stolen bases through seven games this season and again is proving his defensive prowess.
Since the A’s acquired shortstop Elvis Andrus from the Texas Rangers in February, Laureano was one of the guys who approached the two-time AL All-Star and asked for some pointers to add to his arsenal.
“It’s still early, but it’s helped me a lot, with the confidence of stealing -- little things,” Laureano said after Saturday’s game. “Be free, you know? Just be free out there and trust my instincts.”
As far as that All-Star selection goes, Laureano isn’t thinking too far in the future.
“To be honest, I just think in the present, you know? I’m just thinking right now, talking to you guys, then later I’ll eat you know?” Laureano said. “I’m thinking very present this whole time so I don’t want to get ahead of myself never in my life. Because when I did that, bad things happen.”
Being one of the more consistent players this season for the A’s, especially with the team starting 2021 slowly, Laureano said he doesn’t feel like he’s taking on the brunt of the work.
“Extra load? No, not me, I’m not taking no load,” Laureano said. “We are a clutch team and we know that. We don’t shy away from that.”
The last two wins in Houston immediately shifted the energy in the clubhouse.
A’s starter Frankie Montas said the vibe has changed among the guys as they head to Phoenix to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks for two games. It’ll be a nice break after having to deal with 10 straight games of the Astros and the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
Perhaps it’s the momentum change the team needed.