Ex-A's OF Swisher chooses family over baseball this season


Ex-A's OF Swisher chooses family over baseball this season

Former A's first-round draft pick Nick Swisher, and his wife JoAnna, recently welcomed their second daughter, Sailor Stevie.

With the addition to his family, Swisher has decided to "take a step back" from baseball and spend the rest of the season with his family. The 35-year-old outfielder/first baseman sent out six tweets to explain his decision.

Swisher, taken by the A's with the No. 16 pick in the 2002 MLB Draft, has not appeared in a major league game this season. He was released by the Braves in the offseason and signed a minor league deal with the Yankees in April. 

Playing for the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, Swisher was hitting .255/.297/.377 with seven home runs in 55 games played this year. 

Swisher made his major league debut with the A's in 2004. The switch hitter finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting the next season after hitting .236/.322/.446 with 21 home runs in 131 games played.

Spending four years each with the A's and Yankees, Swisher enjoyed his best seasons in Oakland and the Bronx. He smacked 80 home runs with the A's and made his only All-Star team with the Yankees in 2010. 

Between five teams in 12 years, Swisher has been a consistent power hitter with 245 career home runs. 

Upon his decision to step down for the rest of this season, Swisher plans to "evaluate my options for next season at the appropriate time."

A's 2019 Projections: Josh Phegley could start unless team makes moves


A's 2019 Projections: Josh Phegley could start unless team makes moves

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.

Unless the A's add another catcher, Josh Phegley is poised to get the most playing time of his big league career. Phegley and Chris Herrmann are currently the only catchers on the A's active roster and they figure to platoon behind the plate.

Last season, Phegley hit .204/.255/.344 with two home runs, seven doubles, and 15 RBI in 39 games. The 30-year-old re-signed with the A's in November for one year at $1.075 million.

Phegley has a career slash line of .223/.264/.372. His best season came in 2015 when he hit .249/.300/.449 with a career-high nine homers and 34 RBI.

Phegley has performed slightly better against left-handed pitching throughout his career, hitting .243/.279/.414. The right-handed hitter figures to get most of next season's at-bats against southpaws, with Herrmann starting against righties.

Phegley has also been solid defensively throughout his career, maintaining a .992 fielding percentage and throwing out 33 percent of attempted base stealers, five points above the league average.

Baseball Reference projects Phegley to hit .223/.285/.368 next year with six home runs, 15 doubles, and 28 RBI. They estimate him at 242 at-bats, which would be a career-high.

[RELATED: Chris Herrmann 2019 projections]

Phegley has done everything the A's have asked of him over the years and proven to be a consistent player and great clubhouse presence. We expect a slight improvement from last season, especially if he gets increased playing time.

Projection: .227/.297/.374, 6 HR, 12 doubles, 27 RBI

2019 NFL mock draft: Mel Kiper Jr. has Kyler Murray as No. 13 pick

2019 NFL mock draft: Mel Kiper Jr. has Kyler Murray as No. 13 pick

Ever since A's top-prospect Kyler Murray declared for the NFL Draft, the question is how he would fair in football.

And while we are still waiting to determine if football is indeed in his imminent future, draft experts are determining where they picture Murray will go. 

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr., has Murray going in the first round: the No. 13 overall pick to the Dolphins.

"The Dolphins need to rebuild," Kiper writes. "What better way to start that rebuild than to take the Heisman Trophy winner? Now, just because Murray has entered the draft, doesn't mean he's sticking to football. He could stick back out and play baseball. But I'm treating him as if he's all-in for now, and if he goes to the combine -- he's going to run a blazing 40-yard dash -- and goes through workouts for the teams, I expect him to be picked in Round 1. This is an unprecedented situation for a 5-foot-10 quarterback, but it's going to be fun to watch over the next few months."

Murray's height is the one knock on the Heisman Trophy winner, but Doug Flutie says hello.

Murray sticks out by being a phenomenal passer and runner. He threw for 4,361 yards at Oklahoma and ran for 1,001 more yards on the ground. The combo of his arm strength and his speed makes him the type of quarterback teams are willing to take a chance on. 

[RELATED: Baseball, football scouts weigh in on Murray's decision]

It's still early in projections and especially early in teams' evaluations, but the Heisman Trophy winner appears to be a lock for the first round.

It's just a matter of when.