Athletics

Jurickson Profar putting together strong May for A's after slow start

Jurickson Profar putting together strong May for A's after slow start

Jurickson Profar's struggles this season have been well-documented.
 
Through the month of April, Profar was hitting .179 with just two home runs. Somehow he was even worse defensively, committing seven errors in the first month of the season, the most of any second baseman in the majors.
 
But when the calendar flipped to May, the A's have seen a new Jurickson Profar. The 26-year-old has finally started to look like the player he was last season with the Rangers when he tallied a career-high 20 home runs and 77 RBI.
 
Since May 1, Profar is batting .262 with four homers and 12 RBI, raising his season average above .200 for the first time since the third game of the season. He has also improved defensively, committing just one error while making several excellent plays to help the A's pitching staff.
 
"Jurickson's been swinging it well," A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters after Monday's 6-4 win in Cleveland. "We moved him up in the lineup tonight to fifth and he responds right away with the home run."
 
It was Profar's sixth round-tripper of the season and it gave the A's an early 1-0 lead. He would follow with a solid single his next at-bat.
 
For the season, Profar is still slashing just .201/.263/.354, but his power numbers are similar to last year's. With six home runs and 25 RBI, he is on pace for 20 and 84 to surpass last season's production.

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Profar has also proven adept at batting in multiple spots in the lineup. He has already hit second, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth in the order, giving Melvin plenty of options.
 
Profar has provided a major boost to the A's offensive production over the last few weeks. If he can continue to produce from the bottom half of the lineup, Oakland should be in great shape for the rest of the season.

How A's first-round pick Logan Davidson evokes Dodgers' Corey Seager

How A's first-round pick Logan Davidson evokes Dodgers' Corey Seager

The A's signed 2019 first-round pick Logan Davidson on Monday, and introduced him to the media prior to their game against the Orioles.

The Clemson shortstop was joined by his parents, sister, girlfriend and agent Scott Boras at the Coliseum.

"I know that the Oakland area likes Clemson people," Davidson quipped. "I thought that was pretty cool for sure with the Raiders and everything."

In case you missed it, three of the Oakland Raiders' nine 2019 draft picks -- Clelin Ferrell, Trayvon Moreau and Hunter Renfrow -- hail from Clemson University.

Davidson, who grew up in Charlotte, N.C., was asked to describe himself as a player.

"I'm a switch-hitter with power from both sides of the plate," Davidson told the media in Oakland. "I play the game with a little spark. Pretty good shortstop, I'd say. I like to play defense. I just get after it."

For A's director of scouting Eric Kubota, that description sounds like another kid from the Queen City who ended up being a first-round pick.

"I'm on record as saying he reminds me a bit of Corey Seager," Kubota said. "It's the same offensive profile, shortstop who can impact the game with his bat and the glove, so that's who I thought of."

Seager isn't a switch-hitter like Davidson, but the Dodgers shortstop went on to win NL Rookie of the Year in 2016 and has been named to two All-Star Games. So if Davidson can replicate Seager's talent, the A's have themselves a good player.

While the A's see a bit of Seager in Davidson, the 21-year-old patterned his game after a future Hall of Fame catcher.

"As a young kid, my dad and I liked Joe Mauer, so the left-handed swing is modeled after him with the balance and the smooth left-handed swing," Davidson said.

Now that Davidson has put pen to paper and been introduced to the media, he will begin his professional career Tuesday.

[RELATED: A's 'pleasantly surprised' Davidson was available]

A's general manager David Forst announced that Davidson will fly out to Burlington, Vt. and start playing for the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters.

"How quickly he moves is up to him," Forst said.

Orioles vs. A's lineups: Stephen Piscotty starting after melanoma scare

Orioles vs. A's lineups: Stephen Piscotty starting after melanoma scare

On Friday, A's right fielder Stephen Piscotty had surgery to remove a melanoma from his right ear. Three days later, he's back in the starting lineup as Oakland opens a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at the Coliseum Monday night.

The A's lost two of the three games Piscotty missed, so his return will be a welcome sight for the club.

[RELATED: Piscotty addresses melanoma surgery]

With Piscotty back in the lineup, Mark Canha is on the bench.

Mike Fiers will get the start for the A's. In his last start against Tampa Bay, the veteran right-hander allowed three hits and two earned runs over six innings.

Baltimore Orioles (21-50):
1. Jonathan Villar (S) SS
2. Anthony Santander (S) LF
3. Trey Mancini (R) RF
4. Chance Sisco (L) C
5. Pedro Severino (R) DH
6. Rio Ruiz (L) 3B
7. Hanser Alberto (R) 2B
8. Chris Davis (L) 1B
9. Stevie Wilkerson (S) CF

RHP -- Andrew Cashner (6-2, 4.73 ERA)

Oakland A's (36-36):
1. Marcus Semien (R) SS
2. Matt Chapman (R) 3B
3. Matt Olson (L) 1B
4. Khris Davis (R) DH
5. Ramon Laureano (R) CF
6. Robbie Grossman (S) LF
7. Stephen Piscotty (R) RF
8. Jurickson Profar (S) 2B
9. Josh Phegley (R) C

RHP -- Mike Fiers (6-3, 4.63 ERA)