Athletics

Athletics

Editor's note: Each day this week, we will examine a different A's prospect to assess their big-league potential and determine their possible role with the team.

Dustin Fowler hit the major leagues last season with lots of hype, but he mostly struggled in his first year with the A's.

The 23-year-old outfielder only managed to slash .224/.256/.354 with six home runs and 23 RBI in 69 games, getting passed on the depth chart by fellow outfielders Ramon Laureano and Nick Martini.

Fowler still has tons of upside and plenty of time to become a productive major league outfielder. He showed his ability at the Triple-A level, slashing an impressive .341/.364/.520 in 55 games with Nashville last season.

Fowler came to Oakland from the Yankees in 2017 as the main piece of the Sonny Gray trade. He was ranked as the A's third-best prospect by MLB Pipeline, despite coming off a major knee injury.

Fowler has shown glimpses of his potential with the A's, displaying both power and speed. But he has lacked consistency at the plate, as many rookies do.

The 2019 season will be crucial for Fowler as he looks to secure a spot in the A's everyday lineup. It won't be easy, as Oakland has a crowded outfield with Laureano, Martini, Stephen Piscotty, Mark Canha and Chad Pinder all battling Fowler for playing time.

 

With Laureano and Piscotty likely locking down center and right field, Fowler's best opportunity appears to be in left. Now that he has a major league season under his belt, he should feel more comfortable and allow his natural talent to take over.

Fowler has the tools to become an All-Star level hitter. His short swing allows him to make consistent contact, and his bat speed creates solid power for someone his size. If he can improve his plate discipline and continue to use his speed on the basepath, he can add a valuable dimension to Oakland's lineup.

A's prospect breakdown: Barreto could get chance in 2019