Miguel Tejada

Where A's MVP finalist Marcus Semien wants to improve next season

Where A's MVP finalist Marcus Semien wants to improve next season

OAKLAND -- Marcus Semien enjoyed a breakout season in 2019, in just about every area. The Oakland shortstop became the first A's player to register a top-three finish in the AL MVP race since Miguel Tejada in 2002.

"It means a lot," Semien told NBC Sports California. "It was a very competitive field this year. I think that the game is changing. There are so many players who can do everything on the field -- fielding, base running, scoring runs, producing runs. I'm trying to work on every part of my game to get better, and in the second half, I really made some improvements."  

Semien, 29, set career-highs in runs, hits, home runs, doubles, RBI, walks, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and just about any other stat you can think of. The Bay Area native might have been even better defensively, where he was a Gold Glove finalist for the second straight year.

But despite all of his accomplishments, Semien believes he still has room to improve in 2020.

"I think baserunning is a big one, just getting in scoring position more for our big hitters," Semien said. "We've got great hitters in the middle of the lineup, so walking and getting hits, you want to just make sure you run the bases right. Defensively, turn more double plays, help our pitchers. We're going to have some young pitchers, so we want to make them feel as comfortable as possible."

Last offseason, Semien's most significant development involved plate discipline. He reduced his strikeout total from 131 to 102 and drew a career-high 87 walks, 26 more than the year before.

Semien also matched an A's single-season record by scoring 123 runs, fourth-most in the majors.

"Scoring runs was a big one for me," Semien said. "Solidifying myself in the leadoff spot. I've been moving around the lineup for a couple of years now and just to solidify the leadoff spot and score runs and get in a routine was great."

[RELATED: A's star Semien tells mental health journey in HEADSTRONG]

While he appreciates the individual recognition, Semien's main focus is team success. After experiencing back-to-back Wild Card Game losses, he is optimistic that the A's can make a deeper run next season.

"I think we're going to be good," he said. "We want to start off better than we did last year. I think that our rotation will be more solidified. These last two years, we've added at the (trade) deadline to get our rotation where we want it to be, where this coming season, we'll hopefully start the rotation that we like. Position players are ready. I think that we'll have everybody healthy and it'll be fun."

Ranking 10 best to play for both A's, Giants before Bay Bridge Series

Ranking 10 best to play for both A's, Giants before Bay Bridge Series

With the A's and Giants set to renew their rivalry this week in San Francisco, we figured this would be the perfect time to rank the best players to play for both teams during their career.

Some of these players spent less than a full season with the A's or Giants, but if they donned the uniform for even one game, we're counting them.

So without further ado, here are our top 10 players to suit up for both the A's and Giants. 

CLICK HERE FOR THE BEST 10 PLAYERS WHO JOINED THE A'S AND GIANTS 

Reports: Son of former A's MVP, set to sign with White Sox, tests positive for PED

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PrimeraHora.com

Reports: Son of former A's MVP, set to sign with White Sox, tests positive for PED

Nearly five years ago, former A's star Miguel Tejada was banned 105 games after testing positive for an amphetamine, Adderall, while on the Royals. Fast forward and the junior of Tejada is now in the news for all the wrong reasons. 

Miguel Tejada Jr. reportedly tested positive for the steroid Stanozolol. The 15-year-old was set to sign with the White Sox on the international market. 

https://twitter.com/hgomez27/status/1014594384308920320

Tejada Jr. previously played outfield, but has recently moved to shortstop, where his father mainly played over his 16-year MLB career. You can see Tejada Jr. show off his hitting, speed and arm in the video below: 

In 2009, the former A's star shortstop was the first high-profile player convicted of a crime for baseball's steroids era. Tejada pled guilty to misleading Congress about the use of performance-enhancing drugs. He also said he bought Human Growth Hormone while playing with the A's, but threw the HGH in the trash before using it.

The elder Tejada won the 2002 American League MVP with the A's. Leading Oakland to a 103-59 record to win the AL West, Tejada hit .308 with 34 home runs and 131 RBI. Tejada finished his career as a six-time All-Star, .285 career hitter and knocked 307 home runs between the A's, Orioles, Astros, Royals, Giants, and Padres.