Last Updated on May 10, 2023 by Matt Musico
If you’ve ever wondered who the single-season Oakland A’s home run leaders are at each position, then you’re in the right place. Outside of pitcher, each player had to man their position for at least 100 games (or 75% of games played) for the season in question.
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Oakland A’s Home Run Leaders
Catcher: Terry Steinbach, 35 Home Runs in 1996
Terry Steinbach was a three-time All-Star during his 14-year MLB career. He also racked up eight different years of double-digit home runs. But his performance in 1996 was the only time he hit more than 16 in a single season. It was his lone 100-RBI campaign, as well.
June and July were the months where he did the most damage overall at the plate. Across 197 plate appearances, he slashed .332/.391/.652 with 17 of his home runs and 44 of his RBI. Seven of those dingers came in June, with 10 coming in July. He didn’t hit more than six in any other month.
Pitcher: Blue Moon Odom, 5 Home Runs in 1969
I love Blue Moon the beer, so you know I was excited to talk about Blue Moon Odom and his power prowess at the plate. He was an All-Star in 1969, but it was probably because of what he did on the mound. Odom finished with a 15-6 record, a 2.92 ERA, and a 1.26 WHIP.
The five homers and 16 RBI he accumulated at the plate were single-season career-high marks. It also included a .799 OPS, which was much higher than his career mark, which settled in at .551.
First Base: Jimmie Foxx, 58 Home Runs in 1932
Jimmie Foxx is the Athletics’ single-season home run leader. It’s the oldest single-season team home run record in MLB. Based on how the A’s have operated in recent years, it feels like this record is safe for the time being, too. Foxx had posted three straight years of 30-plus homers before this performance in 1932. However, those 58 dingers kickstarted a three-year span where he slugged at least 40.
Check out this three-month span he had for Philadelphia between May and July. Across 409 plate appearances, the first baseman hit .355/.462/.763 with 37 home runs, 110 RBI, and 95 runs scored. That’s a career year for the majority of big leaguers, but it was just a half-season’s worth of production for Foxx.
Needless to say, he won his first MVP Award that year.
Second Base: Jed Lowrie, 23 Home Runs in 2018
Jed Lowrie put together a respectable 14-year career in the majors. His best of all in the power department, though? That’d be his 2018 campaign as a 34-year-old. Those 23 homers and 99 RBI was the only time he surpassed the 20-90 plateau. He appeared in 198 more games after this performance to finish his career and combined for just 17 homers and 85 RBI.
One certainty, though, was that Lowrie didn’t enjoy hitting at the Coliseum. He slashed .250/.344/.366 with four homers, 21 doubles, and 42 RBI in 326 plate appearances at home. On the road, those numbers improved to .282/.362/.522, 19, 16, and 57, respectively, in 354 trips to the plate.
Shortstop: Miguel Tejada, 34 Home Runs in 2002
The 2002 season was another MVP performance for an Athletics player. This time, it was shortstop Miguel Tejada. His 34 homers were a career-high mark. They were accompanied by 131 RBI and a .861 OPS. Tejada enjoyed four different 30-homer seasons during his career. Three of them came consecutively between 2000 and 2002.
Unlike Lowrie, the shortstop’s power production was nearly split down the middle between his home/road splits. He slugged 17 homers with 64 RBI in Oakland, along with 17 dingers and 67 RBI as a visiting player. Tejada was obviously a crucial part of the team’s success. He slugged 26 homers with 108 RBI in A’s victories. His OPS in that situation (.930) was nearly 200 points higher than what it was in losses (.740).
Third Base: Matt Chapman, 36 Home Runs in 2019
The first three years of Matt Chapman‘s big-league career included a linear increase in homers. He slugged 14 as a rookie, followed by 24 in 2018 before his franchise third-baseman record of 36 in 2019. In parts of five years with Oakland (which includes the pandemic-shortened 2020 season), Chapman enjoyed three performances of at least 20 homers.
On a monthly basis in 2019, Chappy was quite consistent in the power department. He slugged eight in March/April and two in July. Other than that, he either hit six (June and September/October) or seven (May and August) in a month. It also didn’t matter if he stepped up to the plate with no outs (11 homers), one out (12 homers), or two outs (13 homers).
Oakland A’s Home Run Leaders
Left Field: Khris Davis, 43 Home Runs in 2017
Khris Davis enjoyed three straight 40-homer, 100-RBI seasons with Oakland (all while hitting .247, of course). They got better each year, too. He slugged 42 dingers with 102 RBI in ’16 and followed it with 43 and 110 in ’17 before concluding things with a league-leading 48 homers with 123 RBI in 2018. Outside of this stretch, he slugged more than 23 homers in a single season just once. That was 27, which he did in 2015 with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Davis’ power production was mostly consistent throughout the year, but his start and finish were among the best. In March/April, the right-handed slugger collected 10 homers with 17 RBI off the strength of a 1.032 OPS. Once September/October rolled around, he hit another seven dingers with 19 RBI and a 1.031 OPS.
Center Field: Dwayne Murphy, 33 Home Runs in 1984
Dwayne Murphy‘s calling card during his MLB career was his defense. He’s a six-time Gold Glove winner, all of which came consecutively from 1980-85. He was a decent hitter, but his best overall offensive showing — when using OPS as the barometer — came in ’84. He put together a .814 OPS with his only career 30-homer performance to go along with 88 RBI.
If we split Murphy’s games played in 1984 into three parts (innings 1-3, 4-6, and 7-9), his offense got better as the game wore on. His OPS went from .770 to .821 before finishing up at .838. However, his power production was quite even, with 11 dingers in the first and final third of games, and 10 in the middle innings.
Right Field: Reggie Jackson, 47 Home Runs in 1969
Reggie Jackson is famous for a lot of things. Most of all, the Hall of Famer hit 563 regular-season home runs while also dominating the postseason. While he did post seven different seasons of 30-plus homers throughout his career, he never could match the 47 he hit as a 23-year-old.
What’s most notable about Jackson’s performance was what he did in the first half. He slugged 37 of those 47 homers prior to the All-Star break, along with 79 RBI in 397 plate appearances. Jackson stepped to the plate just 281 times in the second half, but his slugging percentage went from .716 to .453.
Mr. October actually slugged 25 of his homers and collected 60 of his RBI in June and July alone. Across 255 trips to the plate during that time, he slashed .330/.445/.790.
Designated Hitter: Khris Davis, 48 Home Runs in 2018
There goes that man again. After appearing in left field for 116 games in 2017, Davis transitioned to essentially being a full-time DH the following season. He appeared in that role for 139 games.
Putting the first pitch of an at-bat in play was a sound strategy for him in 2018. He slashed .379/.409/.816 with 10 homers and 28 RBI in this scenario. Davis also did most of his damage in tie games (18 homers, 46 RBI, .945 OPS) and when the A’s were behind (18 homers, 45 RBI, .876 OPS), as well.
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