|The Moss-Carter duo is working out quite nicely in Oakland. (Getty Images)|
The Oakland Athletics haven't had a reliable, power-hitting first baseman in quite a while (Jason Giambi, anyone?). This season, though, the upstart A's appear to have one, in the form of two-headed monster Brandon Moss/Chris Carter.
Things didn't start out that way. The A's ran out a combination of Brandon Allen, Kila Ka'aihue, Daric Barton and Adam Rosales at first until June 6, when Moss got his first start of the season. Since then, it's been either Moss or Carter starting at first for all but two games.
The A's were 24-32 before turning to Moss. Since then, they are 57-28. Obviously there are many reasons the A's have turned their season around, but getting great power production from the corner is a big reason.
Moss, 28, is hitting .262/.326/.574 with 18 homers and 38 RBI in just 221 plate appearances.
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Carter, 25, is hitting .266/.368/.565 with 14 homers and 33 RBI in just 209 plate appearances.
Good, especially if you're evolved enough to pay far more attention to on-base percentage and slugging percentage than the archaic batting average figure. But let's do this: If we take the numbers of both Carter and Moss only when he's playing first base -- that is, treating the A's first basemen as one player, a Moss-Carter hybrid -- here are the numbers:
.256/.338/.571, 17 doubles, 26 homers, 54 RBI, 56 runs.
That's in 340 plate appearances. If we multiply it out to a 162-game average -- 650 plate appearances is reasonable, and probably a bit conservative -- here's what we're looking at (yes, I'm bolding this bad boy because it's so beautiful):
.909 OPS, 33 doubles, 50 homers (!), 103 RBI, 107 runs.
Pretty impressive, huh? And the A's aren't even paying this "man" $1 million this season, as both Moss and Carter are pre-arbitration -- thus entitled to the pro-rated league minimum ($480,000) from the time they were called up from the minors.
Now we just need to give this "man" a name. C. Brandon Moss-Carter? Whatever we want to call him, he's an utter stud. And he's got the A's in position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
Huge hat-tip to brilliant reader Paul M. for helping me arrive at this idea.