After hitting 27 home runs and stealing 10 bases in 2016, Marcus Semien missed 74 games in the first half of 2017 after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured bone in his right wrist. He did his best to erase doubts about his power potential afterward, though, clubbing all 10 of his home runs from last season over the final 74 games. While it doesn't appear that he'll put together a helpful batting average anytime soon - too many strikeouts and flyballs - his walk rate has improved in each of the last two seasons while his strikeout rate has remained almost flat. He's also stolen 10-to-12 bases in his last three seasons, which helps offset his plate woes. Many will fear his cavernous home ballpark, but he doesn't have drastic splits over his career. His improved defense since his horrible 2015 should keep him in a starting spot for Oakland, or whomever they may trade him to. Power-speed combos in the middle infield rarely price themselves as cheap as Semien should be on draft day.
Semien agreed to a one-year, $3.125 million deal with the A's on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports. This marked the first offseason he was arbitration eligible, and the shortstop will cash in after making $545,000 a year ago. During the 2017 season, he slashed .249/.325/.398 with 10 home runs, 40 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 85 games after missing nearly half the year due to a right wrist injury. Heading into this upcoming season, he should provide decent value on the bases, but is unlikely to move the needle at the dish.
Semien went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in Tuesday's 6-3 loss to the Mariners. Semien is seemingly making up for lost time as the season comes to a close, as he's now smacked a trio of round trippers in the last six contests, including in two straight. The slugging shortstop was robbed of nearly two months earlier this season due to a wrist injury, and he only notched five homers in the two months between his return and Sept. 6. His recent power surge has led to eight extra-base hits (four doubles, four homers) and a .351 wOBA over the 75 plate appearances he's seen across the subsequent 16 games.
Semien went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a walk in Monday's 7-1 loss to the Mariners. Semien produced the only run of the night for the Athletics with a sixth-inning solo shot off Felix Hernandez. The shortstop is swinging a hot bat over the last seven contests, going 10-for-30 with three doubles, two homers and five RBI over that stretch.
Semien went 2-for-5 with a double, a home run and three RBI in Wednesday's win over the Tigers. The 27-year-old accounted for all of the A's offense in a 3-2 victory. He came into Wednesday's game batting .229/.299/.343 with one home run and 19 strikeouts in 70 September at-bats. Semien suffered a wrist injury early in the year, and that was likely a big factor in his power decline this season.
Semien is not in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Tigers. Semien notched two hits and three runs in Monday's game, but he will be held out Tuesday with manager Bob Melvin looking to get fellow shortstop Franklin Barreto a start against a left-handed starter. Tuesday's game will be just the second Semien has not started since Aug. 22, so he figures to return to the lineup Wednesday.