Continuing our series in looking at future Virginia stars, lets take a turn head to the West Coast and the Bay Area-specifically, the Oakland Athletics.
In recent years, baseball has become relevant again in Oakland, as the Athletics are perennial playoff contenders. This is happening despite a very small budget, which is further hampered by the struggles to get a new stadium to replace the O.co Coliseum, a source of migraines for the powers that be in Oakland.
The Athletics have not won a World Series title since 1989, but not for lack of trying, as they have made the playoffs 8 times since the turn of the century, and the last three years straight. Fueling this surge has been a farm system that is producing productive players that are helping the Athletics become perennial postseason contestants.
Another name that is sure to be headed to Oakland in the near future is 2B Chad Pinder.
A Richmond-native, Pinder was drafted in the 2013 draft, 71st overall (CBB) by Oakland after wrapping up a run at Virginia Tech where he earned numerous ACC honors for both his athletic as well as his academic abilities. He signed with Oakland in time to get into some short-season NYP league action. Playing for the Vermont Lake Monsters, Pinder batted .200 in 42 games, hitting 3 homers, driving in 8 runs, and posting a .286 OB%. For 2014, he was moved up to High-A Stockton, for his first full season of action, and he flourished. Pinder hit .288 with 13 HR and 55 RBIs, and posted a .336 OB%, as well as stealing 12 bases. Pinder was rewarded for his exploits by being named an Oakland organizational all-star.
Stay tuned to see where he is assigned for 2015. By Opening Day, ’15, Pinder will be 23.
Chad Pinder, a rising star with the Oakland Athletics. By the time he reaches the big leagues, which could be in just a couple of years, will it be at O.co?