As important as Yeonis Cespedes has been to the A’s, Coco Crisp might be the more important of the two. Just how important, you ask? With Crisp in the lead-off spot, the Athletics are 34-16. With Weeks, they were only 30-37.
Bob Melvin discussed Crisp’s importance to the A’s batting order after yesterday’s game, noting that the team “relies” on Crisp. “He’s a guy you rely on, not only to set the table and create havoc at the top, but he gets big hits for us,” Melvin said. “He’s just a really good hitter and comes up big in big situations.”
To say Weeks has been coming up big is a bit of an understatement. In the past 4 weeks, 60.9% of Crisp’s hits have gone for extra bases — good for 10th in the league. He has a WAR of 1.0 and wRC+ of 142, both of which place him in the top-three among center fielders. What’s more, Crisp’s BABIP of .282 suggest that he’s not just getting lucky; rather, his career .301 BABIP would suggest just the opposite is occurring.
Though Joe Stiglich of the Mercury News is probably right about Cespedes being “the single most important position player for the A’s down the stretch,” the importance of Crisp cannot be discounted. If Crisp can keep his current production, which I believe he can, and if the A’s find a complementary number two hitter, then it wouldn’t be hard to imagine them contending for something beyond the Wild Card — especially with that pitching staff.