For a few weeks, Greg Deichmann was able to stay healthy and show just what he could do when his body cooperated.
The lefty-swinging slugger led the Arizona Fall League with nine home runs in 23 games, driving in 20 and batting .256. These are the kind of numbers the Athletics expected when they drafted Deichmann in the second round in 2017 out of Louisiana State.
The problem has been injuries. Wrist, hamate, shoulder. Deichmann plays aggressively in right field, diving and leaping after balls. The dives have been great. The landings, not so good.
The A’s hope that is in the past.
The 24-year-old Deichmann showed up to spring minicamp in February ready for a jump-start to his promising career.
“He looks good,” farm director Ed Sprague Jr. said. “It’s a carryover from the Fall League. He’s kept his body nice and lean. The ball’s coming off his bat well.”
Sprague said that hitting coach Tommy Everidge has worked diligently with Deichmann to get him to better understand his body movement.
“He tried to do too much,” Sprague said. “When he used a high leg kick, it got his body out of sync.”
So they cut back on the kick and lowered his back elbow. That allowed Deichmann to drive more balls to the left side, and he has the power to hit opposite-field home runs.
Deichmann’s future is about power. Sprague rates his power potential as a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale.
His strong right arm makes him a fit in right field. He has continued to show improvement defensively and now ranks as a plus thrower and close to a plus defender. Because of Deichmann’s diligent work ethic, Sprague expects him to continue to improve.
He also runs well and has shown a knack for stealing bases. He went 19-for-24 last year at Double-A Midland while hitting .219/.300/.375 with 11 home runs in 80 games.
Sprague said what Deichmann needs most is a chance to get daily at-bats in order to gain the experience he needs to carry him into the majors. If he stays healthy, he could arrive with a boom.
— The A’s opened minicamp with 16 pitchers and 17 positions players in attendance. The camp provides players to fill in at big league games and provide attendees with a jump start on the season.
— Switch-hitting catcher Drew Millas arrived in camp and quickly made a good impression, showing a good swing in batting practice. He was the organization’s seventh-round pick out of Missouri State in 2019.
— Shortstop Jeremy Eierman looked good in early drills. He was the club’s 2018 supplemental second-round pick out of Missouri State. Shortstops Nick Allen and Logan Davidson impressed in big league camp.