Zack Gelof Makes A Quick Impression
With injuries mounting in the big leagues, Triple-A Las Vegas needed infield help.
The call went out for a player barely past a trip to the College World Series, and he responded. Oh, how he responded.
Two months out of college, Zack Gelof was thrown into the fire against Triple-A pitchers, and he pounded seven hits in 12 at-bats, driving in six runs.
After three months and 36 games, the Athletics have seen enough of Gelof to get really excited.
“He’s just an all-around good player,” A's farm director Ed Sprague said. “He uses the whole field. He’s got some power and will come into more power. He has a really good approach and can really hit.”
The A’s drafted Gelof in the second round this year, and he joined the organization on a tear. He batted .298 with seven homers and a .941 OPS in 32 games for Low-A Stockton before a series of injuries in Oakland forced the A’s to raid Vegas and led the Aviators to call for replacements.
Gelof had been considered a possible first-rounder this year. He hit .312 for Virginia with nine home runs, then lifted his game and made the CWS all-tournament team at third base.
The problem for Gelof has been recovering from an arm injury during his college days, Sprague said. The A’s will work to improve his arm strength and see where he lands. The A’s could keep him at third, move him to second base or find a spot in the outfield.
The A’s believe he has the athleticism to become a plus defender. “He can make plays on the run, and the throws well on the run,” Sprague said.
‘He’s just kind of freakishly athletic for how big he is,” A's scouting director Eric Kubota said of the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Gelof.
Sprague said Gelof has plus speed and is already an excellent baserunner.
"He’s one of the more exciting players we’ve had," Sprague said. “He is a really good pick. I’m surprised he got to us in the second round.”
— Jonah Bride will spend the offseason learning how to catch. Bride plays corner infield, and adding some experience behind the plate could help him find a role in the big leagues. He was assigned to the Arizona Fall League for further work.
— After being assigned to the AFL, catcher Tyler Soderstrom had a setback and returned to rehab. It has been difficult to diagnose the cause of the problem, but the A’s now believe it is an oblique injury that will demand rest and recovery so he will be ready for spring training.