Tyler Soderstrom and Zack Gelof Called Up by A’s

Zack Gelof 07142023
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)

After one of the worst first halves in the history of baseball, the Oakland Athletics , who are 25–67, are looking to an injection of youth for the rest of the 2023 season. The Athletics announced on Friday that they have selected the contracts of Tyler Soderstrom and Zack Gelof from Triple-A Las Vegas. Both are top five prospects in the A’s organization. Soderstrom is the Athletics’ top prospect, and Gelof is the No. 3 prospect in their organization. Sodersrtom, a catcher and first baseman, was Oakland’s 26th pick of the first round in the 2020 draft. Gelof, a second baseman, was drafted 60th overall in the second round of the 2021 draft. Both saw instant success in the minor leagues and after blazing hot first halves, they have forced the organization’s hands, and earned the call up to the big leagues.

Rumors During the All Star Break

This is a move that has been highly contested on A’s social media. Half of their fans thinking this move was coming now, and the other half thinking the organization would wait to make the move. Conventional wisdom said they would wait to make this call up. Prolonging starting their contractual clocks as close to their planned move to Las Vegas makes the most sense. Bringing a good roster of players for a new city to support seems like the smartest way to move. Starting their clocks now means they will most likely hit arbitration around 2028, the same year they say the new stadium will presumably open.

This creates a situation where John Fisher and the Oakland Athletics ownership will be put to the fire right away in Las Vegas. Do they buck historical trends and finally sign players to long term deals? Or do they risk angering a new fan base, and starting a rebuild the first year they move to a new city? This is a team whose reputation has taken an absolute beating this year, and rebuilding in your first year is a death sentence.

Tyler Soderstrom

A California native, Soderstrom was drafted 26th overall in the first round of the 2020 draft out of Turlock High School. He quickly made his way to Triple-A where he has been on an absolute tear. He even earned himself a starting spot in the 2023 Futures Game at the All-Star Game. This season he is slashing .254/.303/.536 with a .838 OPS, 15 doubles, 20 home runs, and 59 RBI. His 20 home runs ranks him fourth in the Pacific Coast League as well as ranking eight in RBI. Where he plays defensively in the future is uncertain. He has a strong arm, but with current logjams at first with Ryan Noda and catcher with Shea Langeliers. A platoon situation with Langeliers seems like his most likely position at the moment.

Zack Gelof

Zack Gelof was the 60th pick of the 2021 draft out of the University of Virginia. He was originally drafted in the 38th round of the 2018 draft out of high school by the Cleveland Guardians. But, he chose to play in college instead, and drastically improved his draft stock. Since being drafted by Oakland, Gelof has shown a mature approach, and power to all fields.

Making it all the way to Triple-A during his first year in the minors got him onto the A’s radar. This season has been no different for him, as he has started to flourish offensively. He has slashed .304/.401/.529 with a .929 OPS, 21 doubles, 12 home runs, and 44 RBI. Gelof 15th in on base percentage in the PCL as well as 41 walks show his mature approach. To go along with that, his 34 extra base hits show the raw power he has. His above average speed and above average defense should provide the Athletics their first noteworthy second baseman since Mark Ellis or Marco Scutaro.

 

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