Bay Area native Mark Canha adding length to deep A's lineup


Don't look now, but Mark Canha is putting up All-Star type numbers.

After starting the season in Triple-A, Canha has hit safely in 14 of his 16 starts with the A's, batting .339 with five home runs and 13 RBI. That projects to 48 homers and 124 RBI over the course of 162 games.

Wednesday night in Seattle, Canha belted a ninth-inning home run (followed by an epic bat flip) to break a 2-2 tie and give the A's a 3-2 win over the Mariners.

A San Jose native, Canha starred at Bellarmine College Preparatory, then headed north on the 880 to play for Cal. Now in his fourth big league season at the age of 29, Canha is having a breakout year. His .339 batting average ranks seventh in all of baseball, as does his .644 slugging percentage.

Canha's versatility in the field has also been critical for the Athletics. A first baseman by trade, he has started 12 games in center field since Boog Powell went on the DL with a sprained knee. Canha has also spent time in left field, right field, and his natural first base, playing solid defense at every position.

Canha has added length to an already deep lineup. He has primarily hit seventh in the order, providing additional protection for Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis, Matt Olson, and Matt Chapman.

Canha has been especially dangerous with runners on base, batting .381, with a ridiculous .480 on-base percentage. He has performed even better with runners in scoring position, going 5-for-8, including 4-for-5 with two outs.

Most importantly, when Canha plays, the A's win. Oakland is 11-5 in Canha's 16 starts this season, and 4-1 when he homers. With numbers like that, he won't be coming out of the lineup anytime soon.

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