Marcus Semien filling void in leadoff spot for A's


As deep and productive as the A's lineup has been this season, the one thing it has lacked is a true leadoff hitter.

The team hopes 23-year-old outfielder Dustin Fowler will eventually fill that role, but for this season, the job belongs to Marcus Semien.

The A's shortstop has started all 43 games this season, batting leadoff in 27 of them. The other 16, he hit second.

While Semien, 27, is not your prototypical leadoff hitter, he has found ways to get on base and score runs. Semien leads the A's with 31 runs scored and three stolen bases, and he ranks second with 51 hits and 10 doubles, and third with a .276 batting average.

Semien has also mixed in some power, belting four home runs, his most recent coming Wednesday night in Boston, and 20 RBI.

The power numbers shouldn't surprise anyone, as Semien has displayed impressive home run prowess in previous seasons, including a career-high 27 in 2016.

Semien has starred in the East Bay ever since high school, when he hit .471 as a junior for St. Mary's College High School in Berkeley. He stayed in Berkeley to play his college baseball at Cal.

Now in his sixth major league season, and fourth with the A's, Semien is on pace to set career marks in hits, walks, doubles, runs, batting average, and on-base percentage. He has reached base safely in 39 of his 43 games.

With all the power hitters in Oakland's lineup, from veterans like Khris Davis and Jed Lowrie to youngsters like Matt Olson and Matt Chapman, it can be easy to overlook Semien's contributions. But the A's offensive production truly begins at the top of the order.

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