The Oakland Athletics are reportedly set to call up 2B/3B Zack Gelof to the Majors, as the A’s prepare to start the second half of the 2023 season. With the former University of Virginia standout set to make his MLB debut, here’s a breakdown of what Oakland fans can expect from Gelof.
A Look at Gelof
The second round of the 2021 MLB Draft saw two standouts from the University of Virginia drafted by MLB teams: Andrew Abbott and Zack Gelof. Abbott made his MLB debut earlier in the year for the Reds, and now Gelof will get his chance in Oakland.
Gelof hit .316/.396/.478 with 16 home runs, 32 stolen bases, and 55 extra base hits across three years (2019-21) at Virginia. The Delaware native intrigued scouts with a strong blend of power, speed, and athleticism and he’s steadily developed since being selected by the A’s.
Gelof hit .333 with seven home runs and 30 RBI in 36 games in 2021, but his numbers took a step back last season. He still managed to hit .270 with 18 home runs and an .815 OPS in 2022, but missed a couple of months due to a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder.
The 23-year-old performed well in the hitter-friendly PCL this season, as he hit .304/.401/.930 with 12 home runs and 20 stolen bases across 69 games (308 PA).
Gelof has the potential to be a 20-25 home run hitter that can swipe bases and work counts. His swing is unorthodox, but Gelof does possess good bat speed and control of the barrel. Expect, however, a fair amount of strikeouts. Gelof sported a 27.5% K% rate last season, and a 27.9% K% rate in 2023.
Defensively, Gelof started his career as a third baseman but migrated to second last season. He’s largely played second ever since. Scouts laud his athleticism, which should give him a chance to not only play a good second base, but also be a player that can move around the field.
It’s been a good week for the Gelof family, as younger brother Jake Gelof was selected in the second round by the Dodgers in the 2023 MLB Draft this past week. Zack will join the A’s prior to the team’s game on July 14, per MLB.com.
A Look at the Athletics
The A’s entered the All-Star break with the league’s worst record at 25-67, and there hasn’t been a lot to excited about this season. There have, however, been some positives.
Still, there’s plenty of opportunity for Gelof to come in and make an impact in Oakland. He has the tools, but time will tell whether Gelof can put it all together to become a MLB regular.