OAKLAND -- The A's haven't made it easy on Ryon Healy this year, but the youngster has responded admirably.Thrust into an everyday role at third base upon his promotion last year, Healy has been forced to bounce around multiple positions this season, sharing time at third base and DH, and
OAKLAND -- The A's haven't made it easy on Ryon Healy this year, but the youngster has responded admirably.
Thrust into an everyday role at third base upon his promotion last year, Healy has been forced to bounce around multiple positions this season, sharing time at third base and DH, and sometimes first. His defense has subsequently taken a hit at times, but Healy has attempted to keep pace with his bat.
On Saturday, Healy enjoyed the best day of his career at the plate, putting together his first multi-homer game while also tying an A's franchise record with four extra-base hits in one game. His efforts helped the A's cruise to a 10-4 victory over the Nationals.
"You can't do much better than that," A's starter Daniel Mengden said. "That's a pretty magical day for him."
Healy and Jed Lowrie went deep in the first, and Healy was at it again in the seventh, firing off back-to-back shots with Yonder Alonso. In between, he tallied two doubles to finish 4-for-4.
"It's funny," Healy said. "I said to [Trevor] Plouffe in like the third inning or so, 'I never had a two-homer game in pro ball. He goes, 'Well, today's a pretty good day to do so.'"
Healy bopped 13 home runs in 72 games as a rookie following his July callup last year, and he's already up to 11 in 54 games this season, joining Khris Davis and Alonso (16) in double-digit territory following his two-homer showing.
"Big day for him," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We've seen him do that. Not only does he have power, but he has power to all fields and he can make adjustments."
Melvin understands the challenges Healy has faced playing musical chairs this year but has repeatedly commended his determination.
"He's a tough-minded kid, and he's got a lot of ability," he said. "Still kind of new at the big league level and still developing, but boy he can really hit.
"He's handled it really well. He's a very emotional guy, too, which plays into the whole dynamic. He wants to play, he brings a lot of energy to whatever he's doing. I'll take him any day. Guy who comes to play, he wants to play, he's passionate about what he does, and he swings the bat really well."
Said Healy: "I think I'm still adjusting, I'm still learning. I'm still trying to get better every single day. There's not a day that I wake up and I'm satisfied with where I'm at and what I'm doing."
• The A's had high school outfield star Austin Beck (North Davidson High, North Carolina) at the Coliseum on Saturday. Following their win over the Nationals, several members of the A's front office, including vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane and general manager David Forst, watched Beck take batting practice.
The 18-year-old is projected as a first-round Draft pick and potentially as a Top 10 selection. Oakland has the sixth overall pick this year.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.