This A's OF keeps making impressive throws

After highlight play, Laureano hits one of 4 A's HRs in win vs. Red Sox

April 2nd, 2019

OAKLAND -- Some purists complain that the art of throwing from the outfield is dead. Today's defenders, they say, struggle to reach the infield with their tosses.

These skeptics should have watched Oakland's take aim at home plate in the A's 7-0 win over the Red Sox in Monday night's series opener at Oakland Coliseum.

Laureano recorded one of the most startling and scintillating plays of this young season, throwing on the fly from medium-deep center field to nab Xander Bogaerts at home plate in the second inning. Laureano’s defensive gem propelled Oakland to its fourth victory in five games.

Statcast figures told the story: Laureano's throw traveled at a rate of 96 mph -- approximating the velocity of a pitcher's decent fastball -- and covered 270 feet. A replay review confirmed that umpire Kerwin Danley's "out" ruling stood on Bogaerts, who lashed a one-out double and tried to score on Mitch Moreland's single. A's catcher Nick Hundley caught Laureano's throw in front of the plate and applied a sweeping tag on the sliding Bogaerts.

“I thought he was safe,” Laureano said.

Noting that Laureano’s prodigious heave missed the cutoff man, A’s manager Bob Melvin said of the throw, “It's like a 3-point shot where you say, 'No, no, no -- yeah.' He's done that before, so we should know never to count out his arm on a particular play. When it was hit, I didn't think he had a chance.”

Moving virtually sideways to his left to field Moreland's hit, Laureano had no chance to gather momentum to add impetus to his terrific toss. This made the play all the more impressive.

For the A's, this was nothing new. Their outfielders recorded only three throws that were more forceful in 2018, all by Laureano.

Consider Jackie Bradley Jr., Boston’s Gold Glove-winning center fielder, a fan of Laureano.

“Ramon, he’s a special talent. I’ve seen him make multiple plays like that,” Bradley said. “I’m not surprised. Did you see the play before that when he slid and almost threw [Bogaerts] out at second? This is my first time actually getting to see him live, but he really knows what he’s doing. He got to the ball really quick, got a hold of it and the way the conditions were, he did everything the right way.”

The A’s nicked Red Sox starter David Price for three home runs, including one by Laureano that led off the third. Khris Davis clobbered his fifth, joining Reggie Jackson (1974) and Mark McGwire (1992) as the only A’s to hit that many homers through the first seven games of a season. Chad Pinder added a two-run homer off Price in the sixth.

Right-hander Aaron Brooks, making his first Major League start since Oct. 2, 2015, yielded two hits while becoming Oakland's fifth consecutive starter to work at least six innings. During that stretch, the five starters have combined to allow one run in 30 innings.