A’s rookie Zack Gelof makes franchise history with his 10th home run originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
It took Zack Gelof a little over a month to achieve something in the big leagues that no other track and field player has been able to.
The 23-year-old kicked off a two-run home run in the A’s 8-5 win over the Chicago White Sox Thursday in guaranteed rate field. It was his tenth home run since his call-up in mid-July and the fastest player in A’s history to hit double-digit home runs.
Forty-one days. 35 games. And lots of bragging rights.
12-time All-Star Mark McGwire needed 41 games, Wayne Gross 44, Matt Olson 47 and 1988 AL MVP Jose Canseco 49 MLB Network.
A’s manager Mark Kotsay is impressed with Gelof’s appearance on the fieldbut also with how the youngster has managed his development after failing to make the team’s spring training session.
And Gelof is just one of the players leading an exciting youth movement in Oakland.
“It’s great,” Kotsay told reporters after Thursday’s game. “He showed us during spring training that he did everything possible to make the team. We felt he needed a little more time in Triple-A. He went to Triple-A. Didn’t lower. I didn’t cry, I didn’t sulk. Then he ripped his tail off.
“He now gets the opportunity to show us why he should have started the season here. But it’s a great sign for Shea.” [Langeliers]for Zack, for Lawrence [Butler] to be here and start forming their identity and their culture.”
Gelof’s attendance is small, but he’s been impressive in his short stint at Oakland. The rookie infielder is batting .294/.360/.610 in 2023 with 10 homers, 11 doubles and 19 RBI.
Langeliers makes his own career history as his 15 home runs in his first full MLB season reach a career peak.
“It’s great,” said Ken Waldichuk after Thursday’s game of his teammate’s overwhelming success. “They put in quite a bit of work, I’ve been with Shea all year. I’ve seen how much he was grinding by watching videos, looking at pitch selection stuff. So it’s great to see these results.”
“And Gelof, he’s just exciting to watch. Since day one here, every time he wakes up, you’ve stopped what you’re doing and watched him walk.”
The A’s are the worst MLB players starting Friday’s game at 37-91, but Gelof and the young core are giving fans a reason to watch — and certainly something to be excited about.