A’s rookie Zack Gelof makes franchise history with 10th homer originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
It took Zack Gelof a little over a month in the big leagues to accomplish something no other Athletics player has.
The 23-year-old hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the A’s 8-5 win over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field. It was his 10th homer since being called up in mid-July, marking the quickest any player in A’s history has reached double-digit home runs.
Forty-one days. 35 games. And a whole lot of swagger.
It took 12-time All-Star Mark McGwire 41 games, Wayne Gross 44, Matt Olson 47 and 1988 AL MVP Jose Canseco 49, per MLB Network.
A’s manager Mark Kotsay is impressed with Gelof’s showing on the field, but also with how the young player handled his development after not making the team out of spring training.
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 signs during spring training that he did everything possible to make the team. We felt like he needed a little bit more time in Triple-A. He went to Triple-A. Didn’t put his head down. Didn’t mope, didn’t pout. Worked his tail off there.
“He’s getting his opportunity now to show us why he should’ve 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 sample size is small, but he has been nothing short of impressive in his short time with Oakland. The rookie infielder is slashing .294/.360/.610 with 10 homers, 11 doubles and 19 RBI in 2023.
Langeliers is making his own career history as his 15 homers extend his career high in his first full MLB season.
“It’s awesome,” Ken Waldichuk said after Thursday’s game of his teammate’s booming success. “They’ve been putting in some work, I’ve been around Shea all year. I’ve seen how much he’s grinded, looking at videos, looking at pitch selection stuff. So it’s great to see those results come.
“And Gelof, it’s just exciting to watch him. Since day one here, every time he’s up, you stop what you’re doing and you watch him go.”
The A’s are an MLB-worst 37-91 entering Friday’s game, but Gelof and the young core are giving fans a reason to watch — and certainly something to be excited about.