22 Mar

in a better place

A year ago at this time, Brent Rooker was with his fourth team in four years and was battling for a big league roster spot with the Oakland A’s. Fairly secure in 2024 as the team’s designated hitter, the Mississippi State product has focused this spring on honing his swing and is starting to get results. Rooker has crushed two home runs and a double in his last three Cactus League games and has bumped his average to .227 with three homers and eight RBIs in 44 at-bats. “It’s always good to be feeling your best the week before (the season starts),” he told mlb.com. A first-round draft pick back in 2017, Rooker landed with Oakland as a waiver claim last year after brief stints with Minnesota, San Diego and Kansas City. After making the A’s roster at the 11th hour in 2023, Rooker made the American League All-Star team, belting 30 homers and hitting .246 for the year for an awful (50-112) team. He told mlb.com that he has enjoyed a “different mindset and approach” this spring, though it figures to be another tough year for his club in what apparently will be the A’s last year at Oakland Coliseum. P.S. Down in the Grapefruit League on Thursday, former Biloxi High standout Colt Keith hit his first homer for Detroit. Keith, 22, the $66 million rookie second baseman expected to make his MLB debut on opening day for the Tigers, is batting .273 with eight RBIs in 44 at-bats this spring. The lefty hitter hit .306 with 27 homers and 101 RBIs between Double-A and Triple-A last season.

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