The Oakland A's have promoted their 2012 second-round pick Bruce Maxwell to the major leagues. Maxwell joins Ryon Healy, Sean Manaea, Zach Neal and Ryan Dull as members of the 2015 Texas League champion Midland RockHounds on the A's 25-man roster (Dillon Overton, who made a start for the A's earlier this week but is currently in Nashville, was also on that team). Maxwell, who also won a Texas League crown with Midland in 2014, is in the middle of a career-best season. In 60 games for Triple-A Nashville, Maxwell is batting .321/.393/.539. He has hit a career-high 10 homeruns and sports a 24:38 BB:K.
Stephen Vogt has been placed in family medical leave.
Maxwell was the A's fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft and the first college player selected by the A's that season. Maxwell attended Division III Birmingham-Southern, where he put up video game numbers. He came to the pros with a reputation for being an offensive weapon and a defensive liability behind the plate. (Click here to read a Q&A with Maxwell just days after he was selected by the A's.)
Upon turning pro, Maxwell dedicated himself to becoming a top-flight defensive backstop. That work on his defense often came at the expense of improving as a hitter. Maxwell hit .275 during his first full professional season, but his average fell to .243 during his second full season and he posted a .334 SLG.
In 2015, Maxwell hit only .243/.321/.308 in 96 games with Midland. However, he had a solid final month and post-season for Midland. He built on that momentum with a strong stint in big league camp and with Team Germany in the WBC this spring. That performance earned Maxwell a promotion to Triple-A to start the year.
Maxwell got off to a slow start with the Sounds this season, but he started to swing the bat better after finishing a stint on the DL in early May. He posted a 770 OPS in May and an 875 OPS in June. So far in July, Maxwell's OPS is 1490.
As he reaches the big leagues, Maxwell arrives as a well-rounded player. Defensively, he is a strong game caller who receives the ball well and moves well behind the plate for a man his size. He has an above-average throwing arm and has thrown out 39% of would-be base-stealers this season. Offensively, Maxwell has always had a strong grasp of the strike-zone. He has good bat-to-ball skills. Maxwell has always had prodigious batting practice power, and he has started to translate that into in-game power this year, as he has learned what pitches he can drive. When he was first drafted, Oakland A's Assistant General Manager Billy Owens compared him offensively to former A's catcher Mickey Tettleton.
Maxwell is the fourth member of the A's 2012 draft class to reach the big leagues (Addison Russell, Max Muncy and Dull are the other three). He joins Dull, Healy, Sonny Gray and Sean Doolittle (DL) as homegrown players on the A's roster.
For a complete index of our coverage of Maxwell's career to date, please click here.