“We knew he was a big prospect when we traded for him, but he was so young, he was still gonna have his time to play in the minors,” said Matt Olson, a rookie A’s outfielder. “I think once everybody finally laid eyes on him playing, you were definitely wowed by what he could do.”
Olson, Barreto and outfielder Jaycob Brugman all hit home runs on June 24 in Chicago, making them the first trio of teammates in more than a century to hit their first career home runs in the same game. Olson is back in the minors now, and Barreto, who was hitting just .190 with three errors through Friday, could join him there before long.
But their promotions, like those of Brugman, catcher Bruce Maxwell, third baseman Matt Chapman and the now-injured infielder Chad Pinder, signaled a new direction for Oakland, whose lineup had usually been filled by veteran place holders.
“All these guys have played in our system, and there’s a lot of pride playing for the Oakland A’s,” Manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s a group of guys that have played together for a while and won together. We’ve seen them in spring.
“All of them have had success,…