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In a tough 2016 season for the team, Semien’s individual year would rank as Oakland’s second biggest bright spot after the monster season posted by cleanup man .The Bay Area native mashed a career high 27 home runs, tied for most among major league shortstops, and showed vast improvement defensively. In the process, Semien has gone from being a question mark at the outset of 2016 to looking like an important piece of the A’s future puzzle moving forward.He’s got youth on his side, having just turned 26 in September, and Semien is still a bargain as he doesn’t hit his first year of salary arbitration until next winter. He might even mlb jerseys from china rate as a long term extension candidate at some point.Though some of the A’s best prospects are currently playing shortstop, Semien should enter 2017 as the unquestioned starter at the position.STARRING CAST: All of the extra work with infield coach Ron Washington paid off, as Semien cut his error total from 35 the previous season to 21 last year. That still tied for the most among big league shortstops, and some of those errors came in bunches. But from start to finish, Semien clearly looked more comfortable in the field and displayed a more accurate arm. Though he made a few highlight reel plays, the best news for the A’s was that he became more reliable making the routine ones. The advanced defensive metrics still aren’t particularly kind to Semien, but his fielding percentage increased from .947 in 2015 to .971 last season.One storyline to watch in 2017 is how Semien fares with Washington having left to join the Atlanta Braves jerseys’ coaching staff. Semien was his No. 1 pupil, logging more time doing daily pregame drills with Washington than anyone. Chip Hale, after two seasons managing the Arizona Diamondbacks jerseys, returns to the A’s staff and takes over infield coaching duties.CAMP COMPETITION: To this point, none of the up and coming shortstops in the A’s system has shown the readiness to challenge for Semien’s starting job. , Oakland’s top overall prospect, remains primarily a shortstop, but there are still questions about his throwing arm from the left side of the infield. His quickest route to the majors may come as a second baseman. Last season, Barreto split time at shortstop in Double A with , another of the A’s top 10 prospects. Munoz has a rifle arm and is considered a more “toolsy” prospect than Barreto, but the A’s want Munoz to develop more day to day consistency with his mental approach to the game. Perhaps the most natural heir apparent to Semien at shortstop is 2015 first round pick , who was slowed by a knee injury last season at Single A Stockton. Martin, who the A’s believe can become a top of the order hitter, has the defensive skills for shortstop but hit just .230 with Stockton.Don’t be surprised if sees some time at shortstop during spring training to see if he’s a capable utility infielder. Wendle is a candidate to start at second base, but if returns healthy from foot surgery and reclaims the job at second, Wendle could make the team as a jack of all trades backup. He saw time at short during winter ball. will also be competing for a 25 man roster spot and can play short, second or third.PAY ATTENTION TO: Where Barreto spends his innings early in the season. Will he be the everyday shortstop for Triple A Nashville or does he shuffle between there and second base? His bat is the strength of his game, but should he prove to be a capable defender at second, his arrival in the majors could come sooner rather than later.