Young A's star Gelof reveals three MLB players he tries to emulate

Young A's star Gelof reveals three MLB players he tries to emulate originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Programming note: Brodie Brazil's full "All A's" interview with Zack Gelof will air at 3 p.m. PT Tuesday on NBC Sports California, and again at 9:30 p.m. PT.

Since Oakland called up Zack Gelof from Triple-A Las Vegas last July, the second baseman has emerged as one of MLB’s promising young stars and a valuable building block for the Athletics organization.

To continue his upward trajectory, the 24-year-old idolizes certain players and incorporates baseball’s best into his developing game.

When talking to NBC Sports California’s Brodie Brazil on a recent episode of “All A’s,” the young infielder listed three MLB players he tries to emulate.

“For me, I have really tried to emulate my game over three guys: [New York Yankees’] DJ LeMahieu, [Texas Rangers’] Marcus Semien and [Philadelphia Phillies’] Trea Turner.”

Gelof’s list of active role models makes sense, considering the trio only consists of big-time infielders.

LeMahieu, Semien and Turner have combined to earn seven MLB All-Star nods and five Silver Slugger awards as some of the smoothest two-way players in the game for years, continuously inspiring Gelof.

“DJ, just being one of the best hitters in the game and being a really tall infielder, you know, won a Gold Glove,” Gelof added. “And then you got Marcus Semien, who shows up every day and has gotten better, and obviously, a former A who has been super successful [and] a World Series champ now. And then Trea Turner, with how smooth he is. I feel like when I’m loose and athletic, I play my best.

“So, I try to have a little bit of each of those guys.”

The three stars have been major influences on Gelof, who was last August’s AL Rookie of the Month after slashing .286/.350/.562 with eight doubles, seven home runs and 15 RBI over 27 games.

But Semien, in particular, stands out to Gelof as an Oakland icon and a predecessor.

“What [Marcus] has done has been super cool to watch -- just his career, in general," Gelof told Brazil. "He shows up every day. I feel like that’s the ultimate teammate, when a guy can show up every day for 160 games and give it his best. That’s something that’s super tough to do. I don’t know how Cal Ripken [Jr.] did it for all those years.”

Excluding the 2017 MLB season when Semien missed three months with a broken right wrist, the six-year A's infielder played in 97 percent of regular-season games, or 688 of a possible 708.

Now in his his first full MLB season, Gelof hopes to be as available as Semien.

“Just showing up every day, I think, is going to be something I want to be known for,” Gelof concluded.

Gelof has struggled to begin the 2024 MLB season with a .261 OBP. But with his determination and choices of idols, surely he’ll get back on track and be an everyday player for years to come.