Jharel Cotton
Jharel Cotton
27-Year-Old PitcherRP
Oakland Athletics
60-Day IL
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 7/2/2019
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Cotton was battling for an Opening Day rotation spot when he suffered a strained UCL in the middle of spring training, and the right-hander ultimately opted to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery in mid-March. While he resumed throwing in August, he is expected to remain sidelined at the start of the 2019 season. A clearer timetable for the right-hander’s return should emerge as he progresses in his rehab, but Cotton figures to get at least one more opportunity in Oakland’s rotation whenever he’s deemed ready. He struggled during his first extended look with the A’s in 2017, posting a 5.58 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 105:53 K:BB through 129 innings (24 starts), though he looked much better during spring training in 2018 prior to suffering the injury. There's still some perceived upside with the former Dodgers prospect given the quality of his changeup, but he'll need to prove he's healthy before warranting any serious consideration. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#740
ADP
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Ramping up rehab
POakland Athletics
Elbow
April 14, 2019
Cotton (elbow) has twice thrown to hitters recently, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
The encouraging news was delivered by manager Bob Melvin on Sunday and provides an indication of where Cotton is in his recovery. The level of progress implies a midseason return could still be in the cards for the right-hander, who'll be looking to bounce back from the disappointing 9-10 record, 5.58 ERA and 1.44 WHIP he posted in his last major-league season in 2017.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-7%
BAA vs LHP
2019
No Stats
2018
No Stats
2017
 
 
-7%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .257 255 44 30 56 7 0 14
Since 2017vs Right .275 311 61 23 77 22 0 14
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Left .257 255 44 30 56 7 0 14
2017vs Right .275 311 61 23 77 22 0 14
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-44%
ERA on Road
2019
No Stats
2018
No Stats
2017
 
 
-44%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 6.98 1.52 69.2 4 6 0 7.9 3.7 2.3
Since 2017Away 3.94 1.35 59.1 5 4 0 6.7 3.6 1.5
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Home 6.98 1.52 69.2 4 6 0 7.9 3.7 2.3
2017Away 3.94 1.35 59.1 5 4 0 6.7 3.6 1.5
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
Cotton's changeup is nasty, but pitchers need more than one weapon in their arsenal to sustain success against big-league hitters. After Cotton turned in a 2.15 ERA in a five-start sample in 2016, he was rocked for a 5.58 ERA last season. Home runs were a major problem (1.95 HR/9) as Cotton's flyball rate hovered around 46 percent -- his "sinker" hardly gets any sink and he had a nasty habit of leaving his four-seamer up in the wheelhouse of lefty batters (14 homers allowed to lefties). Walks compounded the issues with the long ball, with Cotton issuing free passes at a 9.4 percent clip, and he managed only a modest 18.6 percent strikeout rate. Fortunately, a late-season elbow scare proved minor, as Cotton was given a clean bill of health heading into the offseason. With a lack of quality alternatives behind him, he seems likely to get a chance to make amends in the rotation in 2018.
The Dodgers sent Cotton to Oakland to acquire Josh Reddick, and the right-hander found his way into the rotation about a month later. Though he sparkled in his first five major league starts and probably has the inside track at a rotation spot, some may overlook him because of the 7.1 K/9 during his time with Oakland and 4.31 ERA at Triple-A. The ugliness of his minor league surface stats masked the beauty of his 10.3 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. Cotton's swinging-strike rate (a whopping 12.5 percent), an excellent get-ahead approach (66.1 first-strike rate) and diverse cache of pitches suggest he should've had better luck in the K/9 department. Those factors position him for a productive first full year, especially in his new pitcher-friendly environment, which will at least limit the dangers of his flyball-first approach in home starts. He's a low-cost sleeper yet possibly one of fantasy's best prospects for 2017.
Cotton saw his prospect status soar after an excellent 2015 in which he saw time at four different levels, ultimately finishing with five relief appearances in Triple-A. His Triple-A debut was pretty good, with Cotton striking out the only six hitters he faced in two innings. Combined, Cotton posted a 2.45 ERA in 95.2 innings with an excellent 114:31 K:BB. That 10.7 K/9 likely propelled him at least close to the team's top 10 prospects list. Cotton stands just 5-foot-11 and was a 20th-round pick, but a unique delivery and excellent stuff have propelled him up the charts. Cotton features a fastball anywhere from 90-95 mph, an excellent curveball, and a changeup that is already talked about as well above average for his development. Cotton spent time in both the rotation and the bullpen after returning from a wrist injury in late May. His long-term future is yet to be decided, but he should make his major league debut in some capacity this season after opening up in Triple-A.
More Fantasy News
Shifts to 60-day IL
POakland Athletics
Elbow
March 27, 2019
Cotton was transferred to the 60-day injured list Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
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Moves to injured list
POakland Athletics
Elbow
March 19, 2019
Cotton (elbow) was placed on the 10-day injured list Tuesday.
ANALYSIS
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Ramping up bullpen work
POakland Athletics
Elbow
March 6, 2019
Cotton (elbow) is up to 40 pitches in his bullpen sessions but has only thrown fastballs and changeups, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
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Gets in mound work
POakland Athletics
Elbow
February 12, 2019
Cotton (elbow) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Tuesday, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Eyes midseason return
POakland Athletics
Elbow
February 10, 2019
Cotton (elbow) is behind in his rehab program but is still on track to return in the middle of the 2019 season, Julian McWilliams of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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