After looking at Baltimore’s rookie starters, I now take a look at another team with a young pitching staff — the Oakland Athletics.
Brett Anderson, LHP
Fastball — 53|PERCENT| (88-95 MPH)
Slider — 30|PERCENT| (80-87 MPH)
Changeup — 11|PERCENT| (80-87 MPH)
Curveball — 7|PERCENT| (74-81 MPH)
Anderson is an up-and-coming lefty arm, and a pretty good one. He’s managed to post good strikeout rates throughout his minor league career, and should continue to do so at the major league level. While his fastball has proven to be hittable, his slider, which often looks more like a curveball due to the amount of downward movement, has produced great results for him thus far. Next year, look for him to improve on his 2009 campaign, where he’s gone 9-10, with a 4.36 ERA.
Andrew Bailey, RHP
Fastball — 56|PERCENT| (90-97 MPH)
Cutter — 28|PERCENT| (86-92 MPH)
Curveball — 16|PERCENT| (74-81 MPH)
Change — <1|PERCENT| (83-88 MPH)
While not a starter, Bailey still has tons of fantasy value due to the fact that he won Oakland’s closer job early in the season. There’s plenty to like about Bailey, who made the conversion from starter to closer without any difficulty whatsoever. He can throw all of his pitches for strikes, and is able to miss bats with all of them. As long as he holds onto the closer’s job next year (and at this time I see no reason why he wouldn’t), he’s definitely worth taking a chance on when filling out your roster for next season.
Trevor Cahill, RHP
Fastball — 75|PERCENT| (86-94 MPH)
Changeup — 16|PERCENT| (75-82 MPH)
Slider — 6|PERCENT| (80-86 MPH)
Curveball — 4|PERCENT| (76-83 MPH)
Cahill is a sinkerballer, and a promising one at that. Although the results haven’t been there yet at the major league level (8-12, 4.74), he’s shown enough success in the minors to lead me to believe that it’s only a matter of time before he puts it all together. His sinker can be downright nasty at times (and very hittable at others), and his changeup is excellent, getting unpredictable movement and producing a lot of swings and misses. If he can get his strikeout rates and his homer rates closer to his minor league levels, he should be of great value to any fantasy team.
Vin Mazzaro, RHP
Fastball — 63|PERCENT| (89-96 MPH)
Slider — 21|PERCENT| (82-89 MPH)
Curveball — 8|PERCENT| (78-84 MPH)
Changeup — 8|PERCENT| (82-88 MPH)
Vin Mazzaro is a bit of a question mark at this time. His strikeout rates have never been anything spectacular, and his minor league numbers have jumped all over the place. He posted ERAs over 5 in both 2006 and 2007, before going 12-3, 1.90 in 2008 in AA ball. After a promotion to AAA that year, he regressed, posting an ERA of 6.15 over 6 appearances, so he’s anything but a sure thing. At the major league level, he’s been mediocre, but he’s been able to miss bats with his breaking pitches. If he can gain the confidence to throw them more often, he might be worth something to a fantasy team. At this time, however, I’d stay away.