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Saturday, February 18, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT SLEEPER: JHAREL COTTON SP OAKLAND A'S

Oakland a's Bob Melvin stated on Thursday that the fourth and fifth spots in the team's rotation are up for grabs this spring but he expressed more than a little optimism when discussing the chances of emerging lefty prospect Jharel Cotton to claim one of the slots for 2017.  Melvin believes that Cotton has the inside track to the fourth spot in the team's rotation and while Sean Manaea is getting most of the love here from a fantasy baseball angle, it is time we take a closer look at the former.

Just 25 years of age, Cotton made his MLB debut in 2016 to very positive reviews as he posted an in-control 2.15 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, and 23 strikeouts in 29.1 innings.  Having been traded from the Los Angeleas Dodgers organization to the A;s in the Josh Reddick deal, Cotton has suddenly emerged in a very impressive way to say the least.  Yes his 2016 numbers were a very small sample size but Cottons changeup has been lauded as a major out pitch and his 11.00 K/9 rate in the minors prior to his promotion last season shows how he is adept at missing bats.  Now a .198 BABIP in his 29.1 innings with the A's show that quite a bit of batted ball luck was involved in Cotton achieving such sparkling ratios but there is something to work with her for a pitcher whose current ADP is in the 200's.

While we won't run out in the draft to pick Cotton, we are intrigued at the SP 5 possibilities here.  Cotton can pick up strikeouts and again his changeup is a very impressive out pitch.  Yes his 4.90 ERA at Triple-A last season is a major red flag but again you don't have to pay much to find out if Cotton has made inroads to being a somewhat dependable pitcher for the upcoming season.

2017 PROJECTION:  9-7 3.86 ERA 1.27 WHIP 156 K  


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