Ranking the Oakland Athletics’ Top Ten Pitchers in Franchise History
In a franchise as old as the A’s organization, there are plenty of great players. Recently, Swingin’ A’s even created the All-Time 25-man roster, which featured a mix of the most popular and most talented players in not just Oakland Athletics’ history, but the Philadelphia and Kansas City A’s, as well.
Setting popularity and majority votes aside, Swingin’ A’s writers Andrew Dambrauskas and Katrina Putnam set out to rank the Athletics’ top ten all-time best pitchers. The final selections include names from both the past and the present, in order of greatness.
But first, let’s look at the honorable mentions (in no particular order):
RHP Jack Coombs: Jack Coombs is ranked seventh in Athletics’ history with a 2.60 lifetime ERA, and his 115 wins are also in the top ten among franchise pitchers. His 1.30 ERA in 1910 is the best single-season ERA in team history, and the 9.7 WAR he earned that year is ranked third. Coombs spent nine years of his 14-year career with the A’s, but he falls just shy of making the cut for the top ten pitchers.
RHP Bob Welch: Bob Welch was denied his chance for World Series glory in 1989, after an earthquake postponed his Game 3 start, and the A’s elected to use ace Dave Stewart instead when the game was finally rescheduled. That didn’t stop Welch from returning better than ever the following season, winning the 1990 Cy Young Award after he led the league with 27 wins. His 2.95 ERA that season was ranked seventh overall. While he isn’t top-ten worthy, Welch’s 96-60 record over seven years with the Athletics is certainly worth mentioning.
LHP Barry Zito: Barry Zito was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 1999, and made his major league debut just one season later on July 22, 2000. He was a three-time All-Star during his career, and in 2002, he won the Cy Young award. That season, he led the league with 23 wins, and he was ranked third in the AL in strikeouts (182) and ERA (2.75). His 30.5 WAR during his Athletics career ranks him seventh in franchise history among pitchers, and he’s also eighth in strikeouts. Zito might not have been the best of the “Big Three” pitchers, but his statistics prove he’s more than just a fan favorite.
Now, on to the top ten:
Next: Top Ten Pitchers: #10