Athletics’ top five rookies of 2016

jenrainwater
Jun 29, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Ryan Dull (66) is congratulated by catcher Stephen Vogt (21) after the end of the game against the San Francisco Giants at the Coliseum the Oakland Athletics defeated the San Francisco Giants 7 to 1. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 29, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Ryan Dull (66) is congratulated by catcher Stephen Vogt (21) after the end of the game against the San Francisco Giants at the Coliseum the Oakland Athletics defeated the San Francisco Giants 7 to 1. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oakland Athletics
Sep 7, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jharel Cotton (45) pitches the ball against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Cotton delivers big performances as a 2016 September call-up.

Jharel Cotton was acquired at the 2016 trade deadline when the A’s traded Josh Reddick and Rich Hill to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The A’s were also rewarded in that trade with two other talented young pitchers Grant Holmes and Frankie Montas.

Cotton got the call on September 7, 2016. He started just five games but they were all quite impressive. He pitched into at least the sixth inning in four of his five starts.

Similarly in his first four starts Cotton allowed just a single run in each outing. His final outing against the Seattle Mariners he pitched 4.2 innings and allowed three runs, and having that be your worst outing of the year?

Oakland Athletics
Sep 7, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jharel Cotton (45) tips his hat to cheering fans as he leaves the game against the Los Angeles Angels during the seventh inning at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Well, let’s say it is still pretty good. Especially, being that his strikeout totals in each game progressed from three in his first outing to seven in his final outing.

His strikeout to walk ratio was just 5.75, but considering the small sample size of just five starts and 29.1 innings, Cotton showed some serious potential.

The 24-year-old, who was taken in the 20th round of the 2012 amatuer draft by the Dodgers, had clearly been undervalued as a potential prospect. Just four years later he looked like a professional major league pitcher.

Finishing his first stint in the major leagues with a 2.15 ERA and a 2-0 record, Cotton is now looking play a very key role in the A’s 2017 starting rotation.

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