Daulton Jefferies can complete the next Big Three

The Oakland A’s already had a young trio of pitchers earlier this century. Daulton Jefferies can give the franchise another Big Three to build around.

It is easy to overlook Daulton Jefferies when it comes to the Oakland A’s pitching prospects. Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk are easily the headliners of the farm system, two left handed pitchers that are expected to develop into top of the rotation starters. With such lofty billings, the other pitchers in the organization can fall behind.

But that does not mean that the A’s cannot dream when it comes to Jefferies. He was expected to move through the organization quickly after being drafted in 2016, but injuries derailed his path to the majors. Last year, he was finally healthy, giving the A’s a taste of what may be to come.

In his 79 innings last season, Jefferies posted a respectable 3.42 ERA and a 1.038 WHiP. While those numbers were certainly solid, Jefferies earned attention from the baseball world at large by striking out 93 players while only issuing nine walks all season. His stuff and command were absolutely back, and better than ever.

It is that production that can allow the A’s and their fanbase to dream. Prospects with that ability to not only throw strikes, but to strike out over ten batters per nine innings are rare. While Jefferies does not have overpowering stuff, as his fastball sits in the low 90s, that production shows important that command truly is.

Jefferies also allows the team to dream of the future. While Luzardo and Puk are slated to be part of the 2020 rotation should the season begin, there is not a place for Jefferies. However, Mike Fiers is a free agent after this season, opening a place for the 2021 campaign.

As he waits for that spot to open, it is a chance to get his arm built up, allowing Jefferies to step into a starter’s role next year. The minor league season is likely canceled, but the A’s can put him through simulated games to build up a hypothetical inning count. And, with the taxi squad, Jefferies may be able to make his debut this season.

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The Oakland A’s had their Big Three at the beginning of the 21st century. If Daulton Jefferies continues to progress, another Big Three could be right around the corner.

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