The Oakland Athletics have reportedly signed a pair of undrafted pitching prospects, inking Grant Judkins and Garrett Acton.
Since the 2020 MLB Draft ended, the Oakland Athletics have been busy on the undrafted free agent front. Their attempt to stop paying minor leaguers has not hurt the franchise, as they have already signed a pair of catchers in Will Simoneit and Cooper Uhl.
The A’s followed up that pair of catchers with, fittingly, a pair of pitchers. Grant Judkins and Garrett Acton are the newest members of the organization, giving Oakland some intriguing talent.
Judkins had a slow start to his college career, but steadily improved. Over his four seasons at the University of Iowa, he produced a 3.72 ERA and a 1.284 WHiP, striking out 149 batters with 57 walks in 164.1 innings. He also spent time at first at the beginning of his career, producing a .242/.394/.304 batting line with six extra base hits in 205 plate appearances.
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While he may not be a two way prospect, Judkins is still intriguing. He has a solid four pitch arsenal, even if he is not overpowering. His fastball sits in the lower 90s, and he mixes in a change, curve, and a slider. Judkins reportedly makes up for that lack of velocity with excellent command and an ability to induce weak contact, making him a potential back of the rotation arm moving forward.
Acton served as the closer for University of Illinois, heading there after playing at two other colleges. He performed well overall, posting a 3.75 ERA and a 1.333 WHiP, striking 73 batters while issuing 45 walks in 72 innings. He notched 25 saves, and broke the school record with 19 saves in 2019.
His arsenal certainly plays well for a relief role. He has a mid 90s fastball, with the potential to add velocity moving forward. That fastball was also voted to be the best in the Big 10, showing how much potential the offering has. Acton also throws a cutter and a slider, with the slider having potential to be a devastating strikeout pitch.
The Oakland Athletics have remained busy on the undrafted free agent front, signing Grant Judkins and Garrett Acton. Both pitchers have the potential to be a part of the A’s future moving forward.