5. Daulton Jefferies
It has taken longer than the Oakland A’s would like to see what they have in Daulton Jefferies, but he could be well worth the wait.
Jefferies is not a pitcher that is going to wow anyone with his pure stuff. His fastball sits in the lower 90s, but has been clocked as high as 94 MPH when he has needed a little extra. Jefferies has an excellent changeup, which has excellent fading and sinking action. He also has some sort of a breaking ball, although it lacks consistency and he keeps experimenting with different grips.
While his arsenal is not considered impressive, it is augmented by his incredible command. Over his 64 innings last season, he issued just seven walks while striking out 72 batters. This was not a matter of finding too much of the plate either, as Jefferies allowed just 63 hits on the season.
In theory, a pitcher like Jefferies profiles as a back of the rotation option, given his less than impressive stuff and reliance upon his command. Yet, those pitchers can surprise – just look at the likes of Kyle Hendricks in Chicago. If Jefferies can stay healthy, which is a major question mark, he could end up surprising as well.
If Daulton Jefferies can stay healthy, he has the potential to be a major part of the Oakland A’s future. But that has been the question throughout his professional career.