Ken Waldichuk has gone from a fifth round draft choice by the New York Yankees to one of the more impressive pitching prospects in the game. His ascension is continuing to be recognized.
According to MLB.com, Waldichuk is the third best left handed pitching prospect in the game. They also ranked his fastball, considered on the cusp of being a plus-plus offering, as one of the best of any lefty pitching prospect in the game.
Ken Waldichuk could be future ace Oakland A's need
Waldichuk essentially worked himself into becoming a prospect, overcoming his relatively humble draft spot to force people to pay attention. He honed his craft during the canceled 2020 minor league season, returning to dominate at High-A over seven games before a promotion to Double-A. Although he began the year in Double-A once again in 2022, it did not take long before he made that jump to Triple-A.
Although Triple-A has tended to be an offensive haven, Waldichuk fared well at that level. He was able to parlay that success into a brief stint in the majors last season, posting a 4.93 ERA and a 1.212 WHiP over his 34.2 innings, striking out 33 batters with ten walks as he struggled with consistency.
It is easy to see why Waldichuk would have such a bright future based on his stuff. His fastball sits at 96 to 97 MPH with plenty of riding action, making it a devastating weapon up in the zone. He has an above average slider and changeup, both of which work well with his fastball. Add in a developing curve and deceptive delivery, and Waldichuk could be a star in the making.
The A's need that to happen. They are missing that true top of the rotation starter in their system, someone that can step in and be the stablizing force they have needed. Waldichuk is their best chance at such a player in the near future, something that MLB.com agrees with.
Ken Waldichuk has been ranked as the third best left handed pitching prospect in the game per MLB.com. The Oakland A's need him to reach that potential.