Analyzing the Oakland Athletics’ Prospect Haul from Deadline Deals

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Daniel Mengden, Starting Pitcher, Part of Kazmir Trade

Jul 30, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Scott Kazmir (26) delivers a pitch during the third inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The A’s have been known to hoard young pitchers and either build them up into solid rotational starters, or flip them in a bigger deal. Beane looks to have another one of those players in former Astros’ minor league pitcher Daniel Mengden.

Mengden has been in the minors for only two seasons, playing in both low A and high A. During those two years, Mengden has pitched to a 7-2 record with a 3.36 ERA and 109 total strikeouts.

The impressive thing is that Mengden’s stats have come mainly in his second year between both A ball leagues as he has pitched 93.1 innings so far compared to just his 11.0 last year. Mengden dominated in low A to start the year with a 4-1 record with a 1.16 ERA. He struggled in his first entrance into high A though, pitching to a 2-1 record and 5.26 ERA.

He has turned it around upon his return to Oakland’s high A team as he has started one game, going five innings and picking up the win with a 1.80 ERA. While it is just one start, it is vital that the A’s were able to see improvement from Mengden upon his return to high A.

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  • The problems with Mengden are that much like Nottingham, he won’t see the Majors for a while, and that his stuff doesn’t “wow” scouts.

    Mengden has yet to see his way past high A, so it is not surprising to have that “project” rather than “MLB-ready” knock on him. But it will be key to see if he can continue to improve as he goes alone. If he shows he can handle high A batters, then he will slowly make his way up. Kazmir is a great pitcher but he wasn’t the same magnitude of a Cole Hamels, so finding a near MLB ready pitcher would be tough.

    Mengden has been called a “back-end starter”. And while that may not woo the fans, it is something every team needs. Mengden doesn’t need to be flashy if he is consistent. He shouldn’t worry about the flash and worry about eating innings and pitching solid baseball.

    After the deal, Mengden ranks as the A’s 25th best prospect and while we won’t see him for a long while, upon his arrival he may turn into a solid back end of the rotation type guy.

    Next: Casey Meisner