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Trevor Cahill Examined

Today let's take a look at A's starting pitching prospect Trevor Cahill, who's become a popular late-round sleeper even in non-keeper mixed leagues.

Cahill, a 21 year-old righty, tossed 87.3 innings last year at High A and 37 at Double A.  He was unhittable and prevented home runs well in both stints.  The move to Double A saw his strikeout rate dip below a batter per inning and his walk rate rise to one free pass every other inning.

Projections:

System ERA WHIP K9 BB9 HR9 H9
PECOTA 4.70 1.53 6.61 5.34 0.63 8.44
ZiPS 4.54 1.55 4.86 4.86 0.81 9.08
CHONE 4.82 1.58 6.64 5.46 1.18 8.79

Survey says: not a good mixed league pick due to poor control.  Cahill will probably still be tough to hit and keep the ball in the park with lots of grounders.  But even his 90th percentile PECOTA calls for 4.44 BB/9.  A reason for optimism: Cahill has walked just 3 in 16 innings this spring (1.69 BB/9).  Also his top comp at BP, Yovani Gallardo, reduced his walk rate upon arriving in the Majors.

Scouting-wise, here's how Cahill ranked on top prospects lists: Baseball America - 11th, Kevin Goldstein - 23rd, Keith Law - 24th. 

Law says Cahill's two-seam fastball is "toxic" with "ridiculous sink."  BA says the pitch has "outstanding heavy sink and late life."  Reviews on his spike curveball range (but all three sources like it), with Goldstein calling it plus-plus.  The consensus is that Cahill profiles as a #1 or #2 and is very close to big league ready.

It's easy for me to just keep recommending these top prospects.  So I'll continue to do so!  Cahill will probably break camp with the team, so what's the harm in drafting him?  If the control is a problem then wait til next year.  If not, you have a Rookie of the Year candidate.  And he could always fluke into a decent WHIP, posting an abnormally low H/9 since no one in the AL has seen him yet.



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