Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Lots of pitchers

No this is not a post about my drinking exploits last Friday night, I had lots of pints, but this is a post regarding the pitchers of the Oakland A's organization.

Huston Street:

This man is a stud. Excellent article about him the SJ Mercury today (registration required), check out this quote:
``It's not about intimidating,'' the former University of Texas closer said. Hitters ``know if you go out there and come after them, that's all you need right there. You earn respect by getting the job done, not by facial hair.''
For all those lady A's fans out there, don't hold your breath to see if Huston's gonna go all "Cali" and grow out his hair like Zito or Haren. He going to stay a clean-cut Texas boy for awhile, and no, he won't sport a soul patch. Excellent quote, and his ongoing series at ESPN.com is a good read, too. I heard he was an English major at UT, it shows.

A gentleman and a scholar, this guy's a class act. I need to add "buy a Huston Street authentic jersey" to the list of personal things to do as an A's fan.

Dan Meyer:

A part of the Tim Hudson trade, many have felt that Dan Meyer was damaged goods when we went on the DL at AAA Sacramento. Well thanks to a link from Corey on his A's blog I read an interview with Dan Meyer over at Balls, Sticks & Stuff. It was a very good interview with Meyer. The following made me feel quite good:
How did your injury come about and what is your prognosis? Timetable for return? Rehab?

Meyer: I originally pulled a muscle in my shoulder during spring training but I didn't say anything but I was supposed to be fighting for a job in the rotation. That was a big mistake because I changed mechanically to compensate for pain and it only got worse. The best thing for me is that I did not severely hurt myself in my act of stupidity so hopefully things will back to normal at soon. Time table for my return is mid-June.
Good, this wasn't a pre-existing condition, although so far the Hudson trade does not look good at all, with Thomas not hitting and Cruz just sucking at his every appearance, Meyer might just redeem this. I hope for a speedy recovery. I doubt he's going to be called up before September. I need to make a roadie up to Sac to see this guy pitch at Raley Field.

The Draft:

Just look at this, the following are the A's second round picks:
# 53 Thomas Italiano, RHP, Flower Mound HS, TX
# 69 Jared Lansford, RHP, St. Francis HS, CA
Two high school pitchers? In the second round? Insert your favorite Billy Beane throwing chair at wall joke [here]. It does make sense though for Beane to draft high schoolers sooner or later because after Moneyball more and more teams began to draft college pitchers. The big thing about Moneyball is not OBP or lack of smallball, but it's valuing the undervalued. Since the market trends skewed towards college pitchers, it wasn't that surprising to see Beane draft some high school pitchers.

What came as a surprise though, was Jared Lansford. If that name sounds familiar, it's because Jared is the son of Carney Lansford. Earlier in the year, in one of the local papers, it stated that Jared Lansford signed a letter of intent with Santa Clara University. I guess he ain't going to college, Beane must have already talked to him and got some kind of commitment from him, or he wouldn't have been drafted so high.

It's cool that the future of the A's is also linked to it's glorious recent past but it was a surprise to see Lansford drafted. On the plus side, I heard he throws at 94 MPH. I honestly though he was going to pursue a Catholic education at Santa Clara. Best of luck to him, I hope the baseball genes runs strong in the Lansford family. If this pans out he'd be the second son of a 1980's era position player to become a big league pitcher, the first being Tony Armas, Jr, who the A's will face later today at RFK Stadium. Was Tony Armas, Sr. a third baseman too? Nope, he was an outfielder/DH. Thank you, baseball-reference.com.

UPDATE 1:26 PM: Now it's three high school pitchers.

UPDATE 2:05 PM: Now it's four high school pitchers.

UPDATE 2:59 PM: For Billy Beane, this is a crapload of high schoolers, especially during this point in the draft. Normally you wait to the much later rounds for Beane to draft high schoolers. Exploiting a "market ineffiency" is one thing, but this is nuts. What has Billy Beane been smoking? First 4 or 5 picks aside, is the a punt year as far as the draft picks are concerned?

UPDATE 3:43 PM: Just looked at the entire list of draftees over at EiO. I am older than all of the draftees, the oldest one is 22. Damn, I feel old at 23, what have I been doing with my life? I'm still in college!


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