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Dan Straily #75 – 2013 Top 100

Written By on 11th March, 2013

#75 Dan Straily (Starting Pitcher[R])

Oakland Athletics

23 7 7 39.1 7.32 3.66 30.0 % 3.89 6.48 -0.5

Date of Birth: December 1st, 1988(age 24)
Origin: 24th Round Pick(#723 overall) in 2009 out of Marshall University(WV)
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 215
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Mike Schwartze: I had the chance to see Straily in a headline pitching matchup this last summer between he and Mariners’ prospect, Danny Hulzen. Straily stole the show and showed the stuff to back up his impressive numbers. Straily really came out of nowhere last year as he went on to lead the minor leagues in strikeouts with 175 before his promotion to the Majors in August. I did not know much about him prior to his start but his unpredicted surge as a prospect is no fluke

Straily has a solid, durable build with broad shoulders and strong legs. His delivery is smooth and effortless and this really helps him command his pitches well. Straily has a solid four pitch mix that all project to at least be average pitches. His fastball sat in the low to mid 90s and the ball really seemed to jump out of his hand. His change is his best secondary offering and it has above average potential. It sat in the mid 80s with good drop and fade. His slider and curveball are both promising and could be average pitches to slightly more.

Projection-wise, Straily doesn’t have a lot of devlopment left. He’s more or less a finished product at this stage, with just some polishing and refinement left to do that probably won’t make a huge impact. I think he breaks camp in Oakland’s rotation and he has the ceiling of a solid number 3 starter with the floor of a back of the rotation arm.

Conor Dowley: Straily represents an interesting growing trend among pitchers: a guy with a good-but-not-great fastball, but a very good changeup. It’s a tough pitch to handle, as his arm speed makes it look like his fastball coming out of his hand, but oh wait why is thing tumbling at me and fading away from me. It draws a lot of weak swings, and is the chief reason for Straily’s strikeout success last season.

My concern, however, lies in the quality of that mid-90′s fastball and his other secondaries. The velocity on Straily’s fastball is nice, and it does have some good down-plane movement at times, but it has almost no horizontal movement. In the minors, his velocity let him get away with that, but he’ll have a harder time of getting away with that in the majors. The curve and slider are both workable pitches, but they’re both below-average right now, with only an outside chance of getting much better at this stage. Without a quality third pitch and his fastball being as it is, I don’t see Straily being much more than a back-of-the-rotation innings eater, though he should be quite good in that role.

Evan Rentschler: I was on Straily pretty early last year, and eventually did a piece on him and Tony Cingrani where I slightly preferred Straily. Maybe it’s because I finished my Michael Wacha comment just prior to this writing, but I think we may be a touch high on Straily, and I certainly wouldn’t take Straily over Wacha, even by a generally meaningless five spots on this list. Considering the reports of improvement in Cingrani’s slider, I might even reassess my earlier opinion that Straily had the edge, though I remain more confident in his future as a starter.

There’s no doubt that Straily had a phenomenal minor league season, and if he can keep the ball in the year he’s a valuable commodity as an innings eating #4 starter. David’s eye-opening breakdown of Straily’s major league debut, which kindly gives the pitcher the benefit of the doubt, actually alarms me a bit. Straily wouldn’t be the first four-pitch command guy to under-deliver on the promise of minor league performance. As said, I have no doubt that he’s a major league starter, and as long as expectations are realistic he should be a solid contributor, whether for the A’s or for whichever team they (inevitably?) deal him to.

Fantasy Outlook by David Wiers:
With Straily we have another very talented pitcher who was roughed up a bit in his brief sample of facing major league hitters. His 3.89 ERA was the concealer for his horrible 6.48 FIP and slightly-less-but-still-ugly 5.30 xFIP. Home runs were the true culprit, as in not even 40 innings, Straily served 11 dingers. That he only gave up a total of 19 total  runs is nothing short of a miracle.

In addition to giving up too many long balls, Straily also struggled with his command. A 3.66 BB/9 is the highest Straily has posted by a full walk per game since 2010 in Single-A. He labored to get ahead of hitters and got ahead of hitters just 51% of the time. Despite these struggles, Straily still projects to be a very useful starter in 2013 and beyond, largely thanks to regression in the HR/FB department and his ability to make batters whiff. His swinging strike rate was only a tick above average for starters, and barely above average for all pitchers.

Much like Odorizzi, Straily gets a huge boost from his home park, and two of four his AL West foes. Oakland, Seattle, and Los Angeles were all very pitcher friendly when it comes to the fly ball. As many fly balls that Straily gives up (he had just a 30% ground ball rate in 40 innings last season), then the park where he pitches becomes a very large part of his value.

He is another late round value pick in 2013, but in the coming years Straily should really explode onto fantasy radars everywhere. I’ll be grabbing Straily and starting him at home every time, and on the road occasionally. Use him like any other low-to-mid tier starter and only move him to the active roster when the advantage is his.

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