The Oakland A’s already have two of their top three prospects contributing to their MLB roster, and now they’ll make it three out of four.
The A’s called up pitcher Daulton Jefferies from alternate training camp on Saturday, the team announced. The right-hander will start the first game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, acting as the bonus 29th man on the roster just for the day to help out with the twin-bill.
The 25-year-old Jefferies was drafted by Oakland out of UC Berkeley in 2016, with the No. 37 overall pick. He had Tommy John surgery in 2017 and effectively missed two entire seasons while recovering, but he returned to action last summer and posted sparkling numbers in both High-A and Double-A. All of that earned him the No. 4 spot on our Community Prospect List last winter, his first time ever reaching the Top 10.
Most impressive among those numbers is the mammoth K/BB rate, which is absurdly in double-digits. That’s no fluke, as MLB Pipeline gives his control a high 60-grade, and Baseball America calls it the best control in the A’s farm system while giving it a 70-grade and calling it “borderline elite.” The arsenal that he controls and commands so well includes a quality low-90s fastball, a plus changeup that earns a strong 60-grade from Pipeline, and a breaking ball that’s still developing.
While there hasn’t been a minor league season for Jefferies to participate in this summer, he’s nevertheless drawn rave reviews for his work at alternate camp in San Jose. Catcher Jonah Heim, who was also called up recently and will partner with Jefferies behind the plate on Saturday, said last month that the righty has “electric stuff,” per insider Martin Gallegos.
Jefferies is just the latest impact-level prospect to arrive in Oakland this summer. The top of our Community Prospect List is Jesús Luzardo, who is now firmly entrenched in the starting rotation, and No. 3 Sean Murphy is the primary starting catcher and is heating up with the bat. Heim is No. 10 on our CPL, and No. 6 James Kaprielian made his MLB debut last month. No. 2 A.J. Puk would also be there, but a shoulder injury has held him back and he’s now undergoing surgery to fix it.
As an extra bonus, Jefferies is a local guy. He was born in Merced, attended high school in nearby Atwater, and then went to college at Berkeley. That makes him the third Cal product on the A’s roster, joining Marcus Semien and Mark Canha, and manager Bob Melvin makes it four Golden Bears in the dugout.
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