The Chicago White Sox traded veteran slugger Adam Dunn to the Oakland Athletics this past weekend. In exchange, Chicago receives pitching prospect Nolan Sanburn. Here's a report on the newest arm in the White Sox farm system.
Nolan Sanburn, RHP: Oakland drafted Sanburn in the second round in 2012, from the University of Arkansas. Mainly a reliever in college, he showed the potential for four good pitches and many scouts felt he could be a starter. There was talk from Oakland that he would move to that role, but durability problems have kept him in the bullpen. He pitched just 30 innings last year. In 2014 he's boosted that to 71 innings for High-A Stockton in the California League, with a 3.28 ERA and a 73/25 K/BB.
Sanburn is listed at 6-0, 175, born July 21, 1991. A former shortstop, he's a fine athlete with a quick arm, up to 96 MPH on his best days and consistently at 93-94. He also has a very good curveball, a workable slider, and a better change-up than most relievers. His arsenal is diverse and he usually throws strikes, but a history of shoulder soreness has prevented use as a starter thus far in professional ball.
ANALYSIS: Sanburn is a solid pitching prospect. Even if he can't start and winds up in the pen, he represents a quality return to Chicago for a veteran like Dunn.