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What to expect from Oakland Athletics rookie Ryan Dull

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

In the early part of the 2016 season the Oakland Athletics have relied heavily on rookie relief pitcher Ryan Dull. He's thrown four shutout relief innings already with no hits or walks allowed, fanning five. In spring training he gave up five runs in 11 innings (4.09 ERA) but with a 15/2 K/BB. Who is this guy?

From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:

Ryan Dull, RHP, Oakland Athletics
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 5-11 WT: 175 DOB: October 2, 1989

2014: Grade C; 2015: Grade C

A 32nd round pick in 2012 from UNC-Asheville, Dull is a generic middle reliever with a good track record in the minors. He has a low-90s fastball, a change-up, and a slider. Although not usually ranked highly on prospect lists (in part due to his status as a short right-hander), his command helps his stuff play up and he’s been effective at every level. He had some gopheritis during his big league trial but in general performed well enough to get more chances. It seems unlikely (though not impossible) that he’ll pick up a bunch of saves, but he should provide solid filler innings. Grade C.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY:

Dull posted a 4.24 ERA in 17 big league innings last year, with a 16/6 K/BB and four homers allowed (thus the comment about gopheritis). Homers haven't been an issue yet this year and in general his command seems to have taken a step forward. Stuff-wise not much has changed: his fastball is in the 88-92 range and both his slider and change-up are in the low/mid-80s.The slider is his best pitch, rated as plus by many observers.

This is a classic middle relief profile and he should succeed in that role as long as he continues to command his pitches. He was a great find as a 32nd round pick.