Jharel Cotton

Position: RHP
Born: 1/19/1992
Height: 5'11
Weight: 195
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Via trade from the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 1, 2016, with RHP Grant Holmes and RHP Frankie Montas for OF Josh Reddick and RHP Rich Hill. Originally drafted by the Dodgers in the 20th round of the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft (East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.).

Most Recent Stats at Time of Debut
CURRENT SEASON STATS: 11-6 with a 4.31 ERA in 28 games, 22 of them starts, between Oklahoma City (Triple-A/Dodgers) and Nashville (Triple-A/Athletics), striking out 155 while walking 39 in 135.2 IP, allowing 108 hits.

Info & MLB Debut Date
Recalled from Nashville September 7.
MLB Debut Date: 9/7/2016

Debut Details
September 7, in a 4-1 win against the Los Angeles Angels. The starting pitcher, he got the win, tossing 6.1 innings of two-hit ball, allowing one run, walking two and striking out three. Of 102 pitches thrown, 70 were for strikes. Cotton retired the first nine batters he faced before Andrelton Simmons led off the fourth inning with a single to left, but after stealing second, he was stranded as Cotton retired the next three batters to end the threat, highlighted by his second strikeout, getting Jefry Marte looking to end the inning. He allowed one baserunner in the fifth, walking Nick Buss with two outs, before getting Shane Robinson to pop out to second base to end that threat. In the sixth, Rafael Ortega was able to draw a leadoff walk before Cotton got Simmons to ground into a double play and then Kaleb Cowart to ground out to second. The lone run of the game came when C.J. Cron led off the seventh with a solo homer to center field. After Marte popped out to third base foul territory, the Athletics brought in Ryan Dull to relieve Cotton, not due to any lack of effectiveness but because he’d passed 100 pitches on the night.

Player Notes
Cotton didn’t have much time to get nervous waiting around for his big league debut, as he was called up the same day and popped onto the mound to start that night against division rival Los Angeles. According to post-game reports, the nerves showed up in his pre-game bullpen session and he clearly got them out of his system, as he became the first Athletics pitcher to go six or more innings with two or fewer hits in his MLB debut since 1940. Cotton, who was born in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, moved to the U.S. for his senior year of high school and played his final year in Newport News, Virginia, before heading Miami-Dade College, from where he was drafted by the New York Mets in the 28th round of 2011. Instead of signing, he transferred to East Carolina University for one more year of college and baseball before signing with the Dodgers in 2012. Following the trade from the Dodgers, he came one out shy of throwing a perfect game in his second out for Nashville. One of the top pitching prospects in the game coming into 2016, he boasts four pitches, highlighted by a lively mid-90s fastball and a double-plus changeup. Not too put too much pressure on the kid, but it’s hard to resist, between his slight build and deadly stuff, at least a partial comp to a young Pedro Martinez. In 2015, he combined between four stops – Great Lakes (Class A), Rancho Cucamonga (High A), Tulsa (Double-A) and Oklahoma City – to go 6-2 with a 2.45 ERA in 21 games, striking out 114 while walking 31 and allowing 76 hits in 95.2 IP. In his minor league career, he’d fanned 499 batters in 447 innings.

2080 Notes
You can read our scouting report on Cotton here.