Kevin was nice enough to take the time to answer a few questions for me. He was the A's 7th round selection last June and posted a 2.70 ERA in 10 innings with 11 K's for Rookie Level Arizona last year.
A's Future: A lot of A's fans are unaware of the stuff you feature as you're so new to the system, do you think you can give a scouting report on yourself?
Kevin Bunch: I'm a converted catcher. I have good movement on my two seam fastball. my velocity is 88-90. I have an above average curve ball
AF: In the draft, how close did you get selected to where you were anticipating?
KB: I had no idea where I was going to get taken. I just started pitching my senior year in high school
AF: How far up were the A's on your wish list of teams that had interest in you?
KB: I had no idea they had interest in me until the day they drafted me
AF: Can you tell us a little bit about the contract negotiation process?
KB: My agent did all of that. I have no idea what he did
AF: Have you been informed on where you're starting next season? Us A's fans are new to the concept of such a young prospect, so we don't quite know how it works yet.
KB: I was told that I will start in Kane County if all goes well in spring training
AF: The A's hadn't gone HS heavy in about half a decade, was it at all satisfying that you were part of the group that bucked the trend?
KB: Yes, I was surprised when i was drafted by the A's. I always knew they were big on college players.
AF: How clear was the difference in talent between high school and your first taste of professional baseball? KB: Yes. Every pitcher has average to above average stuff and all the hitters do too AF: You only got 10 innings in after being signed, did the A's inform you that they were going to take it easy with you at the start? KB: Yes, they said they were going to take us slow. The main reason I got ten innings was because I strained my groin during one of my outings, that put me out for a while.
AF: What are your goals for the 2006 season? KB: I would like to have a successful season in Low A and possibly get called up to High A
AF: Thanks so much for your time Kevin. I really appreciate it. KB: You're welcome. I hope everything goes well. Merry Christmas
Here is Kevin Bunch's BA pre-draft profile: Six-foot-5, 210-pound RHP Kevin Bunch raised his profile when he made the decision to switch from catching to pitching, tapping into his arm strength. His fastball has been up to 90 mph, the ball comes out of his hand easily and he has the makings of a plus curveball. Bunch still catches for his high school team, and scouts predict he will show even more velocity when he gives up catching altogether.
C - Landon Powell 1B - Tommy Everidge 2B - Gregorio Petit SS - Cliff Pennington 3B - Myron Leslie LF - Nick Blasi CF - Javier Herrera RF - Travis Buck
Bench - Eddie Kim, John McCurdy, David Castillo
SP - Mike Madsen SP - Jimmy Shull SP - Ryan Webb SP - Ben Fritz SP - Trent Peterson
RP - Scott Drucker RP - Marcus McBeth RP - Brad Sullivan RP - Derek Tharpe RP - Jason Ray RP - Dan Fyvie
Notes: Stockton seems to feature a lot more offense than Kane County with nowhere near the quality of pitching. Landon Powell and Ben Fritz will be interesting to watch returning from injuries. This will be the last chance Brad Sullivan will get.
C - Anthony Recker 1B - Haas Pratt 2B - Isaac Omura SS - Justin Sellers 3B - Jeff Baisley LF - Chad Boyd CF - Mike Massaro RF - Ramon Alvarado
SP - Jared Lansford SP - Craig Italiano SP - Vince Mazzaro SP - Scott Deal SP - Kevin Bunch
RP - Trey Shields RP - Brad Kilby RP - Brad Davis RP - Jose Corchado RP - Jeff Gray RP - Steve Bryant
Notes: The bench was a little to hard to figure out. A couple of the pitchers, like Deal and Bunch might be in the pen or even wait until Vancouver opens up. The offense looks nothing short of terrible but the pitching shouldn't be anything short of fantastic.
This one of course is bigger news with Andre Ethier on his way to LA for Antonio Perez and Milton Bradley. I'm a little shocked that Bradley would cost Ethier, but you can't ignore the upgrade that Perez holds over Scutaro as well as Bradley over Payton. Ethier had more value than he really should have after his breakthrough 2005. The fact of the matter is that he still projects as maybe a slightly above average regular but the awards he's won make him seem like a future all star. In the meantime, Bradley already is an above average regular and Perez is worlds better than Marco Scutaro.
When was the last time the A's opened the season without being dependant on a rookie? 2005: Swisher, Blanton, Street 2004: Crosby 2003: None - Mike Neu was on the opening day roster though. 2002: Carlos Pena 2001: Jose Ortiz 2000: Mark Mulder 1999: Eric Chavez
2006 looks to be just the 2nd time in the last 8 season's that will see the A's with a roster of only veterans. Daric Barton and Andre Ethier may both see time in 2006, but as of now it's unlikely that either will play a key role. 2007 is a different story as both Barton and Ethier should at the moment be expected to start game 1.
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One is Milton Bradley to the A's for either Joe Kennedy or Kirk Saarloos. The other is Barry Zito to LA for Bradley and "a couple top prospects".
You can have an outstanding team in 2006 with Zito and Bradley or you can be good in 2006 but better off in the future. But what if you could to this?
Zito to LA for Milton Bradley, Chad Billingsley (SP prospect, top 10 in all of baseball) and Russ Martin (catching prospect, around the top 50). Then you send Billingsley to Cincy for Adam Dunn and you send Martin to Arizona for Carlos Quentin/Conor Jackson. The Reds would go for it because they need pitching and Billingsley might be the best SP prospect in baseball. Arizona would consider this because they badly need a catcher and Quentin/Jackson will be hard pressed to both find a place to play in Arizona.
Thoughts on this one? Hopefully the A's make a big move tomorrow.
We all know the A's need a bat. Well, what about Bobby Abreu? The Phillies have said he availible for a #1 starting pitcher, which I think they would consider Zito. The Phillies would then be able to sign Zito long term with the money dumped on Abreu. The A's would also have to find somewhere to send Kotsay to make the finances work.
I not only think Abreu is a great option, I believe he's a realistic option. So do you guys 1) Want him and 2) Think the A's can get him?