Name: Daniel Gossett
Height/Weight: 6’2’’, 185
How Acquired: Selected in the second round by the A’s in 2014
The Oakland A’s focused heavily on pitching in the 2014 MLB draft, and Daniel Gossett was the first pitcher taken by the A’s in that draft class. Gossett showed why the A’s jumped at the chance to take him with a strong debut season.
Gossett was a major contributor to the Clemson pitching staff during his three seasons with the Tigers. After splitting his freshman season between the rotation and the bullpen, Gossett was weekend starter during his sophomore and junior seasons. Gossett posted a 2.56 ERA in 98.1 innings in 2013 and then followed that up with an even better season in 2014. As a junior, Gossett had a 1.93 ERA and a 107:30 K:BB in 107.1 innings. He allowed just 78 hits and four homeruns.
Going into the draft, Scout.com ranked Gossett as the 53rd-best draft prospect. The A’s took him with the 65th overall pick. The A’s signed him for $750,000 and quickly assigned him to the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters.
“Right off the bat, the first thing you notice about him is his stuff,” A’s Director of Scouting Eric Kubota said right after the draft. “When I saw him, he was 93-94 for seven innings. He flashes an above-average breaking ball. And he has a pretty good change-up. He locates well. He throws strikes and he has a very repeatable delivery. There is a lot to like about him, but first and foremost, it was the stuff you notice about him.”
The A’s kept Gossett on a short leash during his time with Vermont, as they wanted to keep him under 150 innings between pro ball and his college season. He made 12 appearances for the Lake Monsters, all of them two-inning outings. Although he only threw 24 innings, Gossett made a strong first impression. He allowed only 17 base-runners (16 hits and one walk) and six runs (2.25 ERA). Gossett’s GO/AO was 1.71 and he had a groundball rate of 50%.
At 6’2’’ and a generously listed 185 pounds, Gossett doesn’t have the typical size of a 200-innings-per-year starter. However, he has the pitch mix and has been durable throughout his collegiate career and during his pro debut. His fastball sits in the 90-93 range. He locates the pitch well down in the strike-zone and he gets a lot of movement with the pitch. Gossett also features a curveball and a slider. The A’s are likely to have him focus on just one of the two breaking balls next season. Gossett also added a change-up to his regular repertoire during his junior year at Clemson and that pitch has been effective for him.
Durability will always be the biggest question about Gossett because of his thin frame, but it hasn’t been an issue thus far. With the A’s track record of developing starting pitchers and Gossett’s pitch mix and solid delivery, he has a good chance of reaching the big leagues as a starter.
Gossett has a high baseball IQ and is very coachable. He demonstrated the ability to make adjustments when he got off to a slow start with Vermont and improved after a minor change with his mechanics. He is currently participating in the A’s spring training mini-camp. Depending on how the A’s pitching depth chart develops this spring, Gossett could jump straight to High-A. Even if he starts the season with Low-A Beloit, he will be in a good position to move up to Stockton during the second half of the season if he pitches well in the Midwest League.