Photo by Kimberly Contreras

Oakland A's 2017 top-50 prospect scouting report: Trey Cochran-Gill, RHP

Our Oakland A's 2017 top-50 prospects list is out. Now find out more about the players on that list. In this piece, a close look at top-50 prospect Trey Cochran-Gill. Cochran-Gill's first season with the A's was impressive. Will he make a push to Triple-A and beyond in 2017?

Name: Trey Cochran-Gill
Position: RHP
Height/Weight: 5’10’’, 190
Bats/Throws: R/R
Age: 23
How Acquired: Acquired from the Seattle Mariners on Dec. 8, 2015

Trey Cochran-Gill’s first season in the Oakland A’s organization got off to a slow start thanks to a dead-arm period, but once his velocity returned, the right-handed reliever showed the ability the A’s expected from him when they acquired him in a deal with the Seattle Mariners in December 2015. After a successful stint in the Arizona Fall League, Cochran-Gill looks poised to make a move to Triple-A and perhaps interject his name into big league conversations in the next year. Cochran-Gill had a whirlwind first-year-and-a-half as a professional baseball player. A 17th-round pick pick out of Auburn by the Seattle Mariners in 2014, Cochran-Gill allowed just a run in 26.1 short-season innings during his pro debut. Then in 2015, he pitched at three levels (High-A, Double-A and Triple-A) for the M’s. He struggled with his command while in Double-A, but still finished his first full season with a respectable 4.18 ERA in 75.1 innings. Cochran-Gill’s journey didn’t end with the completion of the regular season, as he was traded to the A’s in exchange for reliever Evan Scribner on December 8.

Cochran-Gill’s 2016 season was much more stable. He spent the entire season with the Midland RockHounds, and then spent the fall pitching for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League. Cochran-Gill got off to a solid start for the RockHounds but he struggled badly in May, posting a 6.87 ERA and walking 10 in 18.1 innings. During that month, his velocity was down as he battled a dead-arm period. He continued to pitch through those struggles and eventually his velocity returned and his performance improved significantly. Over the final four months of the season, Cochran-Gill allowed just seven runs in 43 innings (1.47 ERA) and he walked only 12 during that stretch (two were intentional).

Trey Cochran-Gill's Stats

Midland 73.1 3.07 71 25 58 1.94
Mesa 14.2 1.84 14 2 14 2.22
Career 185 2.97 163 69 153 2.29

The success didn’t stop at the close of the regular season. He had a 2.70 ERA in 6.2 post-season innings and then pitched well in the Arizona Fall League. He allowed two runs in his second outing and only one more run the rest of the AFL season. In 14.2 innings, Cochran-Gill had a 1.84 ERA and a 14:2 K:BB.

Oakland A’s Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman was impressed with how Cochran-Gill recovered from that dead-arm period and said that his stuff down-the-stretch “excited” the A’s player development staff.

Trey Cochran-Gill Scouting Video

Cochran-Gill is on the small side for a right-handed pitcher (5’10’’), but he uses a three-quarters delivery to hide the ball well, similar to former A’s closer Huston Street. His fastball sat mostly between 91-93 MPH this season, touching 95 at times. He also threw a slider with a sharp, downward break that sat between 84-87 MPH. Cochran-Gill gets lots of downward movement on his pitches. His career GO/AO is 2.29 and his groundball rate was better than 60% this season. The movement on Cochran-Gill’s pitches can sometimes take them too often out of the strike-zone, but he did a better job of commanding his pitches in 2016, cutting his walk-rate from 4.4 per nine innings in 2015 to 3.1 in 2016. He also upped his strike-out rate from 6.1 per nine to 7.1.

Although Cochran-Gill’s strike-out numbers have improved over the past year, he is still more of a pitch-to-contact reliever than a strike-out pitcher. He had a 75% left-on-base rate this season with Midland. He is particularly effective against right-handed batters, although he improved versus lefties as the season went on. With his ability to induce groundballs, Cochran-Gill is the kind of reliever that managers love to call-on with runners on-base. His command still has room for improvement, but he made significant strides in 2016.

Like many relievers in the upper-levels of the A’s system, Cochran-Gill will be competing for one of only a few open spots in Triple-A next spring. He has earned a shot in Triple-A, but whether that comes on Opening Day remains to be seen. Cochran-Gill likely doesn’t have the swing-and-miss stuff to be a closer in the big leagues, but he profiles as a solid set-up man and groundball specialist.

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