Strahan Starting Season Strong

Dayton has gotten off to a nice start at 5-3 and two of those wins have been credited to Wyatt Strahan. He’s in his second professional season and one bad pitch away from sitting on a zero ERA after two appearances for the Dragons.

Dayton improved its record to 5-3 with a 5-2 win over visiting Bowling Green Thursday. The Dragons got on the board early when Ronald Bueno led off the bottom of the first with a walk and scored on a double by Aristides Aquino. They fell behind briefly in the sixth, but regained the lead in the bottom of the inning after a two-run double by Brian O’Grady. That was all they needed, but they still added on in the eighth inning when Avain Rachal singled home their final two runs. Gavin LaValley was the only Dragon to get two hits while Aquino and O’Grady reached twice from a hit and walk each.

On the mound Wyatt Strahan improved to 2-0 by limiting the Hot Rods to two runs on five hits/one walk over six innings while striking out three. He did give up a home run which plated the only two runs that he’s allowed after two starts this season. The bullpen came to play as Jeremy Kivel, Brian Hunter, and Alejandro Chacin combined for one perfect inning each to close down the game with Chacin getting the save.

Thus far his experience at Dayton has been a pleasant experience for Strahan who is sitting on a 1.54 ERA after two starts. This is his first full season after debuting professionally at Billings last season and keeping an ERA under three across 42 innings in the hitter-friendly Pioneer League. He only has five strikeouts thus far in 2015 while pitching over 11 innings, but there’s good reason to expect that to improve because he fanned almost one per inning last season.

Strahan came into the Cincinnati organization out of USC when he was selected in the third round of last year’s draft. He throws right-handed and brings a 6’3”/190# frame to the mound that he uses to dial up mid-90’s heat, an impressive curve, and a decent changeup. He gets good sink on his pitches, thus the homer given up today the first one that he’s allowed since entering the minor leagues. The biggest concern on him is the same one that is hung on most young power pitchers, need to improve control. However he’s already made progress during his final collegiate season and his walk was rate was slightly more than two and a half per nine innings last season.

Some feel that his command will improve as he develops a more consistent delivery. He’s now 22 years old, so there’s time to accomplish that during his development. In the meantime he’s projected as a power pitcher with potential to be an innings-eater at the MLB level. He has the build and velocity to cause excitement and if his start is any indication he could be looking at a promotion to Dayton in the second half of the season. Strahan has the stuff to crash the party on some top Cincinnati prospect lists next season.

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