Oakland A’s cut bait on former top prospect

James Kaprielian was a key part of the return when the Oakland A’s traded Sonny Gray to the Yankees. A former first round draft pick and top prospect, Kaprielian was expected to be a solid piece of the rotation for years to come.

Unfortunately, injuries derailed his career. That continued to be the case in 2023 as he had shoulder surgery in the offseason. He struggled once he returned, only to land on the Injured List again in June, undergoing another shoulder procedure in August. His ineffectiveness and injury issues have now led to his being outrighted off the A’s 40 man roster.

James Kaprielian never panned out for Oakland A’s

Kaprielian was solid in 2021 and 2022, posting a combined 4.16 ERA and a 1.287 WHiP over his 253.1 innings, striking out 221 batters with 100 walks. He was a solid back of the rotation arm on a contending team in that first year, a perfect fifth starter. However, he showed he was miscast as a top of the rotation arm after the A’s fire sale increased his stature.

The 2023 season was a disaster. Kaprielian was unable to get on track after his offseason surgery, possibly due to continued shoulder woes. He posted a 6.34 ERA and a 1.590 WHiP over his 61 innings, striking out 57 batters with 31 walks. Opponents posted an inflated .274/.367/.452 batting line in their 280 plate appearances. He essentially turned every player into Julio Rodriguez based on OPS, something that is not ideal for any pitcher.

It is possible another team gives Kaprielian a chance although he was unclaimed on waivers. He will turn 30 years old before the start of the 2024 season and is still in his theoretical prime. He has displayed the potential to be a solid piece when healthy. And he has another three years of team control. A rebuilding team could give him a look going forward.

The Oakland A’s outrighted James Kaprielian from their 40 man roster. He just never panned out as they had hoped.

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