So as we all know, we drafted a kid named Jason Ray out of Azusa Pacific in the eighth round yesterday. Their coach used to be the coach at Pomona, where I went to school and, since I worked for him, doing play-by-play for the team, we became friends. Here's what he had to say about Ray:
"You guys got a good one in Ray...I really think he has big league potential. I think they will put him in a closers role. He is legitimately 94-96 on the gun. He's got a good hard curve and a decent change that continued to improve throughout the season.
"He is definitely self motivated and a hard worker. We are going to be sad to see him go since he is a junior, but are very excited for him!"
Billy Beane has really made a strong effort to invest in young guys with mid-90s fastballs. K/BB ratios are the best single predictor of future success, so I wonder if he's come to believe that the best way to develop those ratios is by getting young guys with high k rates and teaching them how to throw strikes. Perhaps he likes them more as trading chips than future A's. Maybe he's decided that the place where we really can't afford to pay anything resembling market rate is the bullpen and so he'd better grow his own power arms.
[editor's note, by devo] Rob Ray is Jason's brother, my mistake - the information is correct, though.