Trevor Oaks features a great sinker that allows him to be a very effective ground ball pitcher. At least that’s how Andrew Friedman described it. It absolutely destroys bats. There is late arm-side run with sink and guys just don’t square it up well. He works low-90s with the sinker from a three-quarters angle.
Oaks also throws a cutter in the high-80s. He will work it in to the LHHs or away from RHHs with a good degree of success. The ball darts left.
Once he gets ahead, there are at least three ways I’ve seen Oaks put hitters away. He had several K’s looking with the sinker inside to LHHs. It starts inside and comes back over that corner leaving guys frozen. He got Bubba Starling with the same sinker coming back to the plate. Oaks will use a four seamer up and the slider down and glove side. Ask Jorge Soler if the 4 seam up is effective. And ask Raul Mondesi if the backfoot slider is decent. Oaks had multiple K’s working up in several games I watched.
Oaks slider has some depth to it. I think it is more effective because it is slower than the cutter and guys read cutter which puts them out in front creating weaker contact. The slider has more depth than the cutter.
I believe he threw a couple of change ups but it isn’t something that he features often and seemed fairly straight. I will watch more video and try to find more of them. I’ve watched at least 20 innings since the trade.
Out of the stretch he is fairly crafty. Oaks showed he can throw strikes using a slide step, knee-to-knee delivery, or lifting his leg. He has a short and quick kickoff move that he favors. It doesn’t blow guys away but it does shorten leads.
The biggest asset to this big righty is the lack of walks. He does not walk guys. He doesn’t get behind guys. And when he does walk a guy you can bet the next guy up has a 70% chance of hitting something on the ground. Oaks has a starters frame and he is always ahead in the count. Because of this he can be profiled as an inning eater. Baseball America described him as a future 200 inning guy in the majors. I would slot Oaks in the same tier as Griffin. I’m not sure on a prospect ranking number, but he is near the top for us.
Photo Credits: Steve Roberts