A’s new faces: Jesse Hahn

Jesse Hahn came to the A’s in a trade with the Padres involving former Oakland catcher Derek Norris.

Nobody knows what to expect out of the 25-year-old right-hander, though what little major league history Hahn has points to a few things.

The Good

Hahn closed out his short 2014 season with a fastball in the mid-90s and a curveball that dipped into the low 70s. That’s enough to keep most hitters off balance. His changeup splits those two pitches’ velocity down the middle at around 85 miles per hour.

Hahn’s strength is pitching low and away, where he placed most of his pitches when he struck out 70 batters in 73-1/3 innings last season.

That’s not to say Hahn can’t hang batters up, his massive velocity differences also left a number of hitters with the bat on their shoulders and called strikes right down the middle.

Hahn struck out 70 batters in 2014.

The Bad

Hahn’s sample in the majors is small, too small to draw any conclusions. He came out of the bullpen the last two games of 2014, and he allowed two earned runs in 3-1/3 innings.

He allowed one run on a single from Drew Stubbs at Coors field in his last regular season appearance, which gave the game away.

Not a good way to end the year.

Hahn also walked 32 batters on the year, which would be excellent in a 200-inning season, but not the 73 innings he pitched.

Verdict

The sample for Hahn is small, though there are reasons to believe his 2015 season will have high peaks and low valleys.

Manager Bob Melvin has him slated for the No. 2 starter role to open the year, though that could change.

Hahn figures to do well at home, especially at night with the win blowing in, though road games could come with some long innings. He’ll need to improve his command and find a groove on the inner half of the plate.

If he does that, Hahn should be the young stud Oakland got when the team traded for Jeff Samardzija last season.

If not, he’ll be predictable enough to need more time in the minors.

Hahn has a lot to prove, though he figures to look good early on in the season. Beyond that, only time will tell the whole story.


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