Given the number of recent trades, it is easy to forget about some of the talented arms originally drafted by the Oakland Athletics. Right-hander Trevor Cahill is one of the top arms in the system. He was originally selected out of a California high school in the second round (66th overall) of the 2006 draft.
Cahill had a nice start to his pro career in 2006, although he made just four appearances. He allowed two hits in nine innings and struck out 11 batters. The next season, in the Midwest League, Cahill allowed 85 hits (7.26 H/9) and 40 walks (3.42 BB/9) in 105.1 innings. He also struck out 117 batters (10.00 K/9).
Cahill began 2008 in High-A ball and continued to pitch well. He allowed 52 hits (5.36 H/9) and 31 walks (3.19 BB/9) in 87.1 innings. The 20-year-old also struck out 103 batters (10.61 K/9). He was then promoted to Double-A where he currently has allowed 16 hits and 11 walks in 27 innings pitched. Cahill has also struck out 23 batters. He has done an excellent job keeping the ball on the ground with a groundball-out-to-air-out ratio of 4.09, up from 1.73 in 2007.
With his lethal combination of movement, heavy low-90s fastball and swing-and-miss curveball, Cahill is a pitcher to watch in 2009… if not sooner.
Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.