There were a lot of big names in today’s reported trade between the Tigers and Marlins, very big names. There was also a sleeper who may find himself in the Florida starting rotation in the not too distant future: Dallas Trahern.
Trahern is a 22-year-old right-hander who spent most of the 2007 season with the Tigers’ Double-A affiliate in Erie, and was rated by Kevin Goldstein as the number eleven prospect in the Detroit system. A native of Oklahoma–no, he’s not a Texan; his first name, Dallas, is a family name–-Trahern lives and dies with a sinking fastball. Drafted out of high school in 2004, Trahern went 13-6, 3.83 this season in 169 innings.
Trahern talked about his game this past season when Erie played in Portland, Maine.
On the scouting report he’d give on himself: “I’m a sinkerball pitcher, for sure. That’s basically the only thing I can say for myself. When I’m pitching well, I have a lot of quick innings, which is what I’d like to do more consistently. I’m usually throwing from 80 to 85 percent sinking fastballs.”
On how he’d describe his sinker: “I get late drop. Within the last six feet it drops and gets underneath bats. When I throw it, I tuck my thumb underneath the ball more than a lot of guys. I grip it pretty tight and try to get out through it and finish with my fingers.”
On his velocity: “I’m not a max out guy when I throw. I’m 100 percent mentally, but physically I’m closer to 90 percent. I’ve topped out at 94 mph, but I usually sit around 90. I get the same sink at 87 that I do at 93, so I try not to overthrow.”
On criticism that he doesn’t get enough strikeouts: “I don’t think that’s a problem. In my opinion, more strikeouts means more pitches, and I’ve done my job if I got quick outs. People have said I need to get more (strikeouts), but I think I’m fine with what I have. A lot of times a strikeout is up to the batter. I don’t try to miss bats.”
On not being selected until the 34th round in 2004: “I was expecting to go high, but I didn’t have a round or money in mind. What I had told scouts is that if they offered a fair amount, I’d sign. Maybe I scared guys off with that, because they thought I expected a lot. Afterwards I had teams coming up to me, saying that they were surprised that I signed, and that they would have taken me in the second round.”