James Kaprielian
26-Year-Old PitcherRP
Oakland Athletics AAA
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Already 25 years old and set to turn 26 in March, Kaprielian had pitched just 29.1 professional innings prior to 2019 due to a variety of elbow and shoulder injuries. He made up for lost time, logging a 3.18 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 75:16 K:BB in 68 innings across stops at High-A, Double-A and Triple-A. He was even better as the rust came off, posting a 1.26 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 29:5 K:BB in 28.2 innings over his last seven starts, including a four-inning outing where he gave up one run and struck out six in his Triple-A debut Sept. 1. Kaprielian, who throws four quality pitches, reportedly touched 96 mph and was sitting at 94 mph with his fastball late in the year, so it seems like his stuff is close to where it was at the peak of his prospect hype (consensus top-100 prospect prior to 2017). He is on the 40-man roster and should figure prominently into the big-league rotation plans for 2020. Read Past Outlooks
Optioned to minors Thursday
POakland Athletics  AAA
March 5, 2020
Kaprielian was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday, Evan Webeck of The San Jose Mercury News reports.
The 26-year-old was one of six total Athletics pitchers removed from big-league camp Thursday. Kaprielian posted an impressive 1.63 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 26:8 K:BB across 27.2 innings (five starts) with Double-A Midland during 2019.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring James Kaprielian
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Concerns over Kaprielian's high-effort delivery have proven justified. He missed nearly the entire 2016 season with a flexor tendon strain and then underwent Tommy John surgery in April of 2017. In his limited professional action (29.1 innings), the right-hander has shown an enticing combination of strikeout ability (11.0 K/9) and control (2.1 BB/9) along with a heavy groundball skew (3.00 GO/AO). All four of his pitches (fastball, slider, curveball, changeup) have flashed plus potential, but there's always a chance the stuff will be diminished after reconstructive elbow surgery, and the injury concerns are going to follow him throughout his career. The A's took a chance on Kaprielian, acquiring him as part of the Sonny Gray return. Those in dynasty leagues can't be blamed for moving on.
A first-round pick in the 2015 draft, the 6-foot-4, 200-pound Kaprielian got off to a blistering start in 2016. Skipping Low-A altogether, he posted a 1.50 ERA and 22:3 K:BB in three contests for High-A Tampa. The positivity was short-lived, as he was placed on the disabled list at the end of April and never returned to the mound. Ultimately diagnosed with inflammation and a flexor tendon strain in his right elbow, the Bronx Bombers decided to be cautious with their prized young arm. Thankfully, it does not appear that he will need Tommy John surgery. Kaprielian returned to the mound and looked excellent in the Arizona Fall League. He has the potential for three pitches that grade out as plus or better, and his command has always been seen as a strength. The key will be for him to put to rest some of the questions about his durability. If he can avoid further arm injuries, he has the tools to establish himself as one of the top pitching prospects in the game.
Chosen as the Yankees' first-round pick in 2015, Kaprielian made three starts at the short-season level, working to a 2.00 ERA with 12 strikeouts in nine innings and a .229 batting average against. The righty has a four-pitch arsenal, leading with a fastball (sitting in the 89-92 mph range) and mixing in a slider, changeup, and curveball -- the latter two being his best pitches. He pitched to a career 2.04 ERA as the staff ace at UCLA, and at 22 years old entering the 2016 season, he has the potential to move up the organizational ranks relatively quickly. The majors will likely have to wait until 2017 at the very earliest, but he could progress to some of the higher levels of the minors this season.
More Fantasy News
Velocity back in mid-90s
POakland Athletics  AAA
September 6, 2019
Kaprielian, who was recently promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas, hit 96 mph with his fastball and was sitting at 94 mph in a late-August start, Melissa Lockard of The Athletic reports.
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Moves up to Double-A
POakland Athletics  AAA
July 23, 2019
Kaprielian was promoted to Double-A Midland on Tuesday, High-A Stockton broadcaster Zack Bayrouty reports.
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Gets back on mound
POakland Athletics  AAA
May 20, 2019
Kaprielian (shoulder) fired two innings for High-A Stockton against Inland Empire on Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader that was eventually suspended due to weather, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports.
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Nearing 2019 debut
POakland Athletics  AAA
May 7, 2019
Kaprielian (shoulder) threw three innings in an appearance at extended spring training Monday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
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Optioned to Triple-A
POakland Athletics  AAA
March 2, 2019
Kaprielian (shoulder) was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.
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