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Monday, July 5, 2010

Scouting Report, RHP Aaron Harang

The 6'7" righty was drafted by the Rangers in 1999 out of San Diego State University in the 6th round, and made his debut in 2002 for the A's and made 21 starts for them before being traded to the Reds for Jose Guillen. He's been a solid pitcher for the Reds since then (finished 4th in Cy Young voting in 2007), earning the title of a rubber-arm (threw 675 innings 2005-2007), and that's scary when your manager is Dusty Baker. Harang's 2008 season was the beginning of his down-fall, and most point to the four-inning relief outing on May 25th (63 pitches) he made on two days rest and then in his eight starts after that his ERA was over 7. He later went on the DL with forearm stiffness. Last year his season ended in August after undergoing an appendectomy.  He's made six starts against the Mets in his career, and is 2-3 with a 6.11 ERA and 1.75 WHIP. Two of those losses came last year, when he threw only eight innings in two starts and allowed 19 base runners (six earned runs).

Harang has a big body (6'7" 260 pounds), and he throws straight over the top. He has good command of four pitches, and mainly features an 88-92 mph fastball (two and four seam), and an 82 mph slider. Those two pitches account for 84% of his pitches. He also will show a curveball (76 mph) and change-up (82 mph). His only plus pitch this year is his slider.

So far this year, Harang is 6-7 in 17 starts (100 1/3 innings), with a 5.02 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. He has been unlucky thus far with a high BAPIP (.331) and his FIP is 4.54. He's a fly-ball pitcher and that isn't a good thing when he plays half his games at Great American (Bandbox) Park.  He's let up 15 home runs so far this year, and has given up 20+ home runs every year since 2004. His strike outs are down this year (6.7 K/9 vs 7.5 career), but his walks are right in line with his career numbers (2.48 W/9). He's getting more swings at pitches out of the strike zone, and he's only throwing 44% of his pitches for strikes (47% league average). He throws first pitch fastball 65% of the time, and leans on his slider with two strikes. He's gone 6+ innings in 12 of his 17 starts this year. His last start versus the Phillies, he went 6 1/3 innings, allowed three runs on eight hits.

He's a middle/back of a rotation pitcher who is making 12 million dollars this year, and is always brought up by Mike Francesa as a pitcher the Mets should get every off-season.

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