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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Scouting Report Dan Haren

The 30-year old Haren (turns 30 in September), was drafted in the 2nd round out of Pepperdine in 2001, made his debut with the Cardinals in 2003, and was traded to the A's in 2004 for Mark Mulder. The Three-time all-star (2007-2009), was then traded to Arizona for Brett Anderson, Carlos Gonzalez, and top-prospect Chris Carter among others. I think that Billy Beane wound up winning that trade, as the Diamondbacks haven't made the post-season since acquiring Haren. Last July I had said that Haren was available for the right price, but apparently the Diamondbacks didn't realize what they could've gotten; instead they wound up with a back-end of the rotation starter (Joe Saunders), minor leaguers (P Corbin, R Rodridguez, and T Skaggs). Haren is extremely durable (hasn't missed a start in 4+ years), and has made 33+ starts and 216+ innings with an ERA under 4 in 5 of the 6 years.  In his career, he's 1-0 in six games (five starts), with a 3.89 ERA, and 1.03 WHIP. Last year he faced the Mets and got a no-decision (6 innings, 3 runs on 6 hits, 2 walks, 8 k's; he did let up 2 home runs to Pagan and Barajas).

Haren knows how to pitch and isn't afraid to throw any pitch in any count. He hasn't look at video or scouting report of opposing hitters for years, and wants the hitters to have to adjust to him. He has a deliberate delivery and throws from a high 3/4s arm slot with a riding 88-91 mph fastball, a sharp cutter (85 mph, 43% of his pitches), a curve (78 mph) and a late-diving split (85 mph). He uses his split as his strike out pitch in 0-2 and 1-2 counts. His best pitch this year has been by far his cutter, with his split and cutter the best pitches over his career. This year he's getting an outstanding 35% of swings at balls out of the strike zone, and 10% swing and miss rate. Throws 1st pitch strike 64% of the time, so be ready to swing. He's striking out close to 8 K/9, and walks < 1.5 W/9, which is outstanding.

This year Haren is 6-4 with a 2.54 ERA and 0.93 WHIP, which speak for itself.

He's a front-line starter, who is owed $12.75 million in 2011-2012, with a $15.5 million option ($3.5 million buyout) in 2013.

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