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8/13/1983 (33 y, 7 m, 14 d)
2004 June Amateur Draft - Round: 24, Pick: 26, Overall: 727, Team: Oakland Athletics
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Braden (shoulder) is retiring from Major League Baseball, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. (1/14/2014)
Let's Invent a New Pitch
Eno Sarris (FanGraphs)
Tweet: Dallas Braden Understands Supply, Demand
Carson Cistulli (NotGraphs)
AL SP Update: Tyson Ross' Prospects
Mike Podhorzer (RotoGraphs)
2011 Player Rankings: AL Starting Pitchers
Mike Podhorzer (RotoGraphs)
Waiver Wire: June 26th
David Golebiewski (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
A soft-tossing southpaw who never got much love from scouts, Braden used a trio of offspeed pitches to supplement a batting practice fastball in 2009. After tossing his 88 mph "heater" nearly 65% of the time in 2008, Braden mixed in more sliders, cutters and change-ups this time around. That fastball was still battered, compiling a run value well below the Major League average. But the slider, cutter and change were excellent, with each pitch rating more one run above average per 100 pitches. Braden punched out a couple more batters and issued slightly fewer walks, upping his K/BB ratio from 1.64 in 2008 to 1.93 in 2009. The Texas Tech product pounded the strike zone, locating 54% of his pitches within the zone and tossing a first-pitch strike 62% of the time. Unfortunately, Braden's season was cut short by a nerve injury in his left foot.
The Year Ahead:
Assuming the foot ailment that ended his season in August is healed, Braden is a solid fantasy option. Just don't mistake him for an ace. Dallas is an extreme fly-ball pitcher, posting a ground-ball rate slightly more than 36% in 2009. Yet, he surrendered just 0.59 home runs per nine innings, with a minuscule 4.7 home run/fly ball rate. On average, the HR/FB percentage for pitchers hovers around 11 to 12%. Pitching in the homer-suppressing Oakland Coliseum can't hurt, but that HR/FB rate will almost assuredly rise in 2010. If batters take him deep more often, Braden will be hard-pressed to post another sub-4.00 ERA next year. Those investing a draft pick in Braden should expect a league-average starter posting an ERA in the mid-4.00s. (David Golebiewski)
In a couple ways, Dallas Braden is similar to Gio Gonzalez. Braden’s media spat with Alex Rodriguez and his subsequent perfect game made his name memorable. That will have the tendency to push his draft stock higher than his actual fantasy or baseball value is worth. On the field, however, Braden offers very few strikeouts and, though he managed a 3.50 ERA in 2010, his xFIP was a whopping 4.41, suggesting that his ERA might rise past the level where it was worth paying for in 2011. He can be of use if you only need to fill innings. Beyond that he is merely a spot starter to pick up off waivers when facing the right kind of offense, one which has little power. (Matthew Carruth)
The Quick Opinion:
Dallas Braden is very valuable to you if your league counts perfect games and you have access to a time machine. Otherwise, not so much.
Braden was limited to just three starts in 2011 due to season-ending shoulder surgery just three weeks into the season. He lost a big chance to prove his 2010 season was real, when he posted a 3.50 ERA on the back of excellent control, walking just 2.01 batters per nine innings. It will be tough to justify anything more than a flyer on Braden in fantasy for 2012, though. Between his injury history, the rebuilding state of the Athletics, and his inability to miss bats (7.8% swinging strikes), his fantasy value is limited. (Jack Moore)
The Quick Opinion:
Braden remains an intriguing piece of Oakland's young rotation, but between a history of injuries and an inability to miss bats, his fantasy value isn't as high as his real value.
Dallas Braden hasn't started a major league game in almost two years and celebrated the holidays without a job, but that doesn't mean he won't be useful in 2013. Once considered a promising young pitcher, Braden backed up a solid 2009 by having an even better full season in 2010, posting a 3.50 ERA (3.80 FIP) highlighted by excellent control and a particularly excellent change-up. But his 2011 and 2012 were derailed by ongoing shoulder issues and he's looking for a team to take a chance on him. When he was at his best, Braden, 29, was still never much for missing bats with just a 14.7% strikeout rate and a career 7.8% swinging strike rate. His game is control and keeping the batter guessing with his four-pitch repertoire. He's demonstrated usefulness in the past, but it's hard to know what lingers in that stitched up left shoulder and whether he'll regain his form. Depending on where he lands, he might be worth a flyer to see if he can stick in a rotation.
The Quick Opinion:
Dallas Braden will need to find a major league team willing to gamble on his surgically repaired shoulder in order to have any value in 2013. He was an intriguing fantasy starter while with Oakland as recently as 2010, but given the amount of time off without facing batters and his injury history, it's probably best to avoid him.
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Updated: Monday, March 27, 2017 3:36 AM ET
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