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Finnegan's loud fastball has A's excited

Finnegan's loud fastball has A's excited

Finnegan's loud fastball has A's excited

Right-hander Kyle Finnegan's junior season at Texas State didn't unfold as planned. After starting 14 of 15 games as a sophomore, he struggled to find consistency in his first 10 outings of the 2013 season and was eventually moved to the bullpen.

But the role change may have been a blessing in disguise for Finnegan. Scouts often judge the success of future short-term relievers based on arm strength, and Finnegan's velocity has never been a problem. He possesses a singing fastball that can reach 97 mph in short stints, but his secondary pitches are a work in progress.

The A's took a flyer on Finnegan in the sixth round with the 191th overall pick.

Finnegan will flash an average slider, but not consistently, and he doesn't always command it well. He has a fringy changeup, but if he moves to the bullpen, he can shelve it and work on developing a two-pitch power combination.

"Personally, I think I can be a three-pitch pitcher," Finnegan said. "I got a really sharp slider, but I struggle to command it in the strike zone sometimes. So it's a good pitch, but I just need to get a little bit more control of it. And I've been developing my change up for the past year. It's really coming along.

It's possible Finnegan's days as a starter are over, but his Draft stock was boosted by his potential to be a power arm out of the 'pen.

"He has flashes of secondary stuff," Kubota said. "It's probably a matter of consistency more than anything else.

"With the strategy that they use under Billy Beane, it just goes to show that they see something in me that a lot of other teams didn't see," Finnegan said. "His system has been proven to work. That pitching staff last year did some incredible things, and I'm just excited to get in there and start working and hopefully what they saw in me will come out on the field."

Jeff Kirshman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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