Varland spent three years pitching at Division II Concordia University in Minnesota, a six-foot right-hander who put up video game numbers (1.04 ERA, .163 batting average against) as a junior. The A's went a bit over the $100,000 threshold for picks after the 10th round, signing him for $125K in the 14th round of last June's Draft. Varland then pitched his way to full-season ball in his relatively brief pro debut. He tried to work past an elbow issue and had gone to the California League before being shut down in early July after just five outings with a UCL strain.
Varland cranked his fastball up to 95-96 mph at times at Concordia, but largely pitched at 92 mph during his summer debut in the A's organization. He can fill up the strike zone with his heater and get swings and misses with it. He also misses bats with his slider, while he also was able to use the breaking ball and his changeup to get some ground-ball outs. While he has an up-tempo delivery, he's always been a strike-thrower and continued that trend in his first taste of pro ball.
He'll need to find a way to attack left-handed hitters, who hit him a bit better last summer, albeit in a small sample size, and refinement of the changeup could do that. He's reminded some of Sonny Gray in terms of his aggressive demeanor on the mound and body type (though not in pure stuff), with a realistic ceiling as a back-end starter and a life as a reliever more likely.
Stockton Ports activated RHP Gus Varland from the 7-day injured list.
Stockton Ports placed RHP Gus Varland on the 7-day injured list.
RHP Gus Varland assigned to Stockton Ports from Athletics Extended Spring Training.
RHP Gus Varland assigned to Athletics Extended Spring Training from Beloit Snappers.
RHP Gus Varland assigned to Oakland Athletics.
RHP Gus Varland assigned to Beloit Snappers from Vermont Lake Monsters.
RHP Gus Varland assigned to Vermont Lake Monsters from AZL Athletics.