Top Athletics prospect drawing Carlos Rodon, Madison Bumgarner comparisons

Muller drawing Bumgarner, Rodón comps early in camp originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Being compared to two left-handed pitchers that have dominated at the major league level is a nice way to begin spring training with your new team.

It didn't take long for lefty and fifth-overall prospect Kyle Muller to impress his coaches at the Athletics' Mesa, Ariz. spring training facility. The 25-year-old was one of five players acquired from the Atlanta Braves in the Sean Murphy trade and has a chance to earn a spot in Oakland's starting rotation this season.

After watching Muller's first bullpen session last Wednesday, A's manager Mark Kotsay compared the lefty, both on and off the field, to former San Francisco Giants and current Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Madison Bumgarner.

“They share a lot of the same qualities and traits,” Kotsay said. “I know Bum rides horses. I don’t think Muller’s on horses yet. But they both like to hunt. They’re both left-handed and they’re both really big. If Muller can find a way to turn out like Bum, we’ve got something there. We’re excited about watching him throw.” (H/T's Martín Gallegos)

A's pitching coach Scott Emerson also made the comparison to a former Giants pitcher.

“I compare him to Carlos Rodón of the Yankees,” Emerson explained. “Very similar build. Very similar delivery. The arm action might be a tad different between the two. But if you put them side-by-side, it’s almost identical. Now, we’ve got to get him to throw strikes and do the things that [Rodón] does.”

Muller continued to impress Kotsay after facing hitters for the first time on Tuesday.

"First look for Kyle Muller on the mound against hitters yesterday was equally as good as what we've seen in the [bullpen]," Kotsay added. "He went out and threw strikes, he mixed his changeup in, which, you see a pitch on video and it might not do it justice, but positive there. And he works quick. He was able to handle the pitch-time clock very well, to his advantage, to a certain extent, even in live BP. Very positive first outing for him against hitters."

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In 12 combined appearances (11 starts) at the major league level over the last two seasons with Atlanta, Muller posted an underwhelming 5.14 ERA in 49 innings pitched with 49 strikeouts to 28 walks.

However, despite his struggles, Muller should have an opportunity to carve out a role in the A's rotation and appears to already have made a name for himself with his new team.