Trevor Andrew Bauer
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 185 lb.
- School UCLA
- High School William S. Hart High School
- Debut June 28, 2012
Trevor Bauer was the third pick of the 2011 amateur draft, but wasn't the first UCLA pitcher taken that year. He became the first player from his draft class to reach the major leagues, a little over a year after being drafted.
Bauer was 4-1 with a 2.07 ERA as a high school sophomore. In 2008, the junior improved to 12-0, 0.79 with 106 whiffs to 15 walks in 70 2/3 innings. He was All-State and was invited to the US junior national team trials. He graduated early to start his college career in 2009.
Bauer made a big splash as a freshman at UCLA, posting a 9-3, 2.99 record and two saves. He held opponents to a .225 average. He got the most wins by a UCLA freshman since Pete Janicki in 1990. He tied for 4th in the Pac-10 Conference in wins, was 7th in ERA and 8th in strikeouts. He outshone Gerrit Cole, a more heralded UCLA signee and fellow freshman who had been the Yankees' #1 pick in 2008. He was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and All-Conference (joining Mike Leake, Drew Storen, Cole, Josh Spence and Brad Boxberger among others). He was named Freshman All-American by Baseball America alongside Sean Gilmartin, Taylor Jungmann and Noe Ramirez as starting pitchers (Danny Hultzen was picked in a utility role). Collegiate Baseball picked him as the National Freshman Pitcher of the Year. He had a 1-1, 4.67 record that summer for Team USA's college edition, which did not play in a major tournament.
As a sophomore, Trevor led NCAA Division I with 165 strikeouts (in 131 1/3 innings), 10 ahead of runner-up Asher Wojciechowski and 12 more than teammate Cole). His record was 12-3, 3.02. He set a school record for strikeouts. He also led the Pac-10 in innings, tied Seth Blair for the most wins (tied for 5th in all of Division I) and was 6th in ERA. In the 2010 College World Series, he fanned 24 in 15 innings, beating both Texas Christian University and the University of Florida. He was the first UCLA hurler to win a College World Series game. UCLA finished second nationally and Bauer was named to the All-Tournament team; Matt Purke of TCU was the other pitcher chosen. He was All-Conference, though Blair was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year with a higher ERA and fewer strikeouts. Baseball America picked him as second-team All-American, joining Hultzen, Jungmann and Purke as the starting pitchers.
After leading the country in strikeouts as a sophomore, what could Bauer do for an encore? Repeat the feat, but with more Ks. He struck out 203 batters in going 13-2 with a 1.25 ERA and completed his last 9 starts. He became the first Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year from UCLA since Janicki in 1992. He was named Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year, the first UCLA player ever to take that award. The right-hander was the third straight pitcher to claim that award, following Stephen Strasburg and Chris Sale. He broke Alex Sanchez's school record of 328 strikeouts, finishing with 460. He also set UCLA career records in wins (34) and innings (373 1/3). He broke Mark Prior's 2001 record for most strikeouts by a Pac-10 pitcher in a season. Only Tim Lincecum's 491 outranked him for a career. He capped his collegiate career by being named recipient of the 2011 Golden Spikes Award as the best college ballplayer in the USA.
The Arizona Diamondbacks took Bauer with the third pick of the 2011 amateur draft, following teammate Cole and Hultzen (Bauer had much better statistics for both 2011 and his career than Cole, yet Cole went first due to a quicker fastball). It was the first time since 1978 that a college had two of the top three picks - Bob Horner and Hubie Brooks had been taken that year. Despite the draft success, UCLA didn't make the super-regionals, let alone the 2011 College World Series. It wasn't Bauer's fault, as he had been unbeaten in the postseason. He was the fourth UCLA top-3 draft pick, following Tim Leary, Troy Glaus and Cole. Scouted by Hal Kurtzman, he signed a contract with the D-Backs on July 25th, relatively early for such a high pick, for a signing bonus of $3.4 million.
He was sent to the Class A Visalia Rawhide of the California League to begin his professional career. He debuted on July 30th with two shutout innings against the Stockton Ports, striking out three and allowing one hit. In his first 9 innings as a pro, he whiffed 17. After three games, he was promoted to the AA Mobile Bay Bears and made 4 more starts before the end of the year. Overall, in 7 starts, he pitched 25 2/3 innings with a record of 1-2, 5.96, and 26 strikeouts against only 8 walks. He was invited to the Diamondbacks' major league camp in 2012. Even though he was optioned back to Mobile, he pitched quite well, with a 3.60 ERA in 4 games, confirming that he was still on a fast track to the minor leagues. He went 7-1 in 8 starts for Mobile, with a 1.68 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings, giving up only 33 hits, to demonstrate beyond any doubt that he was too good for that level. On May 17th, the Diamondbacks took note and promoted him to the AAA Reno Aces. After only five weeks there, the D-Backs announced another promotion, this time to the big league club, where he was inserted as the team's starting pitcher on June 28th. That made him the first player selected in the 2011 draft to play in The Show. He had gone 4-0, 2.82 in 8 starts for Reno, striking out 56 in 44 2/3 innings.
2012 in the Majors
In his major league debut, Bauer faced the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. He only pitched 4 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits, before being replaced by pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra in the top of the 5th. The Diamondbacks were trailing 2-0 when he left, but came back to win the game in the 9th inning, 3-2. He was bothered by a groin cramp starting in the 3rd inning and it affected his mechanics, prompting the decision to lift him from the game early. He was charged with the loss in his next start, on July 3rd against the San Diego Padres, having given up 7 runs in 3 1/3 innings. He picked up his first big league victory on July 8th, thanks to 6 scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but had his third unsatisfactory outing in four starts the next time out, losing 4-0 to the Cincinnati Reds after lasting only three innings on July 17th. At that point, the Diamondbacks decided to send him back to AAA, his record standing at 1-2, 6.06. He had struck out an excellent 17 batters in 16 1/3 innings, but also had given up 13 walks, putting him in constant trouble.
Back on the farm and a change of scenery
Demoted back to Reno, he was 1-1 the rest of the way to finish 5-1, 2.85 for them. On the year, he had gone 12-2 with a 2.42 ERA in the minors, fanning 157 and allowing only 107 hits in 130 1/3 IP, though he walked 61 and threw 20 wild pitches.
He was then dealt with Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw to the Cleveland Indians on December 11th; the Diamondbacks got another top prospect in SS Didi Gregorius, along with P Tony Sipp and 1B Lars Anderson from Cleveland. His trade came amidst rumors that the D-Backs were dissatisfied with some of Bauer's quirks, such as his very personal warm-up routine, and his stubbornness that made it difficult to work with catcher Miguel Montero. After the trade, Montero told a local news site that Bauer "never wanted to listen", while Bauer, who dabbles in hip-hop on the side, issued a track entitled "You Don't Know Me", dissing his former catcher who "hides behind a mask".
He had his first extended stay in the majors in 2014 when he made 26 starts for the Indians, going 5-8, 4.18. He logged 153 innings, striking out 143, an excellent rate that promised some future success. In spring training of 2015, he made headline for giving up long hits however: on March 10th, the Chicago Cubs hit three consecutive homers against him in a Cactus League game, then on March 20th, he gave up four triples in an inning, an exceedingly rare occurrence, against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Things went much better in first start of the regular season, against the Houston Astros on April 9th. He pitched 6 scoreless innings and struck out a career-high 11 batters; he allowed 6 walks, but not a single hit although he had to leave after needing 111 pitches to get that far. The no-hitter was finally broken up in the 9th, but he ended up with credit for the Indians' 5-1 win. When he followed that with a 4-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on April 15th, it marked the first time he had won consecutive starts in the major leagues. He went 11-12, 4.55 in 31 games that season, 30 of them starts. He pitched his first career complete game and logged 176 innings. His 79 walks led the American League, but he also struck out 170 opponents.
In 2016, he improved to 12-8, 4.26 in 35 games, with 28 starts. He pitched 190 innings, lowered his walk total to 70 and struck out 168. Had all of the Indians' starters been healthy for the postseason, he likely would have been relegated to bullpen duty, but with injuries to Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco, who had both been more effective than him in the regular season, manager Terry Francona had no choice but to count on him. he started Game 1 of the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox at home on October 6th and gave up 3 runs in 4 2/3 innings, ending up with a no-decision in a game the Indians eventually won on their way to a three-game sweep. His next start was then pushed back to Game 3 of the ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays after he had cut his finger while playing around with a drone. The wound had not had time to heal properly, however, and quickly re-opened in the 1st inning. He had to leave the game after recording only two outs, putting his team in a difficult situation, but the bullpen held together for a 4-2 win. When his turn to pitch next came up in Game 5, Francona opted to use untested rookie Ryan Merritt in his place, a gamble that paid off. As a result, he was able to get more time to heal properly because the Indians ended the series in six games. He made his return in Game 2 of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs and was charged with a loss, as he was again in his start in Game 5. He pitched a total of 7 2/3 innings between the two starts, giving up 5 runs. He was used one final time in the 10th inning of Game 7, after Bryan Shaw had given up two runs; he retired the final two batters of the inning, an Cleveland came back to score once in the bottom of the 10th, but it was not enough and the Indians ended up on the short end of a heartbreaking World Series.
Trevor was back in the starting rotation at the beginning of 2017. On May 30th, he had a great start against the Oakland Athletics as he struck out 14 batters in 7 innings, including striking out the side in the 1st, 5th, 6th and 7th. It was his highest career total, and the most by any American League pitcher up to that point of the season. Three relievers then added five more Ks, tying the team's nine-inning record of 19. He was credited with a 9-4 win that day.
Bauer has been clocked in the mid-90s on his fastball and throws a four-seam fastball, two different change-ups, two curveballs, a dot slider, a circle slider, a reverse slider, and a split-fingered fastball. He is known for an unusual warm-up routine on days when he starts, beginning with an extensive session of long tosses before beginning to throw from a practice mound.