Al's Ramblings

Friday, February 12, 2016

(2/12/2016 06:08:00 PM) - Al

A's acquire Khris Davis from Crew for a pair of prospects.

I'll have more to follow on the prospects, but one is a pitcher and one is a pitcher.

EDIT: I was just thinking this AM, don't forget, Chris Carter can play LF, and there's a plethora of "placeholders" available to play 1B, Adam LaRoche and James Loney spring right to mind.

ADDED: Brewers get a top catching prospect, Jacob Nottingham, who used to be with HOU, so Stearns is well familiar with him. Oustanding bat, we'll see if he is able to stick at C as he moves up or not, so far, he has thrown out a passable 36% and has had 38 passed balls in 3 years...considering how wild young pitchers are and how tough official scorers are in the lower levels (Lucroy had 30 PB's his first 3 years in the minors, but was 21 when he started, Jacob is just 20 now) that's to be expected.

Was in high A ball the 2nd half of last season, so he'll either start 2016 in high A Brevard County or AA Biloxi. Turns 21 in April, so I would guess he'll spend at least part of the upcoming campaign repeating high A ball...but, as I say often, we do not know what Stearns' feelings are on this matter. Nottingham was the A's 8th best prospect, rated the 6th best C prospect in MLB and is a great athlete, the Astros had to give him $300K to buy him out of taking a football scholly at Arizona, where he was a TE.

The pitcher, Bubba Derby, was just drafted last June, and, stop me if you've heard this before, had a very high K/BB ratio of almost 5-1 in his first pro season. Derby is a RHP and is only 5-10, so my guess...this could be a case of Stearns feeling he'd be a 1st or 2nd round pick if he were 6-2. Derby is a San Diego State product, so he's 22, so he's likely to move faster, probably starting in Appleton or possibly even Brevard County.

Derby is good, though even with his awesome numbers (12.5 K/9) we’re still not quite sure how good he really is. The fact that he can throw two above-average breaking balls to complement his 88-92 (94 peak) fastball is obviously a very good thing. His 5-11, 185 pound frame, however, could give evaluators some pause when projecting him to carry a full starter’s workload in the big leagues one day. I don’t share those concerns, but I get it. I’d personally like to see or hear more about a usable changeup before going all-in on him as a potential average or better big league starter, but the pieces are there.--Baseball Draft Report, April 2015

Nottingham has 70-grade raw power and could eventually develop into a 20 to 25 homer bat behind the plate, though his receiving is fringy.--Keith Law after Nottingham was traded last July

Obviously, Nottingham is the jewel here, as there's only a few young catching prospects, as most receivers have a very limited upside, as the vast majority of minor league catchers are listed as "possible backups." John Sickels ranked him 5th among OAK farmhands, and BP had him 66th in all of MLB.

I have long felt Davis is underrated, as he is an above average offensive LF, and adequate defensively, though his weak arm limits him to LF and DH. He has 4 years left of team control, though power hitters like him will be very expensive in '18 and '19. There's a premium to be paid to pick up a young C, and in this case, Khris is it.

Needless to say, Santana certainly appeared capable of playing a corner OF spot in the majors every day. Losing Khris certainly hurts the OF depth in case of injury, but there's little drop off to the starting lineup. With several OF's out of options, like Liriano, Flores, and Nieuwenhuis, and Peterson in AAA, the quantity is still there, though the quality takes a hit.

ADDED 2: Nottingham was ranked 11th in OAK by Baseball America, Derby 12th. had Nottingham as the A's 8th best prospect, and have him 15th in MIL, yet another sign of the quality depth in the Crew's system.

2/12/2016 06:08:00 PM

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