clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Analyzing the "other" players in the Samardzija trade

New, 165 comments

Semien, Bassitt, Phegley, Ravelo, Ynoa

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone is pretty familiar with what Jeff Samardzija brings to the table. So what about the other players in the deal?

What the White Sox gave up:

Marcus Semien. I see him as a utility player who may be able to be a passable regular for a couple seasons. The 24-year-old has the scouting reports of a competent fielder, though many White Sox fans will disagree based on the eye test. Second base seems like the best defensive position for him but it sounds like the Athletics are at least entertaining the notion of him as their starting shortstop. On the offensive side, he struggled with making contact in his September 2013 debut and that continued into 2014 before his demotion to Charlotte. When he returned, he largely maintained his good walk rate while drastically reducing the strikeouts. That's important for him as his control of the strike zone is probably his best skill. He's probably the likeliest player to be the one the White Sox regret losing but his upside is just slightly above average with the most likely scenario being a good utility player who is a 1 WARish guy.

Chris Bassitt. He's said that he prefers to pitch out of the bullpen so anyone holding out hope that he can be a starter should probably look elsewhere. I was impressed with him when he came up and I revised his projection to a middle reliever with set-up potential. He'll be 26 next season. He relies on his fastballs - a four seamer and a two seamer - and has both a curveball and a slider, either of which could become his primary secondary pitch as a reliever. He's an interesting arm but he's unlikely to be anything the White Sox regret letting go.

Josh Phegley. Put simply, he's not a major league baseball player. He'll be 27 next season and I don't think there's much hope for further skill development. He's got a heck of a strong arm but accuracy will limit its utility. His pitch framing is bad and his blocking skills are bad. Offensively, he's got legitimate pop in his bat but that's pretty much it. He's not going to draw many walks and I don't think he has the contact skills to make any impact with his bat. Of the four players, I'd rate him as the least likely to do anything at all in the majors.

Rangel Ravelo. He really is a perfect Athletics player. He's got excellent control of the strike zone and very good contact skills to go with it. The problem, of course, is that he doesn't really have much pop in his bat so it will be difficult for him to clear the high offensive bar that comes with being a 1B/DH type. He also is a righty, so he'll be the wrong half of a platoon. Oakland may have designs on moving him back to 3B or to LF but I can't see that working as he was a butcher at 3B and he's not a pleasing sight at 1B. Baseball America rated him as the White Sox' #10 prospect but I wouldn't have even considered him for my top ten list. He's 23 next season, so he's probably the best upside play in the deal, but don't see him developing into anything more than a fringe major leaguer.

The White Sox got:

Michael Ynoa. He's got a name that a lot of people will recognize because he received what was then the largest bonus to a Latin American amateur free agent in 2008. But, since then, he's been plagued by injury problems, most notably TJS in 2010. Prior to moving to the bullpen in 2014, the righty never pitched more than 75.2 innings in a minor league season. As a reliever, his fastball is mid-90s and he has an inconsistent mid-80s slider with good bite. In my admittedly limited viewing of him, he also threw a changeup that didn't look like anything other than a show-me. He's a tall guy at 6'7" and, like a lot of young, lanky types, has some trouble repeating his delivery. He spent all of 2014 at High-A Stockton where he struck out a lot of guys (31.8%) but also walked a bunch (10.5%). The 23-year-old is certainly talented but everything has to come with an even bigger "if he stays healthy" caveat than the average pitcher. He's a reliever all the way and I imagine the White Sox are hoping for some Don Cooper magic to mold him into a useful bullpen piece as soon as next season.