Aug 26, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Adam Lind (24) reacts after striking out in the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
David Stearns is at it again. Adam Lind was widely expected to be the next man dealt, and with rumors all day yesterday that the Mariners and Brewers were making progress, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
What does come as a surprise to many fans, is the return for the lefty slugger. Naturally, fan speculation always involves the most desirable possible trade candidates, with fans first wondering if Mariner’s catcher Mike Zunino could be on the table, then corner infield prospect D.J. Peterson. Thus, many were disappointed when the return was instead three teenage right-handed pitchers.
This is not unfair, as fans are looking for more immediate impact, but this deal has a lot of upside, and the Brewers wouldn’t have taken it if they didn’t see these guys filling out their potential. Of the three pitchers, Daniel Missaki, Freddy Peralta, and Carlos Herrera, just Herrera made Baseball America’s edition of the Mariner’s top 30 prospects, though Missaki is considered the most advanced.
According to a very helpful article by Rick Randall, Missaki reportedly hits 90 with his fastball and features a four pitch mix. (Kiley McDaniel, formerly of FanGraphs had him sitting 89-91 last March with a solid changeup) He reportedly has a high effort delivery, but doesn’t appear to have trouble repeating it, walking just 2.2 batters per 9 innings in his professional career.
Missaki dominated in Low-A in a short showing, and despite being three years younger than league average, opponents hit .244/.271/.283 against him, even with a .330 BABIP. Of course, the small sample size warning applies, but hitters were lost against him. The 19 year old also threw seven no-hit innings in a start shortly before injuring his elbow.
Missaki is coming off of Tommy John surgery, but the prognosis looks good for 2016:
Given that his season came to an end after just six starts, I would anticipate Missaki returning to Low-A when he is healthy enough to begin.
Peralta was outstanding with the Rookie League Peoria Mariners in 2015, posting an absurd 67:8 K:BB ratio in just 57 innings. His 4.11 ERA was due to both an unlucky BABIP and strand rate. His 2.33 FIP gives a much better look at how dominant his performance was. His .242/.278/.312 opponent slash tells a similar story.
The 19 year old is the classic undersized (5’11”) righty that gets overlooked as a potential starter, but of the all sources (all three of them) I have seen agree he has a compact, repeatable delivery with a solid, 90-93 mph fastball. I expect to see Peralta to begin in Low-A Wisconsin.
Herrera is the most difficult to find meaningful literature on, and deservedly so. He saw his first professional innings in 2015 with in Dominican Summer League as a 17 year old. Once again, command is the big story, with Herrera walking just 1.5 batters per 9, while striking out 73 in 80 innings pitched.
Going back to Randall’s article, Herrera was reportedly touching 93 in his fall instructs. With 80 innings pitched in 2015, he actually had the largest sample last season of any of the prospects in the trade. He allowed a .637 OPS (.284 BABIP) with a 3.26 ERA and a 3.00 FIP.
I’m not as familiar with the practices of advancing a player from the DSL to the States, but it is possible, given his performance, that we see Herrera in Rookie ball in Arizona this season.
The most promising thing about these pitchers as a whole is their stellar command given their ages, and all of them are coming off of promising years, statistically. Their collective K:BB in 2015 was 174:26 in 171 1/3 innings. So don’t be too discouraged by the team’s haul, the Brewers added some real potential to the organization today.