Thursday, March 02, 2017

Welcome to the Blue, Drew Jackson & Aneurys Zabala!

Wheelin' and Dealin' is the name of the game.

I sometimes get the impression that the Dodger front office just likes doing deals.  Any deal, really.  As long as they believe they've done well they'll sign off on anything.  Case in point, check out this trade announced last night.  The Dodgers sent rising pitching prospect Chase De Jong to the Mariners for two prospects: 23-year old shortstop Drew Jackson and 20-year old right-handed pitcher Aneurys Zabala.  Per a Dodger press release:
Jackson, 23, has a career .288 batting average with 63 stolen bases, eight home runs and 73 RBI along with a .363 on-base percentage in 183 games over two professional seasons with the Mariners organization. The Berkeley, CA, native was named by Baseball America as a Short-Season Single-A All-Star in 2015, along with being named Northwest League Player of the Year and selected by the league as mid- and post-season All-Star, after leading the league in batting average (.358), on-base percentage (.432), runs (64) and stolen bases (47) in 59 games. Jackson was originally drafted by the Mariners in the fifth round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Stanford University.

Zabala, 20, has a 4-13 record with a 4.49 ERA and has recorded four saves in 44 career games (12 starts) over three minor league seasons with the Mariners. In 2016, he went 1-5 with one save and posted a 2.88 ERA (8 ER/25.0 IP), while striking out 28 batters in 25.0 innings. He held batters to a .167 average (15-for-90), which ranked third lowest in Rookie-level Arizona League, including limiting righties to a .156 mark. The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, native was originally signed by the Mariners as non-drafted free agent on April 30, 2014.
BTW, the Dodgers initially received De Jong from the Blue Jays last summer for three international signing slots (bonus money for the international draft).  So, they basically got two prospects (both considered top-20 players within Seattle's system) for three signing slots.  BTW, Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto really wanted Chase.  Per Brent Stecker at 710AM ESPN:
“We’ve been working on trying to acquire Chase De Jong since last July, so this was just a culmination of many months of work and staying in tune with what the Dodgers were doing and finally we were able to line up,” Dipoto said on the Cactus League Report. “You can’t have much better Double-A season than he had last year, and he just dominated at the minor league levels. He is a four-pitch guy, a premium strike-thrower, kind of like the model we’ve been prone to acquire. A fly ball, strikeouts guy who throws a ton of strikes, commands four pitches.”
As for the Dodgers booty, here's what others have said:
The 23-year-old Jackson rated 12th among Mariners’ farmhands, per, and ranked 18th among Seattle prospects in the eyes of ESPN’s Keith Law (subscription required).... Jackson swiped 47 bags in Class-A a year prior, and the scouting reports from both and from Law praise his speed, throwing arm and defensive prowess. His power is a question, though, as Jackson has just eight long balls in 862 pro plate appearances. Law noted that Jackson lacks power and hits the ball on the ground with regularity.
Zabala ... (has) been used out of the bullpen exclusively in each of the past two years, and Law notes that he reached 99 mph in 2016. rates him 22nd among M’s farmhands and puts a hefty 75 grade on his fastball, though he receives 40-grade control from that report. Zabala’s curveball draws praise from each report, though it’s not regarded nearly as well as his fastball. Low-level arms with this type of velocity are becoming more common in today’s game, but he makes for a nice long-term lottery ticket of sorts to add to a deep Dodgers farm system.
It’s really simple:  Where was De Jong going to be used?  Nowhere.  So they traded a Top 20 prospect for 2 Top 20 prospects!  What’s wrong with that?
In honor of both Drew and Aneurys joining the franchise I made the above two fantasy Baseball cards for them.  I used the 1985 Donruss Baseball card design for the Drew Jackson card and the 1983 Fleer Baseball card design for Aneurys Zabala's card.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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