Friday, March 25, 2016

Looking at the Evan Gattis Trade

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published this article on Tuesday focusing on former Astros RHP Mike Foltynewicz and his road to recovery from a blood clot and related surgery last year. His first appearance of the spring season in a split squad game was rated a solid "Holy Cow!"

Mike Foltynewicz - March 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

That led me to wonder how all the players from that January 2015 trade with Atlanta are faring since they left the Astros fold.

RHP Mike Foltynewicz is, according to the above article, expected to be able to join the Braves as soon as mid-April. He split his 2015 season between AAA Gwinnett and Atlanta. With Gwinnett, he was 1-6 with a 3.49 ERA and a 1.376 WHIP. He walked 26 and struck 63 in 56.2 innings. For the Braves, Folty was 4-6 with a 5.71 ERA and a 1.627 WHIP, walking 29 and striking out 77 in 86.2 innings. Through two Spring Training appearances, Foltynewicz has a 4.76 ERA and a 0.882 WHIP in his 5.2 innings of work. He is 24.

RHP Andrew Thurman has only appeared in one Spring Training game with the big league club at this point, but he was perfect in that one inning. The former 2013 second rounder's 2015 season was a tale of two seasons. He was putting up very nice numbers in his first six appearances in High A (2.51 ERA and 1.206 WHIP in 32.2 IP), but then this happened. Thurman missed almost two months to the disabled list after the bus accident. After coming back, he put up a 5.02 ERA and a 1.413 WHIP in his final 13 appearances of the season and his Arizona Fall League Campaign was mostly forgettable. Thurman was ranked #28 in the Braves system in Baseball America's 2016 Prospect Handbook. He is also 24.

3B Rio Ruiz struggled in his first taste of AA for the Braves (.229/.331/.318 in 126 games), but this article from the Atlanta paper reports a newly focused and more mature Ruiz showed up for Spring Training this year. In six games with the big league club, he has hit .400/.455/.500. Ruiz, who turns 22 in May, was ranked #17 in the Braves system by Baseball America going in to the 2016 season.

In return for Foltynewicz, Thurman and Ruiz, the Astros obtained DH Evan Gattis and minor league right-hander James Hoyt. Gattis hit .246/.285/.463 with 20 doubles, a mind-boggling 11 triples and 27 home runs in his first season for the Astros in 2015. He is currently working his way back from an injury (sports hernia) and is not expected to be ready by opening day. Gattis is 29.

Hoyt's 3.49 ERA and 1.204 WHIP for AAA Fresno in 2015 is somewhat misleading as he was significantly stronger in the second half of the season. He built on that with an excellent showing in Venezuelan winter ball which I spoke with him about in this December 2015 interview. In eight Spring Training appearances, Hoyt is 1-0 with a 1.08 ERA and a 0.840 WHIP. He has held hitters to a .071 batting average. He was ranked #27 in the Astros system by Baseball America going in to the 2016 season despite being much older than the average prospect at 29 years of age (see the linked interview for more on that as well).

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Nothing but 5-star reviews for the 2016 Houston Farm System Handbook!!! Get yours today.

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