Despite being embroiled in the middle of some incredibly serious domestic violence allegations, the Yankees traded for fireballer Aroldis Chapman. Chapman was dealt in exchange for four relatively middle of the pack minor leaguers. In exchange for Chapman the Reds will be receiving 22 year old right hander Rookie Davis, third baseman Eric Jagielo, second baseman Tony Renda, and right hander Caleb Cotham. Chapman is expected to become the Yankee’s new closer, dependent on any possible suspension.
Jagielo, 23, was selected in the first round of the 2013 draft out of Notre Dame. A knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery shortened his 2015 season, but when he was healthy, he batted .284/.347/.495 with nine homers in 58 games/248 plate appearances at the Double-A level. MLB.com’s scouting report notes that Jagielo is strong and has “good loft in his swing,” giving him the ability to drive the ball to all fields. His penchant for strikeouts (23.3 percent in 2015; 24.4 percent in 2014) is a red flag, but MLB.com notes that he draws enough walks to post sound OBP numbers even if his batting average is lackluster. The question surrounding Jagielo is whether he’ll stay at third base or move across the diamond to first, as questions about his range and arm strength are oft-cited strikes against him. Despite those potential issues, MLB.com did rate him as the No. 7 third-base prospect in the game.
As for Davis, Norris notes in his scouting report over at BA that alterations to his delivery led to a breakout of sorts in 2015. Davis pitched to a combined 3.86 ERA with 8.9 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9 in in 130 2/3 innings between Class-A Advanced and Double-A. The mechanical changes resulted in increased velocity, per Norris, who writes that Davis sits 93 to 95 mph with his heater — a pitch that is complemented by a sharp mid-70s curve and a low-80s changeup. BA indicates that he could be a mid-rotation starter, while MLB.com notes that he has good control but spotty command (i.e. throws strikes but doesn’t command the pitches within the strike zone) and could be best suited for a relief role, where his velocity could approach triple digits.
The Yankees acquired Renda, 24, from the Nationals this past season in exchange for right-hander David Carpenter. The fleet-footed infielder batted .269/.330/.358 in 532 Double-A plate appearances between the two organizations, adding three homers and 23 steals (in 29 attempts). Renda rated 12th among Nationals farmhands last season and was 22nd on MLB.com’s Top 30 at the time of the trade to the Yankees in early June. BA praised his compact swing and line-drive stroke in last winter’s scouting report, noting that his bat has a chance to be above-average, and he’s tough to strike out. He’s drawn praise for his makeup and work ethic as well, and last offseason Fangraphs’ scouting report praised his advanced bat control while noting that he lacked power.
While it appears the Yankees added a lot of on the field talent relatively cheaply, they do so at a massive PR risk. I suppose it goes to prove that there is always someone willing to overlook just about anything, if you can throw 100+mph. Remember on opening day, that the same city that boo’d Alex Rodriguez for putting steroids into his body will be cheering wholeheartedly for Chapman.
If you want to know anything about the current state of humanity, go to the linked MLBTR post and just read all of the Yankee fans’ comments.