On Tuesday, the San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays completed a seven-player deal, centered around the Padres receiving left-handed pitcher Alex Torres in return for second basemen Logan Forsythe. Also heading to Tampa Bay are minor-leaguers Maxx Tissenbaum, Matt Andriese, Brad Boxberger and Matt Lollis. While the casual Padre fan may only recognize Boxberger’s name from his time in the big leagues, outside of Forsythe, the Padres give up some interesting arms alongside the second-baseman Tissenbaum. Forsythe had moderate success as a Padre, but was marred by foot injuries that kept him out of the lineup for most of the past two seasons. In 2013, Forsythe hit .214 with 6 homeruns. The power he showcased at the University of Arkansas never came to fruition, as the ex-supplemental first-round draft pick never hit more than six homeruns in any of parts of three seasons with the Padres.
Boxberger’s time here in San Diego was spent mostly on an airplane, shuffling between Triple-A and the majors, but in 2013 Boxberger appeared in 18 games as a Padre, yielding a 2.86 ERA, nearly 2 hits and walks a inning, as well as more than a strikeout an inning (24 K’s in 22 innings pitched).
Matt Andriese, over both Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson posted very decent numbers, going 11-7 with a 3.27 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP to go along with 105 strikeouts in 134 innings. Personally, from what scouts have said about Andriese, he is the one I’ll miss most before he was ever brought up to the major leagues,
Tissenbaum, 22 an 11th-round pick out of Stony Brook University in 2012, hit .277 with 2 homeruns, drove in 49 and scored 48 runs while playing a great second base for class-A Fort Wayne, finishing with a .967 fielding percentage in 95 games at second base.
Lollis, a 15th round pick from Riverside Community College in 2009, was a three stop pitcher in 2013, going from High-A Lake Elsinore, through Double-A San Antonio and finishing up at Triple-A Tucson. A lot of people don’t realize that it is not always about the numbers when it comes to minor leaguers but about how they progress over their time, and Lollis was a perfect example of that. The big 6’9” right-hander went 3-8 with a 4.62 ERA with a 1.69 WHIP to go along with 63 strikeouts in 74 innings over his three stops.
As for the Padres return, the main piece is Alex Torres, a lefty reliever with a 4-pitch arsenal really shined for the Rays in 2013. Torres finished 2013 going 4-2 with a 1.71 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP and 62 strikeouts in just 58 innings, His splits between right-handed and left-handed hitters also suggest he’s more than just a left-handed reliever who’ll only face left-handed hitters. I fully expect him to be the 7th inning man, giving the ball to newly acquired Joaquin Benoit in the 8th, with Huston Street saving games out for the Padres.
The other piece that the Padres received in the deal was 24-year old Jesse Hahn. While Baseball Prospectus ranked Hahn as the Rays’ sixth best prospect heading into 2014, Hahn hasn’t proved much since being drafted out of Virginia Tech in the sixth round of the 2010 draft. Already having missed all of 2011 after having Tommy John surgery, something all Padre fans know all too much about, Hahn has yet to progress past High-A ball. Finally healthy, this could be the breakout season that Jesse Hahn has been waiting for.
While it’s obviously too soon to really grade this draft, I see it as an immediate win for the Padres. Getting a piece to shore up their already stellar bullpen helps immensely, with the only left-hander coming out of relief before the deal was Rule V Draftee Patrick Schuster. While Forsythe has shown some pop in his bat, his nagging injuries has really kept him from helping out the Padres, Dealing him leaves the Padres with some depth issues up the middle, so expect GM Josh Byrnes to go and find a backup middle infielder.
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