When the Rays acquired David DeJesus from the Washington Nationals on August 23rd, it appeared to be a solid pickup. DeJesus was the type of player that appeared as though he would fit well with the Rays versatility, as he can play all over the outfield. Since coming to the Rays, DeJesus has been a nice addition to the lineup, posting a decent .258/.343/.339 batting line while doing a solid job as the Rays leadoff hitter.
At the time of the trade, DeJesus was acquired for the always exciting Player to be Named Later. Now, the player has been named, and is none other than Bowling Green pitcher Matthew Spann. Spann was originally drafted by the Rays in the 25th round of the 2010 draft, and had, in typical Rays fashion, moved through the organization one rung at a time, finally reaching the Hot Rods at age 22. Last season, he produced a 4-3 record with a 2.87 ERA, chipping in two saves.
But what type of player did the Rays move to get DeJesus? While Spann put together a nice ERA shuttling between the bullpen and the rotation, he also struck out under six batters per nine innings while walking over three per nine. Meanwhile, his WHiP ended at 1.475. And that sparkling ERA? Even that is a bit skewed when one considers that Spann gave up ten unearned runs, giving him 29 runs allowed in 59.2 innings last year.
In regards to scouting reports on Spann, all we need to do is turn back the clock to last year, when Senior Editor Robbie Knopf wrote up a scouting report from a start for the Hudson Valley Renegades. Here is a quick blurb about what Spann was last season:
"Right now, Spann lives and dies off the late movement on his fastball, with the remainder of his pitches showing flashes but no consistency. Spann throws from a high three-quarters arm slot and has trouble at times getting the finish on his pitches to keep them down in the zone, but when he does, he can be effective even though his arsenal is a long ways away."
However, Matthew Spann did not appear to take that step for Bowling Green last year. Now, his time with the Rays has come to an end, being moved for a player in DeJesus that may have solved the Rays issues in the leadoff spot. For a player who may have been destined to be nothing more than organizational filler for the Rays, that is quite an excellent return.