Welcome to installment number two of my Potential Hot Rods series, where we are taking a look at guys that might be a part of a David Price deal this offseason, and could find their way to South-central, Kentucky for some or all of 2014.
In part one, we took a look at two guys in the Seattle Mariners’ organization, Luiz Gohara and Edwin Diaz. Today, we will take a look at two guys from the Arizona Diamondbacks system who might look appealing enough to Tampa to bring in: Jose Martinez and Stryker Trahan.
Jose Martinez, RHP – Martinez spent all of the 2013 season with the Hillsboro Hops of the Short Season-A Northwest League, where he finished the campaign with a 2-3 record and ERA of 4.03 in 10 starts. Martinez was quite inconsistent, not allowing a run in three games, but recording an ERA over 5.00 in four others. Most notably, his strikeout to walk ratio was just 30-25 Baseball America acknowledges that he wasn’t the most impressive pitcher performance-wise, but what made him stand out was his electric arm, which is able to generate fastball up to 99 mph, staying consistently in the 93-94 mph range. But his fastball is only where it starts as BA calls his curveball the “best in the organization,” standing out due to its late bite. Much like many young pitchers, his changeup does need improvement. Martinez comes with his risk, but the Rays would love the opportunity to develop a pitcher with an arsenal of Martinez’s caliber. All projections have him, as of right now, starting this next year in Low-A South Bend, with whom the Hot Rods open their season on April 3rd.
Stryker Trahan, C – Alright, forget the scouting report for a minute. What kind of name is “Stryker?” Well, as a matter of fact, Trahan’s name actually comes from the Burt Reynolds TV show B.L. Stryker, which starred Mr. Reynolds where he played a former Vietnam vet and New Orleans cop who now lives in Palm Beach and is a private eye. No surprise, the show only lasted 12 episodes, and barely lasted a whole calendar year.
Now that that’s out of the way, Trahan was the first high school catcher taken in the 2012 draft (26th overall), and spent last year with the Rookie-level Missoula Osprey. In 59 games, Trahan hit .254/.328/.462 with 10 home runs (which led the team), 33 RBI and a stolen base. Trahan nearly averaged about a strikeout per game (57 K’s in 59 games), and drew free passes not quite often enough to offset that (24 walks). Baseball America notes that many scouts have different opinions about whether or not he should stay behind the plate–they think he has the power to be a very solid hitter, and learning all the intricacies of catching might hinder his focus on hitting. The fact that Trahan has needed to spend his first year-and-a-half as a pro in Rookie ball after being a first round pick would seem to support that conclusion. But BA also notes that his arm-strength is way above average, and he was able to gun down over 40% of attempted base stealers in the Pioneer League last season (albeit with 17 passed balls). If he finds himself in Bowling Green, Trahan will be a welcome addition to a lineup that wasn’t very power-heavy. Justin O’Conner led the team with 14 home runs, and Trahan would give the Hot Rods their second straight year with an interesting prospect at the backstop. BA also says that Trahan should be ready to go and start 2014 in the Midwest League with South Bend.
No matter whether a Price trade is completed or not, it looks like these two guys will be spending some time in the Midwest League and will have a few chances to play in Bowling Green Ballpark. But which dugout will they be in?