Grading The Prospects: Trevor Oaks Highlights Thursday’s Three-Team Trade

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Late on Thursday the Royals, Dodgers and White Sox combined for a three-team trade that will generally fly under-the-radar.  The key pieces being relief pitchers, most notably LHP Scott Alexander landing with the Dodgers, but there were a trio of prospects that changed hands as well.  Let’s take a look:

 

Trevor Oaks – Right-Handed Pitcher
Acquired by Kansas City Royals

Oaks was limited to 84.0 innings pitched in ’17 due to an oblique injury, but when on the mound he showed an intriguing mix of skills:

  • Strikeouts – 7.95 K/9
  • Control – 1.87 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 51.5%

That would make him appear to be a solid starter, though a 9.9% SwStr% doesn’t give much hope for a spike in strikeouts coming.  The stuff as well may not play up, as MLB.com described his repertoire by saying:

“Most of Oaks’ success can be attributed to his heavy sinker, which he can locate on both sides of the plate. It sat around 90 mph in college and has improved to 92-95 mph in pro ball. The rest of his repertoire is pretty ordinary, with his changeup ranking as his second-most reliable offering ahead of his cutter and short slider. Oaks isn’t afraid to challenge hitters with less-than-overpowering stuff, having walked just 59 batters in 66 pro starts.”

He owns a 2.15 GO/AO over the course of his minor league career, and with that type of control there’s enough to be a solid MLB starter at the back of a rotation.  The upside is limited, though, and it’s hard to get excited.

Current Grade – C+

 

Erick Mejia – Infielder
Acquired by Kansas City Royals

His best tool is his speed, with 28 SB in 32 attempts across three levels last season.  He also makes consistent contact, with a 19.4% strikeout rate based on an 8.2% SwStr%.  Those are solid numbers, though unspectacular. and he appears primed to be nothing more than a utility player having seen time at 2B, 3B and SS last season.

Current Grade – C

 

Jake Peter – Second Baseman/Shortstop
Acquired by Los Angeles Dodgers

Splitting time between Double and Triple-A Peter hit .279 with 13 HR and 11 SB over 463 AB for the White Sox, though he was clearly blocked between Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson filling the middle infield spots.  You could argue that he could push Logan Forsythe for time at 2B, though a 13.6% SwStr%, leading to a 24.0% strikeout rate, and limited other tools, raise large red flags.  Without extreme power or speed, the strikeout risk looms large and will ultimately cripple his potential.

Current Grade – C

Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com

Make sure to check out all of our 2018 Preseason Top 10 Prospect Lists:

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Boston Red SoxCleveland IndiansLos Angeles Angels
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