Mariners Trade Two Minor League Players, Acquire De Jong from LA Dodgers
Are you a player who puts up great numbers in the high minors without a single standout tool? Congratulations, you might just become part of the Seattle Mariners.
Mariners General Manager, Jerry Dipoto, proved once again that he is never satisfied with the back end of his 40-man roster.
In a minor deal, Dipoto traded prospects Drew Jackson and Aneurys Zabala to the Los Angeles Dodgers for right-handed pitcher, Chase De Jong. In order to put De Jong on the 40-man roster, the team DFA’d infielder, Mike Freeman.
First, let’s begin with what the Mariners gave up. Drew Jackson entered 2016 as the Mariners #3 prospect but struggled with the bat, never making the strides needed to push up to
Drew Jackson entered 2016 as the Mariners #3 prospect but struggled with the bat, never making the strides needed to push through to Double-A ball in 2017. Jackson has plus-speed and good gap power.
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If he can become more consistent at the plate, he could be a top of the order catalyst. Jackson also had the best arm among position players in the franchise. He plays solid defense at short, showing good range to go along with his plus arm.
Zabala is a prospect with some yeast. In other words, he is a fast riser. He can hit triple digits with his power fastball. He also has a sharp curve and generated a metric ton of ground balls. Zabala still struggles with his command and reminded some of the next Thyago Vieira.
Chase De Jong had an amazing 2016 season, mostly while pitching in Double-A ball. He posted a 2.86 ERA while walking only 39 hitters in 141.2 innings pitched. De Jong is not considered a strike out pitcher but he did manage 125 K’s in 2016.
De Jong does not possess elite “stuff”. His fastball sits at 89-92 mph, with decent downhill tilt, thanks to his 6’4″ frame. His best pitch is a sharp curveball, which he can throw for strikes in any count. De Jong’s change up needs to be improved if he wishes to be anything more than a #5 or 6 starter
De Jong is often revered for his “bulldog” mentality and competitiveness. He peppers the strike zone and rarely falls begin in the count. An extreme fly ball pitcher, De Jong should benefit from pitching in Safeco Field.
De Jong has a similar profile to current Mariners farm hand, Andrew Moore, and will likely make a few starts for the Mariners at some point this season.
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Dipoto continues to churn through the bottom 25% of his roster, and add quality depth to the “pitching pile”. While the Mariners might not win this deal long term, it is a smart, safe deal to help bolster this 2017 squad.