The Phillies traded Pat Neshek to the Rockies last night. In return, they received three minor leaguers – SS Jose Gomez, RHP Alejandro Requena, and RHP J.D. Hammer.
But who exactly are these three prospects? Here is a deeper dive into what these guys can do and who they project to be.
SS Jose Gomez
Gomez is a 20-year old shortstop who was an international signee out of Caracas, Venezuela in 2013. He was the 21st ranked prospect in the Rockies organization according to MLB Pipeline. He has hit .324/.374/.437 to go with 20 doubles, 4 home runs, 18 stolen bases, a 5.1% BB%, and 16.2% K% for Rockies single-A affiliate Asheville.
He projects to possess average to above-average skills across the board with the exception being below-average power. He can drive the ball to all fields well and makes a solid amount of contact – Gomez led the Pioneer League in 2016 with a contact rate of 92%. The approach at the plate is fairly refined for a 20-year old as he possesses good tracking skills. Scouts have also given him high praise for his overall feel for the game when at the plate.
As for his glove, he isn’t the greatest defender. Gomez is currently used as primarily a shortstop but has also had ample time at both second and third base, therefore projecting him to be a future utility man. His lack of range could force him to second base sooner rather than later, but his slightly above-average arm can help him stick at short at least for the immediate future.
The ceiling for Gomez sits at a second baseman who can hit at a solid rate, but given his below-average power, it is more likely he plays the role of a utility man in the future.
RHP Alejandro Requena
Requena is a 20-year old right-handed pitcher who was an international free agent signee out of Villa de Cura, Venezuela in 2013. He sports a 2.85 ERA over 19 starts and 117 IP to go along with 25 walks, 97 strikeouts, a 1.9 BB/9, and 7.5 K/9 for single-A Asheville.
His fastball sits 89-93 and he can locate it effectively. The fastball is backed up by a loopy curveball, which he can also effectively locate, and a changeup that can flash as a solid pitch at times.
Requena’s command is pretty good as he consistently gets ahead of hitters and then controls his secondary stuff to generate weak contact. He also pitched in an extremely hitter-friendly Asheville ballpark, so good command was crucial for him to put up the numbers he did.
As for what he is long-term, it is possible that he could be a back-end starter type. It is also possible that a move to the bullpen is in Requena’s future, however he’d have to improve his breaking pitches to make up for the relatively low-velocity fastball. The worst possible outcome for Requena is that he flops in the upper minors and turns out to be an organizational depth arm.
RHP J.D. Hammer
First of all: THAT. NAME. And just look at the kid!
J.D. Hammer appreciation tweet pic.twitter.com/wzTiE8b24D— chris jones¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@LONG_DRIVE) July 27, 2017
As for what he can actually do...
Hammer is a 23-year old right-handed pitcher who was drafted in the 24th round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of Marshall University by the Rockies. Across two levels – single-A Asheville and high-A Lancaster – Hammer has appeared in 36 games, logged 42 innings in relief, and has a 2.36 ERA, 14 walks, 65 strikeouts, 3.0 BB/9, and 13.9 K/9.
He comfortably sits in the mid-90s with his fastball and it has been clocked as high as 97. He can also locate it well, making for a very good pitch in the low minor leagues. His secondary stuff consists of a below-average slider that is a work in progress and an average curveball, neither of which he can control very well.
Long term, Hammer projects as a middle reliever. He could be a high-leverage reliever in the future, but he’d have to drastically improve his secondary stuff and his control of it. As a 23-year old in A-ball, Hammer doesn’t have much time to fix his stuff if he wants to be a late innings reliever.