The Toronto Blue Jays completed two more trades since the big Marcus Stroman deal on Sunday. The Jays sent reliever David Phelps to the Chicago Cubs for 24-year-old righty Thomas Hatch, and they sent Daniel Hudson to the Washington Nationals for 23-year-old righty Kyle Johnston.
The Blue Jays acquired both Hudson and Phelps for this very purpose, primarily to build their value for trade at the deadline and the Jays were able to even get someone for Phelps who was coming off surgery and got a late start to the season. The return for Phelps was Thomas Hatch, a 24-year-old righthanded pitcher who was a third-round draft pick of the Cubs in 2016. Baseball America ranked Hatch #22 among Cubs prospects after last season and they noted that he has had mixed results as a pro with a solid three-pitch mix but without a truly outstanding pitch. He has a low-90s fastball with sink with a low-80s slider that he can use effectively with BA grading it a 55 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He also has a below-average changeup (at the time of the report) that they thought would improve.
In 2019, Hatch is repeating the Double-A level at Tennessee, posting a 4.59 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, striking out 93 with 37 walks in 100 innings so far. He’s actually got a worse ERA and WHIP this year than last year at the same level but his FIP and xFIP are both lower, with improvements in both strikeout rate and walk rate.
In exchange for Daniel Hudson, the Blue Jays got 23-year-old righty Kyle Johnston who was drafted in the sixth round in 2017 out of Texas in 2017. Baseball America notes that his fastball sits 93-94 mph, touching 96 as a starter but with more juice in the tank as a reliever. He has a “rapidly-improving” slider that has a “chance to become a plus pitch.” He’s had a lot of issues with command will probably push him into the bullpen.
Despite that scouting report, Johnston has been working as a reliever in Class-A Advanced Potomac, logging 105 innings with a 4.03 ERA and 1.23 WHIP over 105 innings where he has 100 strikeouts and 37 walks.
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