Braves trade Evan Gattis to the Astros for three prospects
I updated my will recently because I was worried that, at some point in 2015, I would literally have a stroke or a heart attack or something and drop dead on the spot from watching Evan Gattis play left field for the Atlanta Braves. Now, it seems, I do not have to worry. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves have traded Gattis to the Houston Astros for a “trio of prospects.” Joel Sherman reports that that trio is Michael Foltynewicz, Rio Ruiz and Andrew Thurman.
Gattis is obviously a beast in the power department. He hit.263/.317/.493 with 22 homers in 401 plate appearances last year, but he is certainly an all-or-nothing hitter, striking out 97 times. He also has some defensive liabilities, especially if he’s asked to do anything but catch. The Astros could DH him. Or, depending on what they think about his framing abilities -- which are supposed to be good -- as opposed to his overall receiving and ability to throw out baserunners -- not great -- could have him catch some as well. Still: he’s a bat first and foremost.
As for the package the Braves are getting in return, Foltynewicz, a right-hander, was the Astros’ first rounder in 2010. He’s 23-years-old and last year spent his first time in Triple-A, where he posted a 7-7 record and an ERA of 5.08. He also had a cup of coffee with the big club. The Astros’ fourth overall prospect before 2014, he strikes out guys at a decent clip and had a chance to compete for a slot in Houston’s rotation this season.
Ruiz is a third baseman who hit .293/.387/.436 in high-A-ball last year. He showed mostly doubles power, but he’s also only 20-years-old. If the power develops and he can stick at third base defensively, he profiles as a nice prospect.
Thurman, also a right-hander, just turned 23. He was a second rounder in 2013 from U-C Irvine. He posted fairly unimpressive numbers in A-ball.
A power infusion for the Astros. A couple of building blocks for the future for the Braves. Instant reaction: seems like a good deal for Atlanta if, for no other reason, than it keeps Gattis from playing left field.