Prospects in the Andrew Bailey Trade.
The Oakland Athletics continued their active off-season with another major trade this evening, sending closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney to the Boston Red Sox, in exchange for outfielder Josh Reddick, right-handed pitcher Raul Alcantara, and first baseman Miles Head.
Reddick is no longer a rookie and most fans should be familiar with him: he's young at age 24 (25 in February) and hit .280/.327/.457 in 254 at-bats for the Red Sox in 2011. The two prospects here are Alcantara and Head, so let's take a look.
Raul Alcantara, RHP: Alcantara is a 6-3, 180 pound right-handed pitcher, born December 4th, 1992 in Barahona, Dominican Republic. The Red Sox signed him as a free agent in 2009 and he made his North American debut in '11. He posted a 0.75 ERA with a 36/6 K/BB in 48 innings for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, earning a promotion to Lowell in the New York-Penn League at the end of August. He was hit harder there, giving up 25 hits and 14 runs (6.23 ERA) in 17 innings over four starts, with a 14/6 K/BB, but he was young for the level at age 18.
Alcantara is a classic projection prospect. He already throws 90-95 MPH and should sustain his peak velocities more readily as he matures physically. His curveball and changeup are inconsistent, but they exist, which is more than a lot of pitchers his age can say. He throws strikes and keeps the ball down, collecting grounders at a decent clip and avoiding homers. He's only given up one homer in 126 professional innings. His strikeout rate is low for a guy with his kind of velocity at the lower levels, which indicates the need to improve his secondary stuff.
He's a Grade C+ prospect at this point and will need time to develop, at least three years from the majors.
Miles Head, 1B-3B: Head is a 6-0, 215 pound first baseman, a right-handed hitter and thrower, born May 2nd, 1991. He was drafted in the 26th round in 2009 from high school in Fayetteville, Georgia, but his draft position was deceptive. His signability was in question, and it took $335,000 to keep him away from college ball at the University of Georgia. He could have gone as high as the fourth round otherwise. Head split 2011 between Low-A Greenville (.338/.409/.612 in 66 games) and High-A Salem (.254/.328/.405 in 63 games), combining for 37 doubles, 22 homers, 50 walks, and 109 strikeouts.
Head features above-average power potential, but will have to prove that his swing and plate discipline will work against advanced pitching. He lacks the speed to play an outfield corner, and spent 2011 at first base. He has experience at third and may move back to the hot corner, where his arm will play well but his range may not.
Like Alcantara, Head is a Grade C+ type who has major league potential but still has things to prove. He could develop into a very productive slugger, but could also fizzle out as a Quadruple-A bat without a real position.