Prospects in the Jeff Keppinger Trade
The Houston Astros traded second baseman Jeff Keppinger to the San Francisco Giants for pitching prospects Henry Sosa and Jason Stoffel on Tuesday, July 19th. Here is a look at the two arms acquired by Houston.
Henry Sosa, RHP: Sosa is 25 year old (turns 26 on July 28th), signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2004. He got lit up early in the year for Triple-A Fresno, allowing 39 hits, 17 walks, and 30 runs in just 23 innings (10.41 ERA), but has been more effective after being sent back to Double-A Richmond (2.68 ERA, 36/8 K/BB in 40 innings, 41 hits). He throws quite hard (94-97 MPH), but his slider and changeup are mediocre and his control is spotty. The Giants gave up on him, but the Astros hope a change of scenery can unlock his talent.
Jason Stoffel, RHP: Stoffel was drafted by the Giants in the fourth round in 2009 from the University of Arizona. 22 years old, he has a 3.98 ERA with 13 saves for Double-A Richmond this year, with a 31/16 K/BB in 32 innings, 34 hits allowed, 1.30 GO/AO and one homer allowed. Stoffel has a 90 MPH sinker and a decent slider, and the combination can be effective when his command is working. His command isn't sharp enough for him to close in the majors, but he could be a useful relief asset.
SUMMARY: The Astros decided that prospect Jose Altuve was ready for the majors, and exchanging the veteran Keppinger for a pair of relief arms is a reasonable decision. Neither Sosa nor Stoffel fit into San Francisco's long-term plans, so this could end up helping both clubs.