The Chicago White Sox traded closer Addison Reed to the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday afternoon, receiving third base prospect Matt Davidson in return. Reed saved 40 games in 2013 with a 3.79 ERA and a 72/23 K/BB ratio in 71 innings. He saved 29 games in 2012 with a 4.75 ERA.
Although Reed is still young at 25, the non-established prospect here is Davidson and here's a report:
Matt Davidson, 3B: Arizona drafted Davidson in the supplemental first round in 2009, from high school in Yucaipa, California. The 35th overall pick in the draft, he signed for $900,000. He's been a steady source of power throughout his professional career, hitting 18 homers in 2010, 20 in 2011, 23 in 2012, and 20 in 2013. His '13 season was split between Triple-A Reno (.280/.351/.481, 17 homers, 46 walks, 134 strikeouts in 443 at-bats) and the major league roster, where he hit .237/.333/.434 with three homers, 24 strikeouts, and 10 walks in 76 at-bats.
Davidson is a 6-2, 225 pound right-handed hitter and thrower, born March 26, 1991. As his track record shows, he's a solid source of power and knocks 20 homers a year. He strikes out a lot and his batting averages are less impressive; the .280 at Reno isn't robust by PCL standards and his career minor league average stands at .268. In the majors he'll likely hit .240-.250, though perhaps more could be possible at his peak. On the positive side, he's improved his strike zone judgment with experience and even with a mediocre batting average, he should post a decent OBP.
His glove isn't outstanding but it isn't terrible and has improved quite a bit over the last three seasons. He has a strong arm and decent enough range; he can hold the position if he hits enough.
ANALYSIS: I expect Davidson can be a .250/.330/.450 hitter and his new home park will play to his strengths. He turns 23 in March, doesn't have anything left to prove in the minors, and should have a long and productive career.
Although the "proven closer" concept is dangerous, I also like Addison Reed and I think he's capable of being much better than he's been so far, and given that he's been pretty good, that is saying something. It could work for both teams, although if Davidson maxes out his ability, he could have more long term value.
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