The Texas Rangers traded veteran relief pitcher Jason Frasor to the Kansas City Royals this afternoon. In exchange, the Royals will ship right-handed pitcher Spencer Patton to Texas. Patton was pitching for Triple-A Omaha before the trade, posting a 4.08 ERA in 46 innings with a 60/22 K/BB, 26 hits allowed, and 14 saves.
Patton is a 6-1, 185 pound right-hander born on February 20, 1988. He was drafted by Kansas City in the 24th round in 2011, from the University of Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. He had an excellent 2013 season, posting a 1.96 ERA with a 76/20 K/BB in 64 innings for High-A Wilmington, followed by a 1.50 ERA with a 27/6 K/BB in 18 innings for Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
Patton works with a 90-93 MPH fastball, a slider and an occasional changeup. His stuff does not stand out and has kept him off prospect lists, but he's deceptive and hitters have a hard time picking his pitches up, resulting in consistently excellent strikeout rates despite the lack of hot velocity. In the majors he projects as a potential middle relief option, but he needs to sharpen his command a bit more and avoid the gopher balls that have plagued him at times this year.