The Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers have completed the Jonathan Broxton trade. Milwaukee sends pitching prospects Barrett Astin and Kevin Shackelford to Cincinnati. Here's a look at the two newest members of the Reds organization.
Barrett Astin, RHP: Astin was drafted by the Brewers in the third round in 2013, from the University of Arkansas. He pitched for Wisconsin in the Low-A Midwest League in 2014, posting a 4.96 ERA in 122 innings with an 81/36 K/BB and 132 hits allowed.
Astin is a 6-2, 210 pound right-handed hitter and thrower, born October 22, 1991. He struggled as a starter this year with a 5.55 ERA in 96 innings, but was much more effective when used in a relief role, posting a 2.77 ERA with a 15/7 K/BB in 26 bullpen frames. He was a successful reliever in college and that is likely his long-term role as a professional. Astin features an 88-91 MPH fastball when used as a starter, but in the bullpen he's been clocked as high as 93. He has a curveball and a cutter and usually throws strikes, but needs more consistency with the secondary offerings.
Kevin Shackelford, RHP: Milwaukee drafted Shackelford in the 21st round in 2010 from Marshall University. He was brilliant in 21 innings for High-A Brevard County in the Florida State League this year, posting a 16/4 K/BB and 0.87 ERA, but was less effective in 50 innings for Double-A Huntsville in the Southern League, posting a 4.86 ERA with a 25/17 K/BB in 50 innings.
Shackelford is a 6-5, 210 pound right-handed hitter and thrower, born April 7, 1989. A ground ball pitcher, he gets good sinking action on his 90-95 MPH fastball, but his slider is erratic, varying between plus and poor depending on when you see him. Problems with the breaking ball resulted in a poor K/IP ratio in Double-A, but he has considerable arm strength and could still develop into a useful reliever.
ANALYSIS: Both Astin and Shackelford are Grade C prospects at this point, but both have flashed the ability to be useful major league relievers if they develop more consistency with their secondary pitches. They add some bullpen depth to the system, which is all the Reds were looking for while dumping Broxton's salary.