On Saturday morning the Arizona Diamondbacks traded veteran relief pitcher Brad Ziegler to the Boston Red Sox for a pair of prospects: right-handed pitcher Jose Almonte and infielder Luis Alejandro Basabe. Here's the scoop on the newest Arizona prospects.
Jose Almonte, RHP: Almonte is from the Dominican Republic, signed as a minor league free agent by the Red Sox in 2012. He's made 10 starts for Greenville in the Low-A South Atlantic League this year, posting a 3.91 ERA in 53 innings with a 45/13 K/BB and 50 hits allowed.
Listed at 6-2, 185, Almonte is 20 years old, born September 8th, 1995. His best pitches are his curveball and change-up, both with the potential to be major league average. His velocity is inconsistent, topping out at 93 at his best but more commonly in the 88-91 range. There's still some projection in his body and the fastball may improve further with time. Almonte's control was shaky last year in the New York-Penn League (38 walks in 66 innings) but took a step forward this year. Overall he projects as a back-of-the-rotation starter.
Luis Alejandro Basabe, 2B: Basabe is from Venezuela, signed in 2012. His twin brother Luis Alexander Basabe also signed with the Red Sox and is an interesting prospect in his own right. Luis Alejandro is having a fine 2016 season, hitting .310/.412/.467 for Low-A Greenville with 14 steals and a 37/58 BB/K in 229 at-bats before the trade. Arizona has assigned him to Kane County in the Low-A Midwest League, a lateral move.
Luis Alejandro is a switch-hitter listed at 5-10, 160, born August 26, 1996. He's drawn praise for a mechanically-sound swing that works from both sides of the plate, along with a sharp feel for the strike zone. He's shown an increase in strength and power production this season. He's a bit error-prone at second base but has lowered his mistake rate this season and has the athleticism to stick at the position with more experience. His arm does not project well for shortstop or third base, but he does run well enough to perhaps play the outfield at some point if necessary.