This afternoon the Oakland Athletics traded left-hander Rich Hill and outfielder Josh Reddick to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In exchange, the bat-wielding elephants receive three pitching prospects: right-handers Frankie Montas, Grant Holmes, and Jharel Cotton. Here's a quick take.
Jharel Cotton, RHP: From the Virgin Islands, Cotton was drafted by the Dodgers in the 20th round in 2012 from East Carolina University. He's spent 2016 with Triple-A Oklahoma City in the Pacific Coast League, posting a 4.90 ERA with a 119/32 K/BB in 97 innings with 80 hits allowed.
Cotton is 5-11, 195, born January 19, 1992. His best pitch is an excellent change-up but he's not a soft-tosser, working consistently in the low-90s with peaks at 95-96. His slider and curveball are not as good as the change-up and opinions differ on if he starts or relieves in the long run. I think his strikeout and hit rates are more indicative of his potential than his 2016 ERA and he should be ready for a trial now.
Grant Holmes, RHP: Grant Holmes was drafted by the Dodgers in the first round in 2014 from high school in Conway, South Carolina. He's thrown 105 innings for Rancho Cucamonga in the High-A California League this year, posting a 4.02 ERA with a 100/43 K/BB and 103 hits allowed, credible numbers given the league/park context that favors hitting.
Holmes is 6-1, 215, born March 22nd, 1996. His key pitch is a heavy low-to-mid-90s fastball, helping him post a 1.63 GO/AO and a low home run rate. He has a curveball and a change-up, both a bit inconsistent but showing progression this season and flashing plus. If all goes according to play, he'll be a workhorse starter but he will likely need at least one more minor league season to polish up his command.
Frankie Montas, RHP: Montas was originally signed by the Boston Red Sox from the Dominican Republic in 2009. He was traded to the White Sox in the 2013 Jake Peavy deal, then moved on to the Dodgers in the December 2015 Todd Frazier three-way trade with the Reds. Montas has spent much of 2016 on the shelf with a slow recovery from off-season rib surgery. He's pitched just 16 innings between Double-A and Triple-A this year, posting a 2.25 ERA with a 22/3 K/BB, but has been on the disabled list since mid-June.
Montas is 6-2, 255, born March 21, 1993. When healthy he throws quite hard, in the mid-90s with reports of 100-101 MPH peaks. He has a slider, very promising but inconsistent, and a weaker change-up. He hasn't pitched much this year due to the injury but in the small sample size he's shown significantly improved control and sharper secondaries. He is generally seen as a reliever in the long run.