The Minnesota Twins continued their roster purge right at the trade deadline yesterday, shipping disappointing veteran right-hander Ricky Nolasco and pitching prospect Alex Meyer to the Los Angeles Angels. In exchange the Twins receive lefty Hector Santiago and right-handed pitching prospect Alan Busenitz. Here's a quick take on the two rookies, Meyer and Busenitz.
Alan Busenitz, RHP: Alan Busenitz was a 25th round pick in 2013 from Kennesaw State University. He's pitched short relief in the Angels system with a few save opportunities here and there. He performed well this year for Double-A Arkansas (1.93 ERA in 33 innings, 32/5 K/BB) but has been hit harder since being promoted to Triple-A Salt Lake (7.62 ERA, 13/5 K/BB in 13 innings).
Busenitz is a 6-1, 180 pound right-hander born August 22nd, 1990. His track record is spotty but he has a good arm, featuring 90-94 MPH fastballs (with slightly higher peaks) along with a solid-average slider. He is a generic middle relief arm, useful staff filler but not likely to get beyond being the 10th or 11th man for most teams.
Alex Meyer, RHP: Meyer was originally drafted by the Washington Nationals in the first round in 2011 from the University of Kentucky; he was traded to the Twins in 2012 for Denard Span. He reached the majors for the first time last year but his pitching has been quite limited this year, just 17 innings in Triple-A and 3.2 in the Show. He's been laid up with shoulder soreness most of the season with no clear return date.
When healthy, 26-year-old Meyer can intimidate hitters with his 6-9, 225 frame as well as a fastball in the mid-to-upper-90s. He has a nasty power breaking ball but his change-up hasn't progressed past mediocre. His command comes and goes, too. At this point his best role is likely in the bullpen, but he needs to work through his current shoulder concerns in any event.