On Wednesday afternoon the Tampa Bay Rays traded veteran third baseman Evan Longoria to the San Francisco Giants. In exchange, the Rays receive young third baseman Christian Arroyo, veteran outfielder Denard Span, and pitching prospects Matt Krook and Stephen Woods.
Let’s take a look at what the Rays got.
Christian Arroyo, 3B: Arroyo was drafted by the Giants in the first round in 2013 from high school in Florida. He destroyed Triple-A in 2017, hitting .396/.461/.604 in 91 at-bats, then was promoted to the majors in May and hit .192/.244/.304 in 125 at-bats before being struck down by a wrist injury. He still holds rookie status for 2018.
Arroyo is listed at 6-1, 180, a right-handed hitter, age 22. Although he scuffled in his first exposure to MLB pitching he has been a scout favorite for years, thanks to his contact hitting ability and sneaky power. The former shortstop looks like a solid defender at third base and has also played well in limited exposure at second base.
His main flaw is a low walk rate which makes his OBP very dependent on his batting average. That’s one thing if he can hit .300 in the majors as he did in the minors, but if he settles down as a .260sh hitter it becomes a problem, especially if his power doesn’t develop as much as hoped.
Matt Krook, LHP: Krook is a big lefty, drafted by the Giants in the fourth round in 2016 from the University of Oregon. In 2017 he posted a 5.12 ERA in 91 innings for San Jose in the High-A California League, with a 105/66 K/BB and just 75 hits allowed.
Listed at 6-4, 225, Krook is 23 years old. He throws quite hard for a lefty, 92-96 MPH, and both his slider and curveball can be overpowering. He also has a not-bad change-up. Command issues and general inconsistency have prevented consistent success to this point, but the strikeouts and the low hit rate are not lying about the quality of his stuff. He’s rather raw for a college product but it wouldn’t take much for him to improve dramatically.
Stephen Woods, RHP: Woods is another product of the 2016 draft, selected in the eighth round from SUNY Albany. He had a successful 2017 season with a 2.95 ERA in 110 innings for Augusta in the Low-A South Atlantic League, posting a 113/64 K/BB with 93 hits allowed.
Woods is listed at 6-2, 200, age 22. The Rays have a long-standing interest in him: he was drafted by Tampa in the sixth round in 2013 but went to college instead. Like Krook he has a live arm, with a heater up to 95 MPH while mixing in a hard curve and slider. His change-up needs work, as does his command, but there’s plenty of stuff here.