On Thursday afternoon the Miami Marlins traded infielder Dee Gordon to the Seattle Mariners for three prospects: right-handed pitchers Nick Neidert and Robert Dugger, along with infielder Christopher Torres. The Mariners also receive international bonus pool slots worth $1,000,000, as they continue to boost their warchest for the Shohei Ohtani campaign.
Here’s a quick look at the three newest members of the Marlins system.
Robert Dugger, RHP: A successful relief pitcher at Texas Tech, Dugger posted a 2.67 ERA in 61 innings in college ball in 2016, leading to a spot in the 18th round of the draft. The Mariners converted him to starting and he performed well in 2017, posting a 2.75 ERA in 119 innings combined between the Low-A Midwest League and the High-A California League, with a 116/32 K/BB.
Dugger is 6-2, 180, born July 3rd, 1995. His arsenal is unusually broad for a former reliever, featuring a slider, curveball, and change-up to go with a 90-94 MPH fastball. His secondaries are solid rather than excellent but he mixes everything well, throws strikes, and has good instincts, projecting as a number four starter as he moves up.
Nick Neidert, RHP: The Mariners drafted Neidert in the second round of the 2015 draft from high school in Suwanee, Georgia. He performed very well in High-A in 2017, posting a sharp 109/17 K/BB ratio with a 2.76 ERA in 104 innings with Modesto in the offense-heavy California League. Promoted to Double-A Arkansas in the Texas League late in the season, he was less effective with a 6.56 ERA and 33 hits allowed in 23 innings, although he continued to throw strikes with a 13/5 K/BB.
Neidert is 6-1, 180, born November 20th, 1996. His best pitch is an excellent change-up, possibly double-plus on its best days, and he’ll also mix in a very good breaking ball. His fastball is not especially fast at 89-93 and he had trouble getting it past Double-A hitters, but his ability to make adjustments is well-regarded; while a large velocity increase is unlikely, he may just need more time to adapt to the higher levels. He did pitch effectively in three of his six Double-A starts. Like Dugger, he projects as a back-of-the-rotation asset.
Christopher Torres, INF: Torres is from the Dominican Republic, signed by the Mariners as a free agent in 2014 for $375,000. He spent 2017 with Everett in the short-season Northwest League, hitting .238/.324/.435 in 193 at-bats with 25 walks and 64 strikeouts. He also stole 13 bases in 16 attempts.
Torres is listed at 5-11, 170, a switch-hitter born February 6th, 1998. He draws positive reviews for his defense, scouts praising his arm strength and range, although he needs to cut down on routine errors: his .896 fielding percentage at Everett was unacceptably poor. The good news is that his physical tools do fit at the position so teams are willing to be patient while he irons out the kinks.
Speed is his best offensive tool. He strikes out quite a bit at this stage of his career but he’ll also draw a few walks. Torres will occasionally show some surprising pop, especially from the right side of the plate. He’ll need time but should not be under-estimated.