On Sunday afternoon the Chicago White Sox traded veteran outfielder Melky Cabrera to the Kansas City Royals for a pair of pitching prospects: right-hander A.J. Puckett and left-hander Andre Davis. Here’s a quick take on the newest members of the White Sox organization.
Andre Davis, LHP: The Royals drafted Andre Davis in the eighth round in 2015 from the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. He spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons in the rookie-level Appalachian League, then moved up to the Low-A South Atlantic League in 2017 with the Lexington Legends. He’s thrown 86 innings for the Legends this year with a 4.83 ERA and an 87/23 K/BB with 96 hits allowed.
Davis is listed at 6-6, 230, born September 29th, 1993. He’s raw for a pitcher his age, in part because he was mainly a first baseman in college, but he has no shortage of arm strength and has been clocked as high as 97 MPH. His command has shown signs of improvement but many observers view him as a reliever long-term.
A.J. Puckett, RHP: Puckett was a second round pick in 2016 from Pepperdine University. He has pitched for High-A Wilmington in the Carolina League this year, posting a 3.90 ERA in 108 innings with a 98/46 K/BB ratio and 107 hits allowed.
Puckett is listed at 6-4, 200 pounds, born May 27th, 1995. Renowned for his fastball/change-up combination, Puckett has a 90-94 MPH heater that plays up due to the contrast with his excellent change-of-pace. He has a curveball as well but this pitch needs more refinement; at times, he has under-pitched his talent level this year due to issues with the curve.
On the right day he can breeze through any lineup keeping hitters off-balance easily, but he could use a bit more consistency. If that comes around he can be a solid inning-eating workhorse.