On Saturday the Toronto Blue Jays traded infielder Aledmys Diaz to the Houston Astros for pitching prospect Trent Thornton. Here’s a quick look at the newest member of the Jays organization.
Trent Thornton, RHP: The Astros drafted Thornton in the fifth round in 2015 from the University of North Carolina. He’s had some success as a strike-throwing starter, notably in 2018 when he posted a 4.42 ERA in 124 innings for Triple-A Fresno. His K/BB ratio was very good at 122/31 and he gave up slightly less than a hit per inning (118 hits). His FIP (4.01) and xFIP (3.93) were better than the raw ERA but he was trapped behind other pitchers on the Astros depth chart and could have been selected in the upcoming Rule 5 draft.
Thornton is listed at 6-0, 175, age 25. Although not a big guy he has some arm strength, with a 91-95 MPH fastball that could improve if he moves to the bullpen. He throws strikes and features a diverse arsenal with a cutter, slider, curveball, and change-up. Right now I make him as a Grade C+ prospect with some sleeper potential.