On Monday morning the Tampa Bay Rays traded right-handed pitcher Chih-Wei Hu to the Cleveland Indians for minor league infielder/outfielder Gionti Turner. Here’s a quick look at this prospect-for-prospect dreal.
Chih-Wei Hu, RHP: Hu was originally signed by the Minnesota Twins out of Taiwan in 2012. He was traded to the Rays in 2015 for Kevin Jepsen and has spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons bouncing between Triple-A and the majors. He had a fine ‘17 campaign for Durham (3.06 ERA, 57/12 K/BB in 62 innings) but was less effective in 2018 (4.66 ERA, 92/28 K/BB in 102 innings, 113 hits. He’s pitched 23 innings in the majors over two seasons with a 3.52 ERA and a 21/7 K/BB.
Age 25, Hu features a low-90s fastball along with a diverse array of secondary pitches including a sinker, a palmball, a regular change-up, a curve, and a slider. He throws strikes and can start or relieve. He has little left to prove in the minors and should get a shot as a long reliever/spot starter in Cleveland.
Gionti Turner, INF-OF: The Indians drafted Turner in the 27th round in 2018 from high school in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He received little pre-draft attention but drew some looks in rookie ball, hitting .296/.348/.396 in the Arizona Rookie League with nine steals, 10 doubles, one homer, 12 walks, and 42 strikeouts in 169 at-bats.
Turner is listed at 6-2, 178, a right-handed hitter and thrower age 18. He did enough in rookie ball to get noticed, showing notable speed and overall athleticism as well as versatility, seeing action at shortstop, second base, and center field. There could be some power potential in the bat as well. We need to see him at higher levels but he’s a flier worth tracking.