On Friday night the Minnesota Twins traded pitcher Ryan Pressly to the Houston Astros for two prospects: right-hander Jorge Alcala and outfielder Gilberto Celestino. Here’s a quick look at the newest members of the Twins system.
Jorge Alcala, RHP: The Astros signed Alcala as a free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2014. Used as both a starter and reliever this year, he has a 3.29 ERA in 79 innings between High-A and Double-A with an 82/35 K/BB and just 61 hits allowed.
Alcala is listed at 6-3, 180, age 23. He throws quite hard, clocked as high as 98 with consistent radar readings in the mid-90s. He will flash a plus slider but this pitch is inconsistent and flattens out at times. He also has a so-so change-up that has the potential to improve but is not as far along as the slider. If both secondaries come together he could be a number three starter but many observers project Alcala as a dominant reliever. He should be ready for a look next year.
Gilberto Celestino, OF: The Astros spent $2,500,000 to sign Celestino out of the Dominican Republic in 2015. He’s having what looks like a breakout summer this year, hitting .317/.383/.476 with Tri-City in the New York-Penn League. He’s also stolen 14 bases without being caught.
Celestino is a right-handed hitter and left-handed thrower (an unusual profile), listed at 6-0, 170, age 19. Running speed and arm strength are his best physical tools and he’s turned them into excellent outfield defense in center. As a hitter he looks to be growing into his power although there’s still some work to do refining his feel for the strike zone.
I think this is a good haul for the Twins. Pressly is a fine reliever but the 29-year-old is at his peak now. Alcala is younger and still has a shot at being a starter, while Celestino could end up being a regular outfielder down the line.