With his team trailing the AL East leading Red Sox by 3.5 games and in need of some late inning relief help, Baltimore Orioles General Manager Dan Duquette sent third base prospect Nick Delmonico to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for closer/setup man Francisco Rodriguez.
Delmonico, 20, is in the midst of a breakout year in High-A, hitting .244/.351/.471 with 12 doubles and 13 homeruns. According to Weighted Runs Created Plus, his total offensive production was been 25% better than the Carolina League average despite being about two years younger than the average player.
After showing some initial promise as a teenager in A-ball in 2012 (.249/.351/.411), Delmonico has shown more power this season (.227 ISO), something that could develop into 25+ homeruns down the road, and a better walk rate (13.7%). I recently ranked Delmonico as the 71st best prospect in baseball at mid season, a jump of nearly 70 spots from his preseason ranking.
Heading back to Baltimore is K-Rod, who’s racked up 10 saves in just under 25 innings of work.
Rodriguez, 31, is still averaging more than a punch per inning and his current walk rate, 3.28 BB/9, is the lowest mark of his career. The problem, of course, is that he’s been incredibly fortunate this season. His strand rate is a whopping 99.1%; his batting average on balls in play, or BABIP, is .250, nearly 30 points lower than his career mark and more than 50 points lower than his average over the last three seasons. His groundball rate, 28.3%, is also incredibly troublesome too.
K-Rod’s Skill Independent ERA, or SIERA, is 3.23, more than two full runs higher than his actual ERA (1.09). And among relievers with 20+ innings of work this year, Rodriguez’s SIERA is tied for 87th best.
Overall, this is easily a win for Milwaukee, who flipped another 25 innings of work from K-Rod for a promising prospect and one who could end up ranking as high as #2 for the organization next year.
Photo of Nick Delmonico Courtesy of Carl Kline/MiLB.com