Dodgers get Yu Darvish

Matthew Straubmuller on Flickr

The Dodgers had a busy trade deadline, adding depth to their bullpen with the additions of Tony Watson from the Pirates and Tony Cingrani from the Reds then nabbing Rangers ace Yu Darvish with about a minute to spare before the deadline ended. To get Darvish, the Dodgers sent 2B/OF Willie Calhoun, RHP A.J. Alexy, and INF Brendon Davis over to Rangers, able to avoid giving up their two best prospects, RHP Walker Buehler and OF Alex Verdugo.

Calhoun, 22, ranked as the Dodgers fourth best prospect and the 69th best prospect in all of baseball, is a really good get for the Rangers. Calhoun is thriving in his first season in Triple-A, slashing .298/.357/.574 with 24 doubles, 23 home runs, and 67 RBI’s in 99 games played in Oklahoma City. One of the things that sticks out about him besides his power is his low strikeout rate, only striking out 13 percent of the time in 397 at-bats. Calhoun has spent most of his time at second base, although he might end up in the outfield at the big-league level, mainly in left field where he has seen some time this year. Here’s MLB.com’s scouting report on him:

Calhoun also finished second in the TL in homers (27) and strikeout rate (one per 8.6 plate appearances), demonstrating his rare combination of hitting ability and power. A left-handed hitter, he has a quick bat and a knack for making contact, and he might do even more damage once he learns to wait a little better for pitches he can drive. He could be a .280 hitter with 20 or more homers per season at his peak.

That would be quality production for a second baseman, but Calhoun probably won’t remain in the infield. His quickness, hands and arm all grade as below average at second, though he has worked hard on his defense. An outfielder and third baseman at Yavapai, he’s most likely to wind up in left field and has begun playing there this year.

Alexy, 19, rated as the Dodgers’ 17th best prospect, is in his first full professional season after being taken by Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2016 MLB Draft. In 19 starts at Single-A with the Great Lakes Loons, Alexy went 2-6 with a 3.67 ERA, striking out 87 batters in 73 2/3 innings pitched. The walk rate is a bit high, but keep in mind he’s only 19 and it shouldn’t overshadow the fact opposing batters are only hitting .180 against him. Here’s the scouting report on Alexy from MLB.com:

Alexy’s best present weapon is his curveball, which has depth and could become a true plus offering once it adds more power. He usually works at 88-93 mph with his fastball and should add more velocity once he fills out his projectable 6-foot-4 frame. His changeup is more of a work in progress, but has some potential.

He didn’t become a full-time pitcher until he was a junior in high school, so Alexy still has room for lots of growth. He has a quick arm and his pitches should continue to improve as he gets stronger and refines his delivery. Club officials praise his competitive nature.

Davis, 20, rated as the Dodgers’ 27th best prospect, hasn’t found much success in his professional career yet since being drafted by the Dodgers in the fifth round of the 2015 MLB Draft. You will mainly find Davis at shortstop, although he has been spending time at third base and second base, trying to see where he has a better feel. Not too long before being traded,, Davis did receive as a promotion to high Single-A, where he only played eight games, slashing .200/.273/.400 with three doubles, one home run, and eight RBI’s. Here’s what MLB.com has to say about Davis:

Davis offers both a high ceiling and a low floor. He already shows some bat speed and feel for hitting, with the promise of more once he packs some much-needed strength onto his skinny 6-foot-4 frame. He also has an overly aggressive approach at the plate and won’t translate his upside into production unless he becomes more disciplined.

Taller than most shortstops, Davis has fringy speed and lacks the quickness typical of the position. He made 20 errors in 80 games at shortstop last year, looking more comfortable at third base. His range is better suited for the hot corner, where he has the hands and arm to become a solid defender, and he has also seen extensive action at second base this year.

This is just getting unfair, as the Dodgers were already on pace for 114 wins this year with Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, and Rich Hill in the rotation, now they add Yu Darvish into the mix which makes them more frightening. Darvish’s numbers don’t look the best right now due to two horrific starts this month, but otherwise, he has been pretty good lately. When he’s on, Darvish is one of the best pitchers in the game, almost untouchable at times with amazing control of his pitches.

The Rangers received a solid return for Darvish, highlighted by Willie Calhoun, who can be a guy that can lead the club in the near future, the way he’s been producing in Triple-A. Forget about running away with the NL West after this deal, the Dodgers may run all way to the World Series because nobody’s rotation can matchup to theirs now, following this trade.

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