Prior to the trade deadline, the Jays sent Eric Sogard to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for two Players to be Named Later. According to the team’s official account, those prospects are pitchers Curtis Taylor and Edisson Gonzalez.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 1, 2019
Taylor is a right-handed pitcher from British Columbia who was originally drafted by the Diamondbacks back in 2016. After one year in the Diamondbacks organization, he was sent to Tampa Bay in exchange for Brad Boxberger. Taylor pitched as a reliever in Double-A this season, putting together a 3.06 ERA over 17 2/3 innings, striking out 8.2 batters per nine while walking 2.5 batters per nine. Across four seasons in the minors, Taylor has a sparkling 2.84 ERA.
Here are some notes on Taylor, courtesy of Wander Rays…
- Fastball rated as plus by many
- Slider (imo) above-average
- Confident, poised
- Gets swings and misses
- Change up needs work
- Allowed fair amount of FB (49%), fewer GB than ideal (30%)
- It didn’t matter which side Taylor was facing, neither could exceed a .571 OPS against him. Not only did he also add 8 saves in the process, but over the second half the Rays used him as an Opener on four occasions – a possible indication of a future role for him.
Gonzalez is probably the more interesting pitcher in the deal, though there really isn’t much information about him out there. Based on his stat line, though, there’s something there. The 19-year-old righty pitched the entire season in Low-A this year, posting a 2.45 ERA over 62 1/3 innings with excellent peripheral numbers. He struck out 11.1 batters per nine and walked just 1.9. That’s pretty impressive stuff for his age at that level.
Both Taylor and Gonzalez are ranked outside of Tampa Bay’s top-30 prospects, but a lot of that comes down to them having an insanely deep prospect pool. Taylor is more of a depth organization arm at this stage, but Gonzalez is legitimately a prospect worth getting excited over. All in all, this is a pretty nice haul for a player who was signed to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.