Jeremy Hellickson named Baseball America's minor league player of the year

2 Comments

Rays prospect Jeremy Hellickson has been named Baseball America‘s minor league player of the year after the 22-year-old right-hander went 12-3 with a 2.45 ERA, .238 opponents’ batting average, and 123/35 K/BB ratio in 117.2 innings at Triple-A.
BA doesn’t list the other finalists for the award, but Mike Moustakas and Wil Myers of the Royals, Mike Trout of the Angels, and Domonic Brown of the Phillies were other prominent candidates.
Hellickson is the third Rays prospect to win the award in the franchise’s 13-year history, following the footsteps of Delmon Young in 2005 and Rocco Baldelli in 2002. He’s also the first pitcher to win the award since Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis in 2004, as Young, Alex Gordon, Jay Bruce, Matt Wieters, and Jason Heyward marked five straight position player recipients.
In addition to dominating Triple-A hitters Hellickson has also thrived in his first taste of the majors, going 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA, .212 opponents’ batting average, and 26/5 K/BB ratio through 28 innings for the Rays.
He’s been so good and Jeff Niemann has struggled so much since returning from the disabled list that Hellickson could be in line for a spot in the postseason rotation.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

Getty Images
4 Comments

The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.