We don’t usually write about trades involving minor leaguers who aren’t prospects, but this is an obvious exception: The Angels have traded the son of manager Mike Scioscia, first baseman Matt Scioscia, to the Cubs for outfielder Trevor Gretzky, who’s also known as Wayne Gretzky’s son.
Once upon a time Trevor Gretzky looked like a decent enough prospect. He was the Cubs’ seventh-round pick out of a California high school in 2011 and is still just 20 years old, but he’s managed a grand total of one homer and 17 walks (with 61 strikeouts) in 76 games in the low minors.
Matt Scioscia has never been considered a prospect, being drafted by the Angels in the 45th round back out of college in 2011 and hitting just .222 with three homers and a .544 OPS in 127 games while failing to advance past Single-A at age 24.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: