Over the winter the Brewers traded reliever Tyler Thornburg to Boston. In exchange, the Red Sox sent the Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw and two minor leaguers, Mauricio Dubon and Josh Pennington, to Milwaukee and agreed to send a player to be named later. Today that player was named: shortstop Yeison Coca.
Coca is only 18 and has only played in the Dominican Summer League. Despite this, he was the 25th-ranked prospect in the Red Sox system by Baseball America this spring after hitting .307/.370/.409 with 12 stolen bases and nine triples over 62 games during that summer league play. It’s difficult to project anyone as green as Coca is, but that’s an awfully nice piece heading back to Milwaukee.
This is especially true given how poorly the trade has already worked out for the Red Sox. Thornburg was a nice snag over the winter, coming off of a fantastic season in which he posted a 2.15 ERA while striking out 90 batters in 67 innings across 67 appearances. He has suffered shoulder problems, however, and hasn’t pitched since the first week of spring training games. Shaw, meanwhile, deemed expendable by the return of Pablo Sandoval, is hitting .292/.339/.530 with ten homers and 40 RBI on the season for Milwaukee.
The trade made sense at the time, but has turned out pretty bad for Boston. If Coca lives up to expectations, it’ll look even worse later.
The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.
Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:
Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:
In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.
The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.
The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.
Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.
While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.