If you pay attention at all to the MLB Amateur Draft, you’re probably familiar with pitcher Barret Loux.
The 6-foot-5 righty from Texas A&M was selected sixth overall in June 2010 by the Diamondbacks but went unsigned after a physical revealed a labrum tear in his shoulder and multiple issues with his elbow.
He spent the rest of the summer getting healthy, then landed a free agent contract — with a $312,000 signing bonus — from the Rangers in November.
And now the Rangers have traded him to the Cubs, according to MLB.com beat writer Carrie Muskat, along with a player to be named later. Going to Texas in return is Jacob Brigham, a 24-year-old right-hander who began his career in the Rangers’ system. He was traded to Chicago this July for catcher Geovany Soto.
Loux, 23, has a 3.62 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 227 strikeouts in 236 career minor league innings. He posted a 3.47 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 100/41 K/BB ratio across 127 frames this past season at Double-A Frisco.
Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus says Loux projects as a “back of the rotation” starter.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.