In a move designed to get the most value out of Ernesto Frieri as the Padres could, Josh Byrnes and company
shipped Frieri north to the Angels for Alexi Amarista and Donn Roach. Armarista is a clear indication that the Padres understand the need for help in their middle infield. Roach will add another arm to the system.
Seedlings to Stars had this to say about Amarista:
This diminutive utilityman reached the majors at age 22, but he didn’t overwhelm in Triple-A. His batting average has declined every year of pro ball, but it says something about his contact skills that all that declining left him still hitting .292. A versatile defender, he could be an excellent super-utility player, and if he can hit .285 in the big leagues, he could be a solid starting second baseman. Grade: B-
Armarista was signed by the Angels in 2007 as an amateur free agent. Venezuelan born, Amarista came to the United States and instantly made an impact on the baseball world. He went to the Dominican Summer League and hit well over .300. In fact, Amarista didn’t hit under .300 for a season until last year – and he hit .292.
In 481 minor league games, Amarista has hit .313/.370/.441 with 117 stolen bases. He has speed and makes contact. He has struck out just 228 times in 1,915 at-bats. The Padres need middle infielders who can hit to all fields, play their position well, and get on base. Amarista seems to have all those skills, and he isn’t far off from being Major League ready.
Last year, Amarista made his Major League debut, but it was more to fill roster needs than to say he was ready. In 23 games, he hit .154/.182/.250. In 2012, Amarista doesn’t even have an official at-bat.
Donn Roach is less of a prospect. He didn’t make Seedlings to Stars list of top prospects in the Angels organization, but he did rank 16th in the Angels organization according to MLB.com. Roach was drafted in the 40th round of the 2008 amateur draft.
Roach has yet to crack the Major League roster, but in 67 minor league games, he has posted a 3.97 ERA. Roach has also managed a 8.5 K/9 ratio, but allows too many too many hits – 9.4 per nine innings. Roach has a long road ahead of him as he has yet to work beyond High-A ball, but he adds depth to the Padres already deep pitching.
Ernesto Frieri was the longest tenured Padres player. He was signed by the Padres in 2003. He made his Major League debut on September 26, 2009. I won’t go into too much detail since Luke Winkie covered the topic for us in detail a couple weeks ago.
The move should benefit both clubs as the Angels were looking for bullpen help. It’s not clear yet what role Frieri will play with Los Angeles, but he will be missed in San Diego. Despite some recent struggles, Frieri helped this team quite a bit. But that’s the business of baseball. Players fade and teams need to make quick decisions. This was one of those situations.