Everyone knows about the Padres acquiring Justin Upton in the big trade yesterday. We all know the risks. We all know what kind of player Upton can be. But I’m not here to look at that. I’m here to look at the additional arm they acquired along with Upton in Aaron Northcraft.
Northcraft, according to Baseball America was the Braves 25th ranked prospect after the 2013 season. He was the Braves 14th ranked prospect at the time of the trade. He doesn’t appear on the Padres new top 20 prospect list.
Last season in AA, Northcraft went 7-3 with a 2.88 ERA. He had a WHIP of 1.23 and opponents hit just .223 off of the left-hander. When he was promoted to AAA. things really got off the rails.
For the Braves AAA team, he was 0-7 with a 6.54 ERA. He gave up 86 hits in just 64.2 innings of work and opponents hit a way too high .317 off of him.
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So what happened? Does he have to make adjustments to better competition? Is he a guy that can’t make it out of AAA?
Northcraft touches 91 MPH with his fastball. Just because he doesn’t throw 100, doesn’t mean you can’t get guys out, especially if he were to play at Petco which is a pitcher’s park. He’s only given up 31 homers in his minor league career, so he keeps the ball in the park.
Upton may be the big name, but Northcraft could give the Padres some extra rotation depth.