NEW YORK – With the final piece now in place, the Tampa Bay Rays feel really good about the package of prospects they received for Chris Archer.
Tampa Bay acquired touted minor league pitcher Shane Baz from Pittsburgh on Tuesday as the player to be named in the July 31 trade that sent Archer to the Pirates.
The 19-year-old Baz, selected 12th overall in the 2017 amateur draft, was 4-3 with a 3.97 ERA for Bristol in the rookie-level Appalachian League this season. The right-hander had 54 strikeouts in 10 starts covering 45 1/3 innings.
“I know we’re excited to get him. He’s a really high-end prospect,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said before his team played the New York Yankees. “Very powerful right-handed kid. Probably going to be some time before we see him, but to put a pitcher like that in our system – I know he was a guy that during the draft that we talked a lot about. We were happy with who we picked at (No. 4), but were disappointed that we didn’t get the opportunity and now with that trade, we have.”
The move completed a blockbuster deal that brought a wealth of young talent to Tampa Bay. The third-place Rays had already obtained rookie outfielder Austin Meadows and hard-throwing pitcher Tyler Glasnow from Pittsburgh for Archer, a 29-year-old right-hander who has made two All-Star teams.
The 6-foot-8 Glasnow, who turns 25 next week, has made three starts for Tampa Bay, compiling a 2.25 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 12 innings.
“Really, I couldn’t be more impressed,” Cash said. “You don’t see many guys that come out and open, start a ballgame featuring 98, 99 mph. And then you see the big breaking ball, the two options that he has. Very impressed with the strike throwing and the commitment that he’s shown with that. He’s very much shown a willingness to challenge hitters and that’s what we’re asking him to do.”
The 23-year-old Meadows, drafted ninth overall in 2013, batted .292 with five homers, 13 RBIs and a .795 OPS in 49 big league games for Pittsburgh this season. He is currently at Triple-A Durham, where he was hitting .333 with three homers, six doubles and eight RBIs in 11 games.
“I know he had a big day the other day – 4 for 6, two home runs. We’ve seen him enough in spring training; he’s a pretty talented kid,” Cash said. “He’s doing his thing in Triple-A right now. I look forward to whenever that day comes that we get him up here.”
Baz was rated the fourth-best prospect in the Pirates’ organization by Baseball America and MLB.com, and ranked the No. 95 overall prospect in the minors by MLB.com. He was the Appalachian League pitcher of the week last week and will report to rookie-level Princeton.
Archer went 3-5 with a 4.31 ERA in 17 starts for the Rays this season. He is 1-0 with a 4.82 ERA in two outings for the Pirates spanning 9 1/3 innings, and is under club control through 2021.
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