Earlier today, the Marlins traded Adeiny Hechavarria to the Rays for two lesser known players in Braxton Lee (OF) and Ethan Clark (RHP). Although the main point of this trade was to free up some payroll as well as potentially give 25 year-old J.T. Riddle an opportunity to play everyday, the Marlins also pulled in a pair of somewhat interesting lottery tickets.
Lee was drafted out of Ole Miss in the 12th round back in 2014 boasting 70-grade speed with his smaller, compact frame. After struggling mightily in AA all of last year, his offensive production has taken a leap forward this year (129 wRC+). There are mixed signals as to whether or not the Lee can keep up the production, though. His inflated .397 BABIP is more than .100 points above his career average which could indicate that he’s due for some regression. On the other hand, his quality of contact noticeably improved, sporting the highest ISO and LD% of his professional career. The are still below average and will play as more of a slap hitter than anything else. The 23 year-old does only have two homeruns in the minors. More than likely he has legitimately improved offensively, but will regress a bit moving forward. He could make for a useful fourth outfielder if he continues to progress.
The 22 year-old Clark is a 2015 15th round pick. He has a peculiar profile, going from a heavy groundball pitcher in his first two seasons to a fly ball pitcher this year. Oddly enough his home run suppression has dramatically improved this year, going from a HR/9 of 1.07 in Rookie ball last year to 0.33 this year in A ball. His 6’5” 235 pound frame may allow him to continue to be a starter, as he’s done for most of his minor league career, but that could change as his profile continues to develop. He’s still relatively young, meaning it may be another year or two before the Marlins really know what they have with him.
Both prospects are question marks at this point, but interesting additions nevertheless from a trade in which the Fish shaved the rest of Hech’s $4.35MM. Hats off to the FO for getting a couple extra lottery tickets in a routine salary dump.