Red Sox get promising talent from Dodgers
The Red Sox likely never thought they'd be in selling mode as the playoff races heated up, but the talent they received from the Dodgers should help them in the relative short term.
The key to the deal, on the Minor League side is Allen Webster, who was the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect (No. 65 overall on the Top 100 list) at the time of the trade. The 2008 18th-round pick spent the year in Double-A and continued to have success, standing fifth in strikeouts and seventh in ERA in the Southern League when the deal was announced.
Though Webster's K rate has been good in 2012, his fastball is better at eliciting ground balls than swings and misses. He can throw it into the mid-90s, but the heavy sink has allowed him to post some of the better groundout-to-flyout ratios in the Minor Leagues. Both his breaking ball and changeup have the chance to be above-average pitches as well. He's shown the ability to command all three with a good feel for pitching, especially considering he's still just 22.
In the past, scouts saw Webster as a potential middle-of-the-rotation type, and he certainly has the time, size and pure stuff to develop into a solid No. 3 starter. His command hasn't been as sharp in 2012, with a walk rate that has gone up, leading some to think that he might be destined for the bullpen when all is said and done.
The second named player in the trade has kind of been forgotten after being a solid prospect in years past. Ivan De Jesus Jr. was an up-and-coming shortstop in the Dodgers system when he broke his leg in a 2009 Spring Training game. Though he returned and had a solid 2010 season, he continued to stay under the radar.
De Jesus didn't play particularly well when he got his first shot at the big leagues, in 2011, further relegating him to quadruple-A status. He's now spent three seasons in Triple-A and has performed well there with the bat, using a line-drive, gap approach to hit well for average. Good plate discipline has led to good on-base percentages as well throughout his career.
Initially a shortstop, De Jesus Jr. does have some of the defensive actions that allowed his father to play in the big leagues for a long time. He has good hands, fluid actions and an accurate arm. His arm strength and his range might be better suited for second, and that's where he's played more regularly of late. He did make it back to the big leagues in 2012, playing some second and third. He's even played some games in the outfield this season, with the Dodgers clearly thinking of him as a utility type. Though that might be his ultimate role, some scouts still see him as having the upside to play every day at the big league level.