Pittsburgh Pirates: A Look at former prospect Daniel Zamora
Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Pirates completed a trade with the New York Mets. The Bucs acquired Josh Smoker in return for pitching prospect Daniel Zamora.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are known for low-risk, high reward bullpen signings. Every offseason they add a few interesting arms on minor league deals and normally find one who makes at least some impact on the big league roster. That is what they are hoping to do with the trade they completed yesterday.
The Pittsburgh Pirates swung an under-the-radar move yesterday acquiring hard throwing left-handed reliever Josh Smoker from the Mets. Going back to the team in Queens is pitching prospect Daniel Zamora and cash. Smoker likely will get an extended look in Spring Training and compete with Steven Brault as the left-handed arm in the bullpen. They were hoping that would be the case with lefty reliever Nik Turley, but Turley was recently suspended 80 games for performance enhancing drugs. Instead, they will look to Smoker.
In return for Smoker, the Pittsburgh Pirates are sending left-handed reliever Daniel Zamora and cash to the Mets. Zamora is a 6’3” and 190 pound 24-year-old pitcher. He was a 40th draft pick out of Stony Brook in 2015. Zamora was very impressive in 2017 in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Zamora pitched mainly for High-A Bradenton, where he threw in 37 games collecting 53.1 innings. In those innings, he went 2-4 with a 1.86 ERA. He struck out more than one batter per inning, compiling 63 punch outs in his 53.1 innings.
Zamora was then bumped up to Double-A for the end of their season. He threw three innings in the regular season for the Curve. He did not give up any runs, but did give up two hits and walked two. So overall he had a 1.76 ERA in 39 total games. The thing is that he is 25 years old this April. This shows that he was somewhat old for the level of competition he was facing. It will be interesting to see if his stuff can translate into the upper minors when he is facing older and more experienced competition.
In terms of value, Zamora does not carry a lot, obviously. The Bucs gave him up for a pitcher who was designated for assignment. If Zamora even makes it to the big leagues, he is not projected to ever become an established reliever. Still, looking at his minor league numbers, it does show that he may have some upside. Meanwhile, Smoker could give the Pittsburgh Pirates another power bullpen arm for the 2018 season.