Pittsburgh Pirates: Possible Richard Rodríguez Trade Targets From Atlanta
Jasseel De La Cruz
Jasseel De La Cruz was signed as an international free agent back in 2015, but really improved during the 2019 season as he managed to get promoted three times to get into Double-A ball, and eventually to Triple-A for this season.
De La Cruz may have been rushed into Triple-A a little too fast after not having a 2020 season, as he is 0-2 with a 6.16 ERA in eight starts this year. If you take these starts out of the equation though and look at his last full season in 2019, De La Cruz held opposing batters to an on-base percentage of .291 with a HR/9 of 0.56 and an ERA of 3.25.
These numbers are more indicative of the type of pitcher he can be as they are all right around what his career average has been in his five seasons of minor league action, which would make him a name that could intrigue the Pirates.
Bryce Elder was a fifth round pick in last years draft and is currently the Braves 11th best prospect. Elder has been off to a nice start in his first season of pro ball as he sits at 2-1 in his ten games this year with an ERA of 3.12.
The main thing to like about Elder is his ability to keep the ball in the park and to keep runners off of the bases. Elder currently has a HR/9 of .37, a K/9 of 11.02, a BB/9 of 3.86, and an opponents average of .239.
All of these numbers are very promising as Elder is a type of pitcher who would be classified as a control artist, as he tops out between 90 -95 for his fastball, but has great control to still strikeout batters while not giving up many walks.
Last, but certainly not least, is a player that would be amazing to get but the Braves probably will not let him go as he was the 25th pick in last years draft. Jared Shuster is a southpaw out of Wake Forrest, who is ranked as the Braves 6th best prospect at the moment.
Shuster has a fastball that tops off at around 97 already and an offspeed that sits around 80 already and he is only in High-A ball. These pitches have been working really well for him so far as he has been really good in his six starts this season.
He has a WHIP sitting just under 1 at .96, and holds his opposition to an average at .176. He also has a K/9 of 11.63 which is great. While he is doing this against just Single-A competition, his career outlook is very promising and is a guy that would be amazing if the Pirates could manage to get in a trade with the Braves.