The Pittsburgh Pirates traded their Gold Glove catcher in exchange for some pitching help and some prospects from the Miami Marlins.
The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Miami Marlins struck a trade that included the 2021 Gold Glove Award winner Jacob Stallings in return for right-handed pitcher Zach Thompson, Miami’s 16th ranked prospect right-handed pitcher Kyle Nicolas, and Miami’s 23rd prospect outfielder Connor Scott. The Pirates certainly seemed to target quantity over quality in return for the 32-year-old backstop. Pittsburgh did get a pitcher in Thompson who pitched in the Majors last season and could join the Pirate starting rotation.
Thompson, 27, came into the league last season as a starting pitcher but quickly became a relief option towards the end of the season and had some of his best outings. As a starter in 13 games, Thompson went 2-6 and held an ERA of 3.16 with 52 strikeouts. Thompson’s games were mostly in the 2.20-3.00 range but that’s when he went 5+ innings. In starts where he pitched 4 or fewer innings, his ERA would be a little lower and at times would be as low as 1.50.
Thompson could pitch out of the starting rotation or the bullpen for the Pittsburgh Pirates next season. I know there are more to pitchers than just their ERA, but it seems like he doesn’t do that well once he goes beyond 4 innings as a starter.
Nicolas’s main catch as a prospect is his fastball, which is graded a 70 by MLB.com. Nicolas threw 1,116 strikes and 637 balls throughout his trips to Miami’s High-A and Double-A teams, out of those pitches he totaled 136 strikeouts and 49 walks, a great ratio of strikeouts and walks. Nicolas went 6-4 on the year with a 4.18 ERA and threw 99 innings. The 22-year old throws with a fastball, slider, curveball, and a changeup.
Finally there is Scott. The young outfielder has a lot of raw power but is just that, very raw. At the High-A level last season he hit for a .276/.333/.446 slash line to go with a 112 wRC+. In 435 plate appearances he hit 10 home runs and had an isolated slugging (ISO) of .170.
Stay tuned here at Rum Bunter for further analysis and breakdown of the Stallings trade. We wish Jacob all off the best with his time in Miami and beyond!