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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

11/9/2020 : Searching for Big Arms - Minor League Free Agents - American League West

Seems like most every team has an arsenal of power arms in their bullpens ... often times they are fellas most fans haven’t heard much about. This year’s Rays used a dominating crew of relievers to drive their way to the World Series and the 2020 champion Dodgers also featured a bevy of powerful relievers ...

Since I’ve got a bit of time on my hands I thought I’d scour the minor league systems of each of the other 29 clubs to identify potential Rule 55 minor league free agents that might fit with the Phillies as part of a power pen arsenal, with both immediate needs and short term minor league development in mind ... here’s a look at the American League Western Division.

Just some names that might be of interest is all ...

Oakland A’s :

Jamie Schultz - 29 year old RHP ( 5’10” 205 ) - FB sits in the mid to upper 90’s ... has been clocked at 99 MPH ... reportedly also has a solid curve ... command has been a battle. Signed by Tampa Bay in 2013 as an amateur free agent, traded to Dodgers in January of 2019 ... made his big league debut with the Rays in 2018 and reappeared for four big league games with the Dodgers in 2019 after spending the bulk of the season at the AAA level. He was signed by Oakland as a minor league free agent in November of 2019.

Houston Astros :

Dean Deetz - 26 year old RHP ( 6’1” 189 ) - he is mainly a two-pitch guy. FB sits 94-97 with a good slider sitting in the mid-80s ... reportedly has the swing-and-miss stuff you’d want in a reliever ... needs to work on improving his control and keeping the free passes in check. Had a stellar 2018 season at the AAA level ( 0.79 ERA in 34 IP with 50 K’s ) which earned him a big league call up. Struggled in 2019 with both control and command. Was Astros 11th round draft selection in the 2014 draft out of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.

Seattle Mariners :

Gerson Bautista - 25 year old RHP ( 6’3” 195 ) - FB sits 94-97 ... touches 99 - secondary pitch is a change up. He was signed by the Red Sox in 2013 as an amateur free agent. In 2017 he was traded to the Mets and in 2018 he was traded to the Mariners. Bautista has appeared briefly in the major leagues ( a total of 13 games ) with the Mets ( 2018 ) and Mariners ( 2019 ). He’s battled finding the strike zone throughout most of his career ... would be strictly a reliever with only two pitches in his repertoire.

Los Angeles Angels :

Jacob Rhame - 27 year old RHP ( 6’1” 215 ) - Is primarily a one pitch guy ... fastball sits in thr 94-98 mph range and occasionally tickles triple digits since the Dodgers streamlined his mechanics. Reportedly his four-seamer is tough to deal with not only because of its velocity, but also because it features riding life and his short arm action. Secondary pitch is a slider. Was drafted by the Dodgers in the 6th round of the 2013 draft from Grayson Community College. He was traded to the Mets in 2017 and claimed off waivers from the Mets by the Angels in June of 2020. He’s pitched in 44 major league games ... all with the Mets from 2017 to 2019.

Texas Rangers :

Jesus Linarez - 23 year old RHP ( 6’4” 216 ) - has been described as a “poor man’s Kenley Jansen ... from what I’ve researched he’s got a very heavy sinker that’s been a steady ground ball producer - fast ball sits in the mid to upper 90’s. Linarez has yet to pitch above High A but would seemingly have been at the AA level in 2020 had there been a season. He’s racked up a lot of K’s - an average of a little over one per inning and has a K/BB ratio of 3 to 1 for his career. He was signed as an amateur free agent by the Rangers on 6/3/14. Could be a hidden gem 🤔😎

That’s my minor league findings for the AL West ... now to the NL side of the ledger.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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