After a long offseason of trying to make a trade happen, the New York Mets were finally able to find a trade partner willing to take Ike Davis; the move was undoubtedly made a bit easier by the play of Lucas Duda as of late.
In exchange from the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Mets received minor league pitcher Zack Thornton and player to be named later – one I’d expect to be major league ready.
Thornton pitched at the University of Oregon and was drafted in 2010 by the Oakland Athletics. Since 2010, he’s pitched at every level from Rookie to Triple-A last season. He is known to have excellent control evidenced by his K/BB ratio increasing while his BB/9 ratio decreased at every level. A guy who doesn’t walk many batters and also has an excellent ground ball/fly ball ratio could certainly provide some depth in case of an injury or at some point down the stretch.
Thus far in AAA Indianapolis, Thornton has posted a 2-0 record and a 1.23 ERA, striking out 8 while only walking 1 in just 7.1 innings pitched. Despite his precise control, he gets hit a bit due to him being a contact pitcher, allowing 7 hits in those 7.1 innings.
Tim Williams at PiratesProspects.com said this:
Baseball America released their Rule 5 preview today, listing Thornton second in the list of players who can help teams now. They note that he gets a lot of ground balls and has excellent control,
Thornton had a great season in 2013, after being acquired for Chris Resop last off-season. He doesn’t have the best stuff, but gets great results thanks to an extreme ground ball ratio. He went unselected in the Rule 5 draft this off-season, despite being named as a top prospect in the draft by several outlets…..seems like a strong option to make the majors at some point this year as bullpen depth.
Seems like he has a bit of work to do before being major league ready but if we should need an arm, he could definitely be a candidate for bullpen help.