The rumored trade between the Los Angeles Angels and San Diego Padres for Huston Street was officially completed Friday night. It wound up being a six player deal that netted the Padres four of the Angels’ top 20 prospects in exchange for one of baseball’s most reliable relievers.
San Diego received second baseman Taylor Lindsey, shortstop Jose Rondon, right-handed reliever R.J. Alvarez and right-handed starter Elliot Morris. The Angels got Street and hard-throwing righty reliever Trevor Gott from the Padres.
Street has been one of the best closers in baseball since joining the Padres in 2012. This season he has thrown 33 innings and has a 1-0 record, with a 1.09 ERA and a 0.76 WHIP. He has allowed just 18 hits and four earned runs, while striking out 34 and walking just seven. He has converted 24 of 25 save opportunities.
Clearly the Angels needed to improve their bullpen if they want to continue to compete in the American League West. Street will help them do that. But to acquire them they did have to give up a lot. Below are brief scouting reports on the other players the Padres received in the deal along with some scouting videos.
Taylor Lindsey, 2B
Lindsey is an offensive-minded second baseman who was taken with the 37th overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft out of Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has a lot of jerky movement in his left-handed swing but the kid can flat out rake. The 22-year-old has good power to all fields and has hit 43 home runs in his minor league career. Lindsey was rated as the Angels’ top prospect by Baseball America.
He spent all of the 2013 season in Double-A and hit .274 with 17 home runs and 56 RBIs during an All-Star campaign. He’s a solid defender and an average runner, but his bat shouldn’t be questioned. He’s currently at the Triple-A level and knocking on the door of the big leagues.
Jose Rondon, SS
Rondon was an international signing out of Venezuela in 2011, and had just returned from participating in the Futures Game when he learned he had been traded. He’s a solid defender at short, but his bat speed and timing at the plate are outstanding. He was an All-Star at Rookie-level Orem in 2013 and has had a breakout year with Class-A Advanced Inland Empire. So far this season in 66 games he has hit .327/.362/.418 with eight stolen bases.
He’s only 20, so he could develop more power but right now his swing profiles as a gap-power guy who could stick at shortstop if he improves his footwork.
R.J. Alvarez, RHP
The 23-year-old Alvarez was a third-round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft out of Florida Atlantic and since entering pro ball has been nearly impossible to hit. He is a reliever who can close and has a fastball in the mid- to upper-90s. His jerky delivery helps hide the ball well, though he did some work smoothing out his delivery last year. He also scrapped a curveball in favor of a slider.
The results have been dramatic. In 21 appearances this season he has a 0.33 ERA and has 38 strikeouts in 27 innings. He could be reliever that comes quickly.
Elliot Morris, RHP
Morris is an interesting case because he underwent Tommy John surgery during his first season at Pierce (Wash.) Junior College and didn’t pitch much before 2013 as a result. His arm strength came back though and was taken by the Angels in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB Draft.
He’s in his second professional season and so far at two levels this year he is 5-4 with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. He has thrown 85.1 innings, and has struck out 84 while walking 41. He mainly just works with his fastball now and needs to develop his secondary stuff, but if he can find another pitch he could be a solid organizational arm.