White Sox GM Rick Hahn hinted there may be August deals, and sure enough he’s delivered. In his second such move, outfielder Alejandro De Aza was traded to Baltimore in exchange for right-handed pitchers Miguel Chalas and Mark Blackmar. Hahn was quoted today pointing out that the trades of Beckham and De Aza free up $10M-plus that could go to other players.
While getting prospects back seems more exciting than cash, neither of the players acquired would crack the White Sox’ Top 25 prospects. Make no mistake, De Aza wasn’t part of the 2015 plan, and getting something is better than nothing. But both these new arms bring enough to the table to fall into the “worth keeping an eye on” category.
Miguel Chalas was pitching in Advanced A ball most of this year (for Frederick, Carolina League), putting up pedestrian numbers in his second year there out of the pen (1.39 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, 6.4 K/9). Then he got a sudden call-up all the way to AAA Norfolk, apparently as a showcase, and made two relief appearances (7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 6 BB, 5 K). Having turned 22 in late June, he was age-appropriate for A+ and quite young for AAA. Signed as an NDFA from the Dominican Republic, he’s been in affiliated state-side ball since 2011.
In terms of stuff, Chalas throws a 4-seamer in the low to mid 90’s (multiple reports of T96), a 2-seamer in the upper 80’s, and a slurvy breaking pitch. Orioles Nation’s scouting report cites a max effort delivery, as well as “confidence and swagger”. It also sounds like he has some issues with consistency in delivery. The effort level and inconsistency aren’t surprising for a pitcher listed at 6′ and 170 pounds throwing mid-90’s.
Mark Blackmar is also 22, and also started the year at A+ Frederick. Drafted in the 16th round of the 2011 draft, this 6’3″ righty has been moving up at a level-per-year pace. This season, working mostly as a starter, Blackmar has a 3.18 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP, so the core numbers look decent. His BB/9 has decreased each year of his career, going from 4.1 in his draft year to a strong 2.2 this year. And while the K/9 has increased the past three seasons, it’s still not spectacular at 5.7.
Stuff-wise, Blackmar isn’t as intriguing as Chalas at this point, but reports are also more variable. He’s primarily a fastball-change-up guy, and the change has reports of being interesting but not consistent. His fastball has been reported upper 80’s to low 90’s, and he also has a sinker (likely his 2-seamer) that has gotten some positive reviews. His slider was described by Orioles Uncensored as below average. He does show the ability to induce a lot of ground ball outs, which is something the Sox organization certainly gravitates towards.
Blackmar also brings a couple novel trivia points to the table. PGA Tour golfer Phil Blackmar is his father. And his 16th round of the 2011 draft is the same round and year as Chris Bassitt – the pitcher who debuted for the White Sox the night Blackmar was acquired.
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