Just over two months ago, Lucas Harrell was released by the Detroit Tigers. A few days later, Dario Alvarez was placed on waivers by the Mets.
The Braves needed both pitchers - Harrell to join Gwinnett's depleted rotation and Alvarez as another bullpen option. And Wednesday the Braves spun Harrell and Alvarez for a legitimate prospect.
Atlanta acquired second baseman Travis Demeritte from the Texas Rangers in exchange for Harrell and Alvarez. Demeritte was rated as Texas' 20th best prospect by MLB.com.
Harrell just pitched six scoreless innings Tuesday against the Twins in picking up his second win in five starts. Harrell allowed 25 hits in 29.1 innings, 11 earned runs, 12 walks and 21 strikeouts. Harrell made nine appearances (five starts) for Triple-A Gwinnett. He was 2-1 with a 2.81 ERA.
Alvarez was very effective in Atlanta's bullpen. He was 3-1 with an ERA of 3.00, 11 hits allowed in 15 innings, five walks and 28 strikeouts.
But the Braves were desperate to get a young hitter, and Demeritte fits the profile perfectly. This season for High-A High Desert in the California League, Demeritte hit .272 with 25 home runs, 59 RBI, 20 doubles, 13 stolen bases and a .352 on base percentage. Demeritte has been great in July - .375 with five home runs and 17 RBI in 56 at bats. Demeritte was in the Future's Game in San Diego just a few weeks ago.
The Rangers drafted Demeritte in the 1st round three years ago out of Winder-Barrow High School in Winder, Georgia, just east of Atlanta. He will turn 22 on September 30.
The Braves have just three players in the farm system with double-digit home run totals, so the addition of Demeritte will help tremendously.
Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on “Middle Georgia’s ESPN” – 93.1 FM in Macon and 99.5 FM in Warner Robins. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at email@example.com.