On Monday evening, the Atlanta Braves acquired minor league outfielder Alex Jackson and a player to be named later from the Seattle Mariners. To do so, the Braves shipped right-handed pitchers Rob Whalen and Max Povse to the Mariners.
Jackson, who will turn 21 years old in December, was drafted sixth overall in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft by the Mariners and entered the 2016 season as the organization’s top prospect, as ranked by Baseball America.
Known for his power, Jackson has slammed 21 long balls and driven in 109 runs in 191 career games since being drafted, and he exhibited his finest single season yet in 2016. As a member of the Mariners’ Class-A affiliate at Clinton, the right-handed-hitting Jackson slashed .243/.332/.408 across 92 games, during which he tallied 32 extra-base hits, including 20 doubles, a triple, and eleven home runs.
Looking to beef up from a pitching perspective, the Mariners will welcome Whalen and Povse to their farm system.
In 21 starts between the Double-A and Triple-A levels of Atlanta’s system this season, Whalen pitched to a 2.40 earned run average and managed a 122:44 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Whalen’s solid campaign in the minors warranted him to make a handful of starts for the Braves at the major league level this year. Although the 22-year-old did exhibit some immaturity on the mound -- eighteen earned runs and twelve walks — Whalen’s 24 2/3 innings as a member of the big-league club were just enough for him to get his feet wet and help him accentuate mechanical flaws that require additional attention.
Povse posted a 3.36 earned run average in 26 starts at the High-A and Double-A levels this year and whiffed 139 batters. The 23-year-old Povse doubled his recent career high in innings this season by logging 158, whereas his second-highest total in frames for a year was 78 back in 2015. Throughout his tenure in the minors, Povse has always exhibited favorable walk totals, and this year was no exception, as the right-hander walked just 29.