Once again the Braves made a very odd trade as they acquired right-handed pitcher Luke Jackson from the Rangers in exchange for right-handed pitcher Tyrell Jenkins and left-handed pitcher Brady Feigl.
The Rangers had high hopes for Luke Jackson when they drafted him 45th overall in the 2010 MLB draft. However, the patience that the Rangers had for Jackson has apparently run out as they traded him to the Braves. Jackson has tons of talent, but it was his pitch control that really held him back with the Rangers. Meanwhile, the Rangers are getting some decent young talent in return for Jackson. Tyrell Jenkins is a talented right-handed pitcher who projects more as a bullpen arm long-term for the Rangers. Jenkins went 35-27 with a 3.64 ERA in the minor leagues mostly as a starter. However, Jenkins really struggled for the Braves last season as he went 2-4 with a 5.88 ERA in 52 innings. Jenkins has struggled with pitch control as he walked 33 batters at the MLB level compared to only 26 strikeouts. Jenkins has to develop some more and it would probably be best if the Rangers send him to Triple-A to start the 2017 season. Jenkins could contribute to the bullpen soon, but he needs to figure out some better control in order to be more successful. Also, Brady Feigl is another player that the Rangers will have to be patient with and develop for awhile before he can be a successful MLB player. Feigl had Tommy John surgery in April 2015 and he has basically missed all of the last 2 seasons because of it. Feigl put up some good numbers in the minor leagues as he is 5-5 with a 2.74 ERA. However, he will soon be 26 years old and he will only just be starting double-A in 2016. We’ll see what type of pitcher he is after Tommy John surgery. However, he is still several years away from being an MLB player if he ever reaches that level. I don’t really see the purpose of the trade for the Rangers as they are giving up a quality prospect that needs some development. Meanwhile, they are getting 2 players that they will need to definitely develop for awhile which makes me wonder why they would even make this trade.
This trade makes a little more sense for the Braves as they are getting a very talented prospect that they can develop. Luke Jackson has an electric arm as he has the possibility to reach 100 MPH with his fastball. However, he has struggled a lot to learn how to develop his pitches and his minor league numbers prove that as he is 38-26 with a 4.24 ERA. The Braves certainly will have a lot of work to do with Jackson to try and help him develop some more quality pitches. Atlanta will likely send Jackson down to either Double-A or Triple-A in order to develop some pitch control so it will take awhile for him to develop. The Braves gave Tyrell Jenkins a chance to prove himself and he certainly didn’t prove that he’ll ever be more than a good minor league player. Also, Brady Feigl doesn’t have much potential and he doesn’t have much of an MLB future at all after Tommy John surgery. The Braves are hoping that Luke Jackson can one day be a power arm in their bullpen. I can see why Atlanta made this trade, although it will take some serious development to make Luke Jackson a decent MLB pitcher.