The Mariners added three new bodies last night with two late-night trades — outfielder Leon Landry and reliever Logan Bawcom from the Dodgers for Brandon League, and outfielder Eric Thames from the Blue Jays for Steve Delabar.
None appear to be blue-chippers. One talent evaluator I talked to said, “They’re all OK, nothing special. Not sure either position guy is really an everyday player on a good team, and Bawcom is more of a seventh-inning reliever than a late-inning guy.”
Landry, 22, is a former third-round pick in 2010 out of LSU. He was hitting .328 with 26 doubles, 15 triples, eight homers and 51 RBIs in 80 games for Rancho Cucamonga (High A), mixing his time between left and center. His 15 triples lead all minor-leaguers, so he’s obviously got speed. And this catch is going to blow you away:
Bawcom (that’s an unfortunate name for a pitcher, when you say it out loud), is 23, and is a combined 4-4 with 20 saves and a 2.03 ERA in 39 games between Rancho Cucamonga and Chattanooga (AA).
Keith Law of ESPN called Landry and Bawcom “two very fringy prospects.” He said that Landry has speed but is weak on pitch recognition and overall instincts while lacking power. He adds, “If he could play center field well, he’d be a good fourth outfielder candidate, but his defense out there remains weak so he doesn’t profile even as an extra outfielder right now.”
Bawcom, he says, “might surface as a middle reliever, but his command right now would make him an up-and-down guy. Despite some tail on his fastball, he doesn’t generate enough ground balls to survive without cutting his walk rate.”
Here’s how Baseball America weighs in on Landry: “Landry is young for a 2010 college draft pick and helped Louisiana State to the 2009 College World Series championship. He’s flashed some power and speed as a pro since signing for $284,400. Mostly, Landry has shined in good hitting environments such as the Rookie-level Pioneer League and this year the high Class A California League. He’s athletic and has some strength to go with plus speed and profiles as a fourth outfielder capable of handling the defensive demands of center or left field. He’ll have to be more efficient as a basestealer down the line, as he’s been caught in eight of his last 17 tries in the Cal League. Scouts have had concerns about his swing, which gets too sweepy and lacks enough of a load to produce consistent power, but he has the strength to impact the ball if he makes some swing adjustments.
And here’s BA on Bawcom, a 17th round pick in 2010: “Area scout Calvin Jones signed Bawcom, who led the organization with 27 saves last season at two Class A levels and had moved up to Double-A Chattanooga this season with some success. His fastball lacks the pure butane velocity of League’s, sitting in the 91-93 mph range at its best, and it lacks much life. However, he does a good job of keeping it on a downhill plane and locates it fairly well. His cutter-type slider is his out pitch, at times reaching 86 mph with some tilt. Neither is a true plus pitch yet, but like League, Bawcom keeps both pitches down and keeps the ball in the ballpark, having yielded just five home runs over 116 innings in full-season ball the last two years.”
Thames, 25, has had two stints in the major leagues, producing a .257 average with 15 homers and 48 RBIs in 510 at-bats (.306 on-base, .429 slugging). In the minor leagues, he’s a .313 career hitter, with a .335 average this year for Las Vegas. The reports on his defense are not good. Here is one scouting report. Baseball America said at the end of last year: “Thames is dangerous with the bat because of his strength and all-fields approach. He can drive the ball to all parts of the park and has extremely good bat speed. An aggressive hitter who piles up strikeouts because he chases too many pitches, he may not hit for a high average.Thames has fringy speed and arm strength, so he fits best in left field. He’s an adequate defender.”
Here’s the current BA report on Thames: “The Blue Jays turned to Thames in 2011 when Travis Snider needed more time in the minors, but ultimately Thames batted .257/.306/.429 with 15 homers in 554 plate appearances for Toronto, edged out of the outfield picture by the callup of top prospect Anthony Gose.…Thames probably won’t ever hit for a high average, but with his lifting approach from the left side he could run into 15-20 homers a season, but whether that will be enough to compensate for a .260-ish average and fair defense in left field is an open question.”
And finally, here is a story on Thames for the Toronto Star that details his connection to Pamela Anderson. I dare you not to click on that one.