Transaction: San Diego Padres send RHP Walker Lockett to the Cleveland Indians for RHP Ignacio Feliz
About Lockett: The Padres drafted the 6-foot-5 righty in the 4th round of the 2012 draft. He has battled shoulder and blister issues throughout his pro career thus far. He finally made his MLB debut on June 1st, 2018 filling in for the injured Joey Lucchesi. Lockett ended up appearing in four games for the Padres, making three starts and posting a disappointing 9.60 ERA. In 133.1 innings over 23 starts for Triple-A El Paso, Lockett struck out nearly eight batters per nine and had a 4.73 ERA (4.58 FIP). Lockett throws a 91-93 MPH fastball with some run and sink, an 80 MPH curve and mid 80s change. Lockett will be in the mix for back-end rotation spot or could potentially fit in a long-man role. He should see time in Columbus as well.
About Feliz: Feliz happened to be the number 29 prospect on my latest version of the Indians Top 30 list for Prospects Live. He was one of my favorite arms in that system. Here’s what I wrote:
“The 6-foot-1 righty has a tight, compact delivery that maximizes his lower half. He sits 88-92 currently, and while their isn’t much projection left in the body he still should add strength since he’s only 19. His fastball has natural cutting action that gives hitters a difficult look, and its a challenge to square it up if he can locate it. In addition to the 60-grade fastball with natural cut, he also throws a plus curveball that starts at the letters and drops vertically through the zone. Feliz was a nice find for $85,000 in 2016.”
The prospects that the Indians sent to the AZL this year was one of the most talented groups scouts had ever seen. It’s clear that the Indians plan is to add Major League depth by trading away some of this talent. They moved guys like Jhon Torres, Gionti Turner, Tahnaj Thomas and now Ignacio Feliz for pieces that should help this year. Let’s see how they feel about that in four years.