A pitcher signed on the international market back in 2014, Luis Madero had been starting games in the Diamondbacks low-level farm affiliates before being dealt earlier today in exchange for David Hernandez.
The 20-year old Madero stands in at 6-foot 3, 175 pounds and could add velocity as he grows older. Taylor Blake Ward of Scout had the following to say:
Madero, 20, was signed by Arizona for $160,000 out of Venezuela in 2014. This season, he has a 5.69 ERA in 49 innings between Rookie Ball and Short-Season A-Ball. In a short text from a scout, Madero was noted as a, "polished command over stuff guy," with "a low 90's fastball."
Youth and upside were the key components for acquiring Madero, who the Angels feel has an above-average slider with a low 90's sinker, both of which he can get swing-and-misses on. Madero has a developing changeup, and has been known for throwing a high amount of strikes in his short professional career.
Here are Madero’s statistics throughout his career, per Fangraphs.
In four starts at low-A (which he is 1.6 years younger than the average age), Madero has a 7.78 K/9 and 2.29 BB/9. Kindly avert your gaze from the ERA and FIP columns.
The David Hernandez trade will undoubtedly draw comparisons to the Joe Smith trade at the 2016 deadline, as both involved trading away a rental reliever for a project arm.
Due to the buyer’s market, however, it would be fair to question whether the Angels should have made such a trade in the first place. The weak schedule in August (only two teams faced are above .500) and being 5 1⁄2 games back of the second wild card makes it far more palatable to the fan base to chase the unlikely event of a wild card rather than acquire a 20-year old command starter that has a menial chance of making the majors in the first place. They would also not have to face Sonny Gray or Yu Darvish for the rest of the season.
Luis Madero was not on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Diamondbacks prospects list, despite the fact that the consensus agrees that Arizona has one of the worst farm systems in the league.
Clearly, the Angels were higher on Madero than the prospect rankings indicate, which is good to hear.
Eppler said he’d had his eyes on Madero since before the Diamondbacks signed him out of Venezuela as a 16-year-old.
As was predicted, it was definitely a buyer’s market. How much so?
"It felt like there was a decent amount of surplus in the market place for relief pitching specifically," said Eppler. "I think there was a number of teams just trolling with their players to see if a team would bite. We were cognizant of where we are, the players we’re getting back and the amount of season left, so I didn’t feel comfortable moving guys for less than how we valued them.”
Eppler spoke briefly regarding the team’s playoff chances.
“We were mindful of considering our postseason probability and also the effects that getting some guys back will have on this club,” Eppler said. “We feel we have plenty of games to make this interesting.”