What seemed like a no brainer move since he was signed, the Nationals traded Jeimer Candelario today to the Chicago Cubs. The Nationals acquired LHP DJ Herz (Cubs 16th ranked prospect) and Kevin Made (Cubs 14th ranked prospect).
Jeimer was signed to be traded and to help bring in depth to a farm system that is top heavy. DJ Herz, the 22 year old lefty, is the eye piece of this return. The lefty has a 40 grade fastball, 45 grade slider, a 70 grade changeup and 30 grade command. Herz delivery is built on deceit and his delivery with an elite change-up has produced a lot of swing and miss in his minor league career and this season he has a 12.2 K/9. Herz has also held hitters to a .181 batting average against in 246.1 innings pitched, which is fantastic. Herz’s biggest question and why some believe he is going to be a reliever is his 30 grade command. He has a 5.64 BB/9 which is rather high but the swing and miss he produces is great. The Nats system needs arms and even a prospect that is likely a reliever, is a great get.
Kevin Made, I do not see why he is ranked where he is. Made, a 20 year old shortstop signed out of the Dominican Republic has a .240/.328/.355 slash line in high-A this season. While he is still young and plenty of room to grow, he does not hit the ball hard and has a hard time lifting the ball. The Cubs have tried a couple of different approaches with him but the ground ball rate has stayed high. He has a 30 grade hit tool, 40 grade raw power, 30 grade game power, 55 grade speed, 45 grade fielding and a 55 grade arm. Made does have a 70% contact rate due to his simple and compact swing but he does not barrell the ball a lot. There is a chance he continues to grow and develop the power but as of right now, not much jumps off the sheet.
Both players are rule-5 eligible and the Nationals will have to clear room on the 40-man roster to keep them out of the draft. I do not see them protecting Made at this moment.
Grade: B+ – Trade gets a solid B+, Herz swing and miss stuff inspires and gets a good grade.