After trading Goldschmidt, Hazen gives scouting reports on new D-backs

Dec 5, 2018, 6:53 PM
St. Louis Cardinals' Carson Kelly is congratulated by teammates after scoring during the eighth inn...
St. Louis Cardinals' Carson Kelly is congratulated by teammates after scoring during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Billy Hurst)
(AP Photo/Billy Hurst)

The Arizona Diamondbacks and their fans will remember Dec. 5 for quite some time, the day they traded star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Lous Cardinals.

In return, the D-backs received catcher Carson Kelly, starting pitcher Luke Weaver and infielder Andrew Young.

All three lack the big-time buzz of a top prospect, but the D-backs and general manager Mike Hazen are excited about what they bring to the team in the long-term.

For Kelly and Weaver, there’s the short-term return as well. Kelly figures to be in the mix for playing time at catcher while Weaver slots right into the D-backs’ rotation.

Here’s what Hazen told 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo about the two prospects that will factor into the team’s 2019 roster.

Carson Kelly

(AP Photo/Billy Hurst)

On Kelly’s roster fit: I think the catching position, there’s a couple of things with the catching position for us. You know how we feel about the position. It’s a defense-first position and all those things he checks off exceptionally well.

On Kelly’s strengths: In the minor leagues from an offensive perspective, he does do some things that we really like. He controls the strike zone, he has a good swing, he’s strong, he was a converted guy over the last couple of years so he came out as a shortstop/third baseman so he’s still I think very young in that position.

On his hitting woes at major-league level: Looking at his major league track record offensively is a little bit misleading in my opinion just given he’s been behind [Yadier Molina] and I don’t know how much consistency he’s gotten.

On his value: Certainly from a long-term perspective, having six years of him at 24 years old — we’re really excited about this guy.

Luke Weaver

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

On his role in the rotation: As far as in the rotation … Below one, everybody’s gonna pitch 30 times so they all have to be good. We need five starting pitchers that are all good starting pitchers so I don’t really get hung up on where they stand in the starting rotation. We want starting pitchers that can haul 200 innings for us in the big leagues. We feel like Luke has the potential to do that.

On his struggles this year: When young players come up to the big leagues, sometimes they break in, things go great. Sometimes there’s a small step backwards and the adjustment to the league, the league adjusts to them and he may have gone through some of that this year.

On his value: Young starting pitching is a premium commodity as we have recently seen on the free agent market with starting pitchers, specific to one, you see what the market is commanding right now for starting pitching. It is at a premium. To get a guy at 25 years old, that has sort of cut his teeth at the major league level, that has good stuff, that we believed in in the draft, we tried to acquire him at the trading deadline this past year — so it’s someone that we’ve always liked.

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