The Rays announced to members of the media, including team broadcaster Neil Solondz, that they have acquired right-handed pitcher Josh Roberson as the player to be named later in the trade that sent Louis Head to the Marlins.
Roberson, 26, was selected by the Marlins in the 12th round of the 2017 draft, despite having had Tommy John surgery before the draft. As he’s climbed up the minor league ladder, he’s racked up huge strikeout numbers but also a fair share of walks. Last year, across four different levels of the minors, he threw 45 innings with a 6.40 ERA, 31.2% strikeout rate and 13.2% walk rate. So far this year, between A-ball and Double-A, he’s thrown 6 2/3 innings with a 6.75 ERA, ten Ks but also eight walks and a couple of wild pitches. A year ago, Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs ranked Roberson the 33rd-best prospect in the Miami system, highlighting his “very nasty” breaking ball. (FanGraphs hasn’t yet released their Marlins prospect list for this year.) The Rays will try to sprinkle some of their magic dust on him in order to try to improve that control and turn him into another weapon for their pitching staff.
As for Head, he’s had good results for the Marlins so far this year, despite concerning peripherals. In a small sample of ten innings on the year, his ERA is a tidy 1.80. Last year’s 23.9% strikeout rate has dropped to 16.3% this year, with his walk rate jumping from 6.7% to 11.6%. He has been getting more worm burners, though, with his ground ball rate jumping from 31.1% to 40%.