Astros Trade Review: Gattis Acquired From Braves

Astros Trade Review: Gattis Acquired From Braves

With less than two weeks until the trade deadline, we continue our Astros Trade Review series.  This time around we are looking at a trade made in January of 2015 when the Astros acquired Evan Gattis and James Hoyt for a trio of prospects from the Atlanta Braves.

Full trade was as follows:

Atlanta Braves Received: RHP Mike Foltynewicz, RHP Andrew Thurman and 3B Rio Ruiz

Houston Astros Received: DH/C Evan Gattis and RHP James Hoyt

Braves Side of Things

Mike Foltynewicz (2016 w/ Braves): 3-4 Record, 3.79 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 55 K /18 BB

Going into the 2015 season, Jeff Luhnow decided to add a little more power to the right side by trading for the Braves’ Evan Gattis.  In order to do so, the Astros had to give up some talented pieces, including Foltynewicz.  At the time of the trade, Foltynewicz was the Astros’ 4th best prospect according to  The hard throwing righthander got a little time with the Astros in 2014 as a reliever, but was expected to eventually transition to a starter.  With the Braves, Foltynewicz has had varying degrees of success.  He has split time both years between the minors and the major league club.  While he struggled with the Braves last year (4-6, 5.71 ERA), his stats have been a little more positive this year.  While he may never be the top of the rotation guy that many thought he could be, he could make for a solid 4 or 5 in the rotation.

Andrew Thurman (2016 w/ MS Braves): 1-7 Record, 6.89 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, 52 K vs. 47 BB

Thurman moved across three levels of the minor leagues last year with the Braves, finally ending at double A with their Mississippi Braves affiliate.  Since joining the double A squad, Thurman has struggled to find much success.  Along with his disappointing stats from this year, he went 1-4 with a 5.18 ERA last season with them.  While he currently sits as the Braves’ 16th best prospect, many believe that his issues with consistent command may ultimately make him destined for a relief role.

Rio Ruiz (2016 w/ AAA Gwinnett Braves): .265 AVG, .350 OBP, .364 SLG, 5 HR, 32 RBI

After acquiring Colin Moran in the Cosart deal, Rio Ruiz became expendable as a trade commodity for the Astros.  At the time of the trade, ranked Ruiz the Astros’ 9th best prospect.  Currently, he sits at number 14 with the Atlanta Braves.  He has had a little bit more success in triple A then he had with the double A club last year, but overall, Ruiz still has not tapped into a lot of the attributes that originally made the Braves very excited to have him included in this trade.  He has a nice swing from the left side, but the power production (10 homeruns in two years with the Braves organization) leaves something to be desired.  He is still young (only 22) and will likely get a chance at the big league level over the next couple years with the rebuilding Braves, but he may not develop into a middle of the order bat like was initially expected of him.

Astros Side of Things

Evan Gattis (2016 w/ Astros): .223 AVG, .746 OPS, 16 HR, 41 RBI, 1 SB

Often serving as the Astros designated hitter, Gattis is definitely a bat first type of player.  While he has never been looked at highly for his defense, the Astros have tried to find spots to see if he can be useful.  Over the last two season, he has seen time at first base, outfield, and most recently, catcher.  In fact, at one point Gattis was sent down to the minor leagues this season to try to get some more work behind the plate.  Since coming back up, he has served as the team’s designated hitter and backup catcher, spelling Jason Castro occasionally behind the plate.  While he isn’t at the same level defensively as Castro, he has gotten some positive reviews from his pitching staff.  In terms of his offense, he has not quite been the consistent hitter that the Astros had hoped when he was acquired from the Braves.  While the power is nice, the batting average and on base percentage hurts.  The Astros do not need him to be a .300 hitter, but they would love for that average to be more in the .260 range.  It will be interesting moving forward, especially when guys like Alex Bregman and Yulieski Gurriel make it to the big leagues, to see how the at-bats get distributed.  Gattis is still under Astros control for a few more years.  I could envision him continuing to DH at time and serve as a backup catcher, but with other options starting to surround him.

James Hoyt (2016 w/ Fresno): 25 saves, 4-3 record, 1.72 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 47.0 IP, 79 K/16 BB

James Hoyt was a huge add in for the Astros in this trade.  To say that he has absolutely dominated triple A would be an understatement.  He not only has a league leading 24 saves, but he also has 79 strikeouts in 45.2 innings pitched.  To go along with that, hitters are only batting .153 against him.  Hoyt isn’t your typical prospect as he is currently 29, but he is ranked as the Astros’ 20th best prospect by and I would be shocked if he is not in the Astros’ bullpen at some point this season.

Overall Grade for the Trade:  B
At this point, this is one of those trades where it is hard to really determine who the winner is.  If Ruiz and Foltynewicz go on to have solid MLB careers with the Braves it may lean more towards Atlanta’s side.  If Hoyt continues his dominance when he gets with the Astros and Gattis can continue the power with at least a respectable average, it could go in favor of the Astros.  Regardless, Luhnow did a nice job by getting James Hoyt as a throw in with this trade and that in itself makes this trade respectable for the Astros.

Previous Trade Review Articles:

Cosart to Marlins
Kazmir to Astros
Myers to White Sox
Norris to Orioles
Veras to Tigers

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