Alex Speier reports that pitcher Hunter Cervenka is the player to be named later in the Marlon Byrd trade with the Chicago Cubs.
Cervenka is 22 years old, and was in his second stint with Single-A Greenville. You might remember his name, as it was in the news recently, as part of the three-man no-hitter thrown by the Drive a week ago. Not to pick on Cervenka, but the leadoff walk he issued in the eighth inning broke up the attempt at a perfect game.
More importantly, Cervenka had an 8.04 ERA in 15-2/3 innings pitched with Greenville, after posting a 10.80 ERA at the level in 20 innings in 2011. He's always had an issue with walks, issuing 7.2 per nine for his career (173 innings since 2009, if you count Rookie League).
This season, he's shown strikeout stuff -- more than he has in the past, as his career rate is 8.6 per nine -- whiffing nearly 14 batters per nine innings, but at the same time walking almost seven per nine. Sox Prospects' bio is, as usual, detailed about Cervenka's potential upside, but mostly the various problems with his body and repertoire.
Bottom line? He's got some interesting traits, but he's a project. As of now, he's the Cubs' project:
Projectable lefty from Texas. Throws from a 3/4 arm slot. Slow and deliberate delivery from both the wind-up and the stretch. Fastball sits 90-92 mph and can top out at 94 mph in short bursts. Tends to be on the straight side. Also throws a cut fastball, along with a curveball and a changeup. Cutter is his best pitch, operating in the mid-80s with late break. Can leave it in the middle of the plate in stretches. 76-79 mph curveball shows tight, deep break at times, but is inconsistent with producing hard snap. Typically wraps his hand around the ball. Low-80s changeup is a below-average pitch that often floats to the plate, with little deception. Struggles with keeping his control and command consistent due to wavering release point. Body has also lost athleticism and shape with age. Needs considerable improvement to be effective in full-season baseball.