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Analysis White Sox

Instant Reaction: White Sox Trade Soria to Brewers for Two Pitching Prospects

The Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers made a trade on Thursday.

Heading into this year’s MLB trade deadline, the Chicago White Sox did not possess as many trade chips as last season. That didn’t stop general manager Rick Hahn from making a move on Thursday afternoon.

Reliever Joakim Soria was sent to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for LHP Kodi Medeiros and RHP Wilber Perez.

Before I get into the return, let’s talk about how good Soria has been.

This season, Soria has been light outs out of the bullpen. He did struggle in early April, but since May 21st, he has an ERA of 0.77 in 24 appearances. During that span, he has allowed just 10 hits. In fact, the only thing really negative thing about Soria in the last two months was his blown save against the Houston Astros, the defending World Series champions.

Rick Hahn and the rest of the Sox front office once again deserves credit. Soria was acquired in a three-team trade over the winter. The hope was always to trade Soria at some point, similar to what the team did last year. Getting both Blake Rutherford and Ryan Cordell last summer really helped add depth to the Sox’ minor league system. The Soria trade has done something similar.

Let’s break down the two players the Sox got in the deal. 

Kodi Medeiros 

Kodi Medeiros was the obvious centerpiece of the deal. He was the 12th overall pick in the 2014 draft. In fact, he was the highest “prep player” ever taken out of Hawaii. The 22-year-old is left handed. His overall velocity is down since high school (mid-90s). He now sits around 87-92mph.

Medeiros has appeared in 20 games this season for the Brewers AA affiliate. Of those 20 games, he has started 15 of them. Medeiros is currently 7-5 with a 3.14 ERA. In 103.1 innings pitched, he has 107 strikeouts compared to just 45 walks. Clearly, the command is there.

At the very least, Medeiros projects to be a middle reliever. However, his stuff is good enough to be a potential starter at the big league level.

In the video below, you can see Medeiros’ nasty slider.

As I stated above, the thing that makes Medeiros an intriguing prospect is his fastball and slider combination. He commands both pitches with ease. With that being said, his changeup is no joke either.

He was the Brewers No. 13 prospect.

Oh, and Michael Kopech seems to be a fan.

Wilber Perez

The second player in the deal was right-handed pitcher Wilber Perez. The 20-year-old is currently in the DSL (Dominican Summer League). There, Perez has a 2.38 ERA while averaging 11 strikeouts per nine innings. In 40.1 IP Perez has 47 strikeouts. He also has a whip of 0.94. Overall, very solid numbers.

Perez is a starter and projects to be one in the future. He throws a cutter, curveball, and changeup. Like Medeiros, he sits around 88-91 mph. His curveball though is in the low 70s. There is much else on there on Perez.

Solid Return 

Some fans may be underwhelmed by this return, but let’s not forget this is Joakim Soria were talking about here. He outperformed expectations with the Sox. The result was a top 15 prospect and a 20-year old kid with some upside. Sign me up! That’s a solid return for a player like Soria.

More importantly, the Sox’ system just got even deeper. Again, Medeiros is the player to watch in this deal. He has a funky delivery sure, but his arm is unique. His slider is also out of this world. The belief is always that the Sox group of pitching professionals can get the most out of a player like Medeiros. Time will tell.

The Sox are stockpiling former first-round picks. The other being Carlos Rodon, Casey Gillaspie, and Michael Kopech.

Closer?  

With Soria gone, the big league club will have to find a new closer. Expect Jace Fry to get a look given the amount of success he has had this season. Manager Ricky Renteria will probably use a closer by committee approach at first.

Kopech Time? 

Does this deal mean Kopech is finally coming to the big leagues? I would guess no but have no idea. Both Kopech and Eloy Jimenez are scratching at the door. Hopefully, the Sox find a way to move James Shields, which would create a spot for Kopech. As for Jimenez, the Sox would have to get rid of players like Adam Engel, Leury Garcia, and Nicky Delmonico before even thinking about a call-up.

Follow Nick on Twitter: @TLS_Petrusevski–Feature Photo Credit: Getty Images 

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Nick is a recent graduate of Northern Illinois University and passionate about everything Chicago sports (except the Cubs). He has run his own website, been featured on Bleacher Report, and tried to sell his soul on eBay (which he hasn’t gotten back). He hopes to one day see his beloved Bears win the Super Bowl and is still trying to figure out why Jay Cutler gets so much hate.

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