Indians Acquire James Hoyt From Astros For Prospect
The Indians made a move for bullpen depth on Friday, acquiring righthander James Hoyt from the Astros in exchange for minor league righthander Tommy DeJuneas.
Hoyt made 65 relief appearances for the Astros in 2016-17 but spent all but one game this season pitching in Triple-A. The Indians assigned Hoyt to Triple-A Columbus but figure to bring him up at some point to help a bullpen that ranks 28th in MLB with a 5.01 ERA.
The Astros, meanwhile, opened up a 40-man roster spot by trading Hoyt, fueling speculation about an imminent prospect promotion.
Tommy DeJuneas, RHP
The Indians drafted DeJuneas in the 26th round out of North Carolina State last year. A standout closer for the Wolfpack, DuJuneas showed a fastball up to 96 mph but has had to back off his velocity to throw strikes. After struggling with walks in college and in his pro debut last year, he cut his walk rate in half this year and went 2-2, 3.38 with 39 strikeouts and eight walks in 29.1 innings at low Class A Kane County. DuJuneas also has a changeup and slider that flash above-average in addition to his fastball. He has the stuff to keep rising as a righthanded reliever, and whether he can harness his fast arm and throw strikes will be key.
2017 MLB Draft Grades: Cleveland Indians
A report card for the Cleveland Indians 2017 MLB Draft picks.
James Hoyt, RHP
Hoyt has had success in the majors but found himself squeezed out this year by the Astros' bullpen logjam. He had a 4.38 ERA with 66 strikeouts and 14 walks in 49.1 relief innings for the Astros last season. An indy ball survivor of the North American Baseball League and American Association, as well as the Mexican League, Hoyt’s primary pitch is a mid-80s slider, which he backs up with a 93-96 mph fastball instead of the other way around. His slider-heavy approach has helped him keep the ball on the ground in the majors, and he also has an effective changeup to neutralize lefties. Hoyt is a viable option to beef up the Indians' middle relief corps. He will report to Columbus and be just a step away from the majors.