Boston traded three starting pitchers today: Ace and three time all star Jon Lester, former 19 game winner and ERA champion John Lackey, and a 22 year old minor league lefty by the name Corey Littrell. Alex Sperier of WEEI is reporting that Littrell will be included in the deal that sends John Lackey to the Cardinals and Allen Craig and Joe Kelly to Boston.
Next to Lackey, Craig, and Kelly, all established major league caliber players, Littrell is something of a throw-in for this deal. The University of Kentucky standout was listed by Baseball America as the 130th amateur prospect before the 2013 draft, and Boston took him in the fifth round with the 142nd pick, signing him to a below-slot deal.
In their pre-draft write up of Littrell, Baseball America wrote:
“The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder usually operates at 89-90 mph with his fastball and maxes out at 92, locating it to both sides of the plate. Some scouts say his changeup is his best pitch, while others point to his newly added cutter, which is tough on lefties. He also can spin a curveball for early-count strikes. Littrell can get wild at times, and his delivery is a little stiff and features a minor wrist wrap in the back, but he still projects as a starter.”
Though he was not listed as on Boston’s top 20 prospects by MLB.com, Littrell has done nothing but pitch exceptionally well since signing. He posted a 1.72 ERA over 12 games (10 starts) in the Low-A New York Penn League last season, And across 100.0 innings for High-A Salem this year, he owns a 3.60 ERA with an 8.4 SO/9 and a 3.4 BB/9.