By Jim Callis
July 25, 2002
After trading for Tyler Houston on Tuesday night, the Dodgers needed to make room for him on their 25-man roster. Hiram Bocachica was the likely candidate to go, but a couple of teams were reportedly ready to pounce if Los Angeles tried to pass him through waivers in order to send him to the minors. One of those clubs, the Tigers, traded for Bocachia on Thursday, surrendering Triple-A righthander Tom Farmer and a player to be named later.
Bocachica, 26, never has delivered on the promise that made him the 21st overall pick in the 1994 draft by the Expos. Signed as a shortstop, he moved to second base and then the outfield. Bocachica joined the Dodgers in a July 1998 deal that also brought Mark Grudzielanek and Carlos Perez to Los Angeles and sent Peter Bergeron, Wilton Guerrero, Ted Lilly and Jonathan Tucker to Montreal. Bocachica has some tools, including power and speed, but never has hit consistently or become a polished defender. He hit .215-4-9 in 65 big league at-bats in 2002, and has career totals of .231-6-18 in 132 games and 208 at-bats in the majors.
Farmer, who turns 23 on Saturday, is best known for winning the championship game of the 2001 College World Series for Miami. He pitched into the sixth inning of a 12-1 rout of Stanford, improving his record as a senior to 15-2. Drafted in the seventh round that June, he doesn’t have a standout pitch but can throw three pitches for strikes. He reached Double-A Erie in his first pro summer and returned there this year, going 6-8, 5.33 in 18 starts and striking out 51 in 103 innings. Farmer had just been promoted to Triple-A Toledo, where he received a no-decision after allowing four runs in six innings in his lone start.
September 18 update: The Tigers sent righthander Jason Frasor to the Dodgers to complete the trade. Frasor, 25, was a 33rd-round pick out of Southern Illinois in 1999. He missed all of 2001 with an elbow injury, then returned to go 5-6, 3.54 in 24 starts at high Class A Lakeland in 2002. Though he’s just 5-foot-10, Frasor throws an 88-93 mph fastball (albeit with some effort) and has a potentially above-average curveball. He projects as a reliever, a role to which his aggressiveness would make him well suited.