Padres Send Walker Lockett to Indians For Pitching Prospect
The Padres’ busy day continued with another trade in advance of the 40-man roster deadline.
Needing to clear roster spots for the seven prospects they would eventually add to their 40-man, the Padres traded righthander Walker Lockett to the Indians for minor league righthander Ignacio Feliz.
The Indians made for a perfect trade partner with 40-man roster spots open and few prospects who needed to be added. They were a popular destination for teams looking to trade 40-man players, acquiring Jordan Luplow and Max Moroff from the Pirates last week and righthander Chih-Wei Hu from the Rays on Monday.
Walker Lockett, RHP
A fourth-round pick in 2012, Lockett battled injuries and immaturity and found himself yet to pitch above low Class A four seasons into his pro career. He righted the ship and ascended rapidly the last two years, culminating in his major league debut in 2018. Lockett is a big 6-foot-5 sinkerballer who relies on inducing grounders to make it through his starts. His 92-95 mph sinker does most of the work, and he’ll mix in a hard upper 80s changeup to get grounders too. He also has a low 80s curveball. Because Lockett doesn’t have any swing-and-miss stuff, he’ll avoid the strike zone too much at times and issue too many walks. He also has been hittable when he doesn’t get his sinker down enough. Lockett will be still just 24 on Opening Day, and has a chance to become a groundball specialist at the back of the rotation or out of the bullpen with some refinement.
Ignacio Feliz, RHP
Feliz signed with the Indians for $85,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2016 and immediately emerged as a sleeper in the class. A converted third baseman, the 6-foot-1, 180 pound Feliz sat 88-89 mph and touched 92 mph in the Rookie-level Arizona League this year, showing the loose arm and athleticism to project more velocity. He shows feel for his breaking ball and is adding power and sharpness to it, with plenty of room to continue growing as he becomes more accustomed to pitching. Feliz went 5-3, 3.00 with 54 strikeouts and 14 walks in the AZL this year, and is another promising young arm the Padres can add to the lower levels of the system.