Saturday afternoon brought a flurry of moves from the Royals. Jake Diekman was traded to the Oakland A’s for OF Dairon Blanco and RHP Ismael Aquino, Ryan O’Hearn recalled and Lucas Duda released, Nick Heath promoted to Omaha, and Kyle Zimmer recalled to KC. I may have missed some in there as well. Oh, and Hunter Dozier is playing RF tonight.
Blanco is a Cuban defector who missed several years of baseball after signing with the A’s. He played four years in the Cuban National League and hit .303/.369/.409 with 52 of 65 stolen bases. Baseball America called him the fastest player in Cuba at the time of his defection. He has 600 ABs in the minors for the A’s between A+ and AA. He is hitting .283/.342/.436 with 49 of 58 stolen bases in the US. He will likely take Nick Heath’s place in Northwest Arkansas. He is a speed guy who is already 26 so he should be able to move fairly quickly. Blanco also has 13 double, 12 triples (!), and 7 home runs this season in Midland. He is really becoming an interesting player who could cover ground easily in the vast outfield of Kauffman Stadium. Blanco was the MVP of the 2018 Cal League All Star game after going 4-5 with a double, home run, and stolen base.
Aquino is a 20-year-old in rookie ball for the A’s. He works 93 to 96 according to one report. He has worked as a reliever this year with 20 strikeouts in 17.2 innings. Aquino has walked 11 so command may be an issue going forward. Aquino seems to be the wild card in this trade but he throws hard and is still relatively young.
As always, we’ll have more information for you on these guys as we watch video and do some research. Follow @RoyalsFarm for more info and check back on the site as we watch some video.