The Rays and Giants have joined in a minor league outfielder trade, with right-hander Jeremy Walker going to Tampa Bay and catcher/infielder Ford Proctor to the Giants. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Proctor had split, while Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reported that Walker was involved in the trade.
Walker’s MLB experience consists of 9 1/3 innings with the Braves in 2019, with a perfect 3.91 ERA over 439 2/3 minor league innings since Atlanta made him a fifth-round pick in the 2016 draft. After working as a starter in his first three professional seasons, Walker made a successful transition to pitching in relief in 2019, earning his first Major League call-up. However, due to the canceled 2020-21 league season and a shoulder problem, he did not feature at all.
In the year It’s clear that there’s still some rust to work off of Walker after a long layoff, struggling to a 6.99 ERA in 37 1/3 combined innings (35 1/3 in Triple-A, two in Double-A) in 2022. His 23.2% strikeout and 9.1% walk rates are nothing special, Walker has been allowing a lot of hits, and his .390 BABIP indicates some bad luck for the 27-year-old.
Given Tampa Bay’s success with pitching development, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Walker get back on track in a new organization. In exchange, the Rays are giving a third round pick from the 2018 draft in Proctor, who is ranked 19th on MLB Pipeline’s list of the top 30 prospects in the Tampa farm system. Dealing Proctor will also open up a spot on the Rays’ 40-man roster, hinting at future moves ahead of tomorrow’s trade deadline.
Proctor He posted some good numbers during his proper minor league season in A-ball in 2019 and Double-A in 2021, and also in the Australian Baseball League and indie ball in 2020. In the year In 2022, however, Proctor hit a modest .213/.329/.306 in 317 PA at Triple-A Durham, his first Triple-A nod.
Perhaps best known for his unusual defensive profile, Proctor was drafted inside linebacker but is starting to catch on in 2020. Proctor has started 52 games behind Durham this season, including 10 starts as third baseman, one as shortstop and four starts as second baseman. The Giants are known to prize defensive versatility, and Proctor’s ability to work beyond a traditional backup point guard should allow him to pave the way to a spot on the big league roster.