The Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees have completed their trade from July that saw Cincinnati acquired relief pitchers Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson. At the time that the deal was announced those two relievers came to Cincinnati but the return was simply a player to be named later. Today that player was chosen by the Yankees and it was minor league pitcher Jason Parker.
The 23-year-old right-handed pitcher was the Reds 16th round pick in the 2019 Major League Baseball draft out of North Carolina State. He did not pitch after the draft in 2019, and like all other minor league players didn’t play in 2020 as the season was cancelled.
This season Jason Parker spent all year in Low-A Daytona where he made 18 starts and one relief appearance for the Tortugas. He was not rated among the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospects. He posted a 4.05 ERA in the Low-A Southeast in 80.0 innings pitched. While there he gave up 63 hits, walked 33 batters, hit 10 others, and struck out 91 of the 337 hitters that he faced.
A quick scouting report has Jason Parker throwing a fastball, slider, and a change up. His fastball worked 88-91 MPH and topped out this season at 93.4 MPH. He relied heavily on his slider – throwing it more often than his fastball at times – and it worked in the 78-82 MPH range. He would also mix in a change up in the low 80’s.
This season the righty has been much better against right-handed hitter than left-handed hitters. Righties have hit just .184/.279/.322 against him. Lefties, however, had found much more success. They’ve posted a .260/.369/.462 line against him.
Cincinnati will have the option to keep both Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson around for at least the 2022 season. Cessa is going to be arbitration eligible in both 2022 and 2023 before reaching free agency. Wilson has both a team option and a player option that he can select. Baseball Reference lists it as a $7.15M team option, a $2.3M player option, and a $1.15M buyout player option that triggers a 2023 club option at MLB minimum salary.