Daniel Palencia an ultimate lottery ticket of a prospect
By David Hill
The full return for Andrew Chafin was announced late on Monday. The Chicago Cubs received two prospects, outfielder Greg Deichmann and pitcher Daniel Palencia, in exchange for the lefty reliever. While Deichmann is likely to get his chance in the near future with the Cubs, Palencia is far more of a different story.
At this point, it is fair to wonder exactly what Palencia is. Even prospect rankings are not close to being in agreement; Fangraphs ranked him as the A’s 12th best prospect, while other sites did not include him in their top 50 prospect lists. Considering that he had signed in February 2020, and that there is little video on him, he is quite the lottery ticket.
Chicago Cubs gambling on Daniel Palencia
To this point, Palencia’s production leaves a lot to be desired. He had posted a 6.91 ERA and a 1.605 WHiP in his 14.1 innings at Stockton, striking out 14 batters while issuing six walks. Palencia has left too many pitches over the plate, as he has allowed three homers amongst the 17 hits he has given up on the year.
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Although he is already 21 years old, Palencia is still a very raw prospect. He has intriguing stuff, with an upper 90s fastball that has topped out at 99 MPH. That velocity gives the fastball a chance to be a plus offering, especially in relief. He also has a curveball that is considered to be average at this point, although it has the chance to come a plus offering as well with refinement.
The biggest issue for Palencia will be his command. While he can clearly miss bats, he is not able to spot his pitches where he wants, or needs to. He can leave too many pitches over the plate, or miss the zone entirely. However, he still has plenty of time to develop, as his intriguing arsenal will get him a chance.
That is what the Cubs are hoping for. Landing Deichmann for a rental reliever was a decent enough return. Adding in the lottery ticket that is Palencia could turn the trade into the Cubs’ favor, provided he develops into a solid bullpen arm. If that does not happen, he was still worth the gamble based on his raw stuff.
The Chicago Cubs have landed an intriguing lottery ticket in Daniel Palencia. His raw stuff makes him an arm to keep an eye on.