Royals acquire two players in Podsednik trade

Lucas May

The Kansas City Royals on Wednesday evening traded outfielder Scott Podsednik to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In return, the Royals received Triple-A catcher Lucas May and Low-A pitcher Elisaul Pimentel. Inside, RC breaks down the trade and introduces Royals fans to Kansas City's two newest farmhands.

Scott Podsednik signed with the Royals as a free agent in January. The 34-year-old outfielder hit .310/.353/.400 in 95 games with Kansas City this season, leading the club in at bats (390), hits (121), and stolen bases (30). The Royals held an option for the 2011 season, but that would have been voided once Podsednik exceeded 525 plate appearances, which he was certain to do. The Royals instead opted to trade him to the Dodgers for a pair of intriguing prospects.

Lucas May is a 25-year-old catcher who has spent the majority of the 2010 season at Triple-A Albuquerque. He put up a solid season playing his home games in the hitter-friendly Isotopes Park, batting .296/.352/.496 with 11 home runs, 13 doubles, and 45 RBIs in 260 at bats.

Originally selected as a shortstop in the eighth round of the 2003 draft, May became a catcher at instructs in 2006. He has been a work in progress behind the plate, but he possesses plus athleticism and a potentially above average arm. After committing 75 passed balls through his first three seasons behind the dish, May has committed just 10 this season in 76 games between Albuquerque and Double-A Chattanooga.

At the plate, Lucas had an offensive breakout in 2009 during his second season in Double-A. In 68 games for the Lookouts, he hit a solid .306/.390/.468 with six home runs and 18 doubles in 235 at bats. His numbers this season are partially (or even largely) a result of his home park (he hit .347/.392/.603 in Albuquerque this season), but he profiles as a player with solid offensive tools, particularly for a catcher. The Royals assigned him to the Omaha Royals, where he will share catching duties with Manny Pina.

The other player the Royals acquired – Elisaul Pimentel – is farther from the big leagues but possesses a higher upside. The 22-year-old right-hander is in the midst of a breakout season of his own. Originally signed by the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic, Pimentel this season has been excellent in his full-season debut. Pitching for the Midwest League's Great Lakes Loons, Pimentel is 9-3 with a 3.49 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 90.1 innings pitched. The league is hitting just .215 against him through 17 appearances.

After a solid April and May, Pimentel was one of the minor league's most dominant pitchers in June, when he was 4-0 with a 0.39 ERA in four starts with 22 strikeouts in 23.0 innings pitched. After twirling six shutout innings in a win on June 20 – his last start of the first half – his season ERA stood at a season-best 2.04.

Unfortunately, Pimentel has been hit relatively hard in his four second-half outings, surrendering 19 earned runs on 27 hits and eight walks in 19.2 innings pitched. However, at his best, Pimentel is a pitcher with a projectable 6-foot-2 frame and a fastball that has reportedly reaches the mid-90s. He sits a couple of ticks lower than that with his velocity, but he also has a promising changeup and slider. The Royals announced that Pimentel will join the Burlington Bees, remaining in the Midwest League.

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