Justin Maxwell – The market was what the market was for the capable-on-both-sides-of-the-ball outfielder that the Astros claimed off waivers from the New York Yankees in April 2012. He had a productive, energetic and very likable season+ with our squad, but the Royals were contending for the first time in a decade and sacrificed a potential packed pitcher in their plethora of minor league arms to acquire a bench bat for the stretch run.
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Unfortunately for KC, they fell short of the playoffs. However, they got a nice half season out of Maxwell at .268 with 5 home runs and 17 RBI in under 100 AB . Part of the appeal in J-Max was his cheap eligibility for the following 2014 season.
Patience wore thin for the now 30-year old and after a rough start to the season. A .150 batting average and a .175 slugging percentage added to 20 strikeouts in 20 games made for a short season in the Majors.
On May 16th he was DFA’d and is now playing for the Royals’ AAA affiliate in Omaha having a productive season but is not on the 40-man roster and is hard pressed but not at totally terrible odds to earn a late season call-up for the Royals.
The Astros received 21-year old A baller Kyle Smith, who made the jump this season to AA Corpus Christi after going 4-0 in A Lancaster. His ERA has jumped along with the level leap from 2.60 to 4.00 but the starting pitcher remains one to keep an eye on in a system full of talented throwers.