Houston Astros: Jacob Nottingham, Daniel Mengden key pieces in trade


In case you missed it, the Houston Astros made the first big splash prior to the 2015 Major League Baseball trade deadline by acquiring pitcher Scott Kazmir from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for catcher Jacob Nottingham and right-hander, Daniel Mengden.

Our very own Issa Cook has more details on the trade, including staff thoughts about the deal – you can view his piece by clicking here.

Now, before we take a look at the two prospects who were shipped off to the West Coast – I’d like to point out that no, the young man in the photo was not a part of the deal. Although, he could eventually become a big league player representing your Astros sometime in the future.

First man on deck is Nottingham. The 20-year-old is a former sixth-round draft pick from the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Redlands High School in Redlands California. Eric wrote about Nottingham earlier in the season, Quad Cities Report: Astros Future Catcher Jacob Nottingham.

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You have to be a very talented player in order to be drafted out of high school while skipping out on college ball to further your career a little quicker.

And that’s exactly what he did.

At one time, he was expected to become an addition to this big league roster. Nottingham quickly made his way through the minor league circuit for the Astros, beginning with the Gulf Coast League the same year he was drafted. While sticking to one position is great, having the ability to either learn or have experience at another is even better.

From the year he debuted up until 2015, Nottingham played 75 games behind the dish. His experience at first base (11 games) and as a designated hitter (10 games) wouldn’t come until this season between the Quad Cities River Bandits and Lancaster JetHawks.

In three years as a member of the Astros organization, the newly acquired Athletic recorded a career 174 hits, 44 doubles, five triples, 20 home runs, and 108 RBI while slashing .280/.352/.464 with an OPS of .816. Between two positions, he’s fielded .922 with 1147 putouts, 122 assists, 17 double plays turned and only 10 errors.

Looks as if Jason Castro‘s spot on the big league roster is safe – for now. As mentioned at the beginning of this piece, Nottingham skipped out on college ball – Daniel Mengden, however, did not. Mengden, 22, was drafted in the fourth-round out of Texas A&M and was even introduced at Minute Maid Park after he was signed.

In three seasons with the Aggies, Mengden recorded a 15-17 record with 230 strikeouts and a 3.20 ERA in a combined 261 1/3 frames. He ended up sharing the SEC lead with 16 starts and finished fifth in his conference with 95 strikeouts and 103 2/3 innings of work.

Mengden appeared in 24 games while picking up 15 starts as a member of the GCL Astros, Tri-City ValleyCats, River Bandits, and JetHawks. The young right-hander carries a 6-2 record, 101/27 K/BB ratio, 1.25 WHIP, in 99 1/3 frames with him to the Athletics.

Parting is such sweet sorrow, but this is a business and business is good now that A.J. Hinch has himself another solid starter to compliment Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers as they push for the division title and their first playoff appearance since they reached the World Series back in 2005.

Next: Astros HOF Craig Biggio Moments

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