TORONTO -- The Blue Jays sent pitching prospect Kevin Comer to the Astros on Thursday as the player to be named from a trade completed on July 20.
Toronto acquired left-hander J.A. Happ, right-hander Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter from Houston as part of a 10-player deal. Going the other way was right-hander Asher Wojciechowski, right-hander Joe Musgrove, catcher Carlos Perez, right-hander Francisco Cordero, outfielder Ben Francisco and Comer.
Prospect acquired by Astros
Kevin Comer, RHP: The No. 11 prospect on the Blue Jays' Top 20 at the time of the trade,
Comer was one of many young, high-ceiling arms the Blue Jays aggressively went after in the past few Drafts. Toronto couldn't convince 2011 first-round pick Tyler Beede to walk away from his Vanderbilt commitment, but they did get Comer to sign with an over-slot deal in the supplemental first round. He's a bit unpolished, having done his amateur pitching in the Northeast (New Jersey), but he has the makings of a very good three-pitch mix. His fastball is plus, up to the mid-90s, coming from a projectable frame. He has the makings of a plus curve and even has a feel for a changeup, though it is behind his other two pitches. With good mechanics and a repeatable delivery, Comer has the entire package to develop into a very good starting pitcher. All he needs is experience.
Comer was ranked the Blue Jays' No. 11 prospect by MLB.com prior to the deal after being taken with the 57th overall selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
The 20-year-old was signed for $1.65 million after making a commitment to Vanderbilt University, and he reportedly threw in the mid-90s as the 2011 First-Year Player Draft approached.
Comer's inclusion in the deal comes as somewhat of a surprise, considering his perceived standing in the organization prior to this season. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder from New Jersey went 3-3 with a 3.95 ERA in 10 games and seven starts with Bluefield in the Rookie level Appalachian League.
"I've learned a whole lot. Not mechanics but just becoming a better pitcher," Comer told the Burlington County Times earlier this season. "It's all really starting to come together."
The problem with Comer's year is that he has experienced a recent drop in velocity. The native of New Jersey was drafted with the belief he could develop a mid-90s fastball but so far this season has been consistently throwing in just the high 80s.
Comer's spot in the trade means the Blue Jays parted with four of their top 20 prospects to acquire a back of the rotation starter/swingman, a veteran reliever and emerging Minor League arm in Carpenter.