A Quick Look at Blake Treinen
As I'm sure you already know, the Nationals traded fan favorite OF Michael Morse for an old friend (RHP prospect AJ Cole), a new friend (RHP Blake Treinen) and a Player To Be Named Later. Much has already been said about Cole's return to the organization, but Treinen is a relatively unknown prospect with some intriguing upside.
Treinen's 2012 season was better than his numbers indicated. While he was 7-7 with a 4.37 ERA, he put up a 3.59 FIP and struck out four times as many batters as he walked. His control is impressive given the fact that he did not pitch competitively in his first three years of college, but nonetheless it is one of his strong suits at this point of his career. The Nationals could look to challenge the 24 year old in 2013 with an eventual trip to Harrisburg, but a start in Potomac is likely.
In the future, Treinen will likely be a late inning reliever. He lacks the full, polished repertoire that is needed to be a Major League starter. What Treinen does have is a sinking fastball that sits at 94 MPH (and peaks at 97) and a slightly above average slider that still has room to improve. His change up is average at best, but I don't anticipate it to become a good enough pitch for him to be a starter.
Treinen has been called a sleeper prospect in the past by John Sickels and Matt Garrioch of Minor League Ball and Jim Callis of Baseball America. The Nationals are hoping that 2013 is the season that he breaks out. For more on Treinen's backstory (including why he didn't pitch for his first three seasons in college and the failed MRI that voided his original contract with Florida after the 2010 draft), Bill Seals of OaklandClubhouse.com has a great recap.