Projecting the Return for Khris Davis: Derby and Nottingham

The Brewers continued the rebuilding process on Friday dealing power-hitting outfielder Khris Davis to the Athletics in exchange for prospects. Here’s what my fancy computer math thinks of the prospects who are now property of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Jacob Nottingham, C, 6.8 WAR (Profile)

Nottingham was a former sixth-round pick who broke out in a big way in A-Ball last year. After an underwhelming two years in a Rookie Ball, he slashed .309/.364/.493 in 122 games between the Houston and Oakland organizations. He had a wee bit of trouble making contact as evidenced by his 20% strikeout rate. But he made up for it by hitting for loads of power.

An 850-plus OPS from a 20-year-old in full-season ball is impressive in and of itself, but it’s Nottingham’s defensive position — catcher — that makes his KATOH forecast elite. He isn’t a slam dunk to stick at catcher, however. So, to give you a sense of what KATOH would think of a first baseman version of Jacob Notingham, I ran his numbers with his position set to 1B. The verdict is… 2.2 WAR. That’s not an irrelevant prospect, but not a particularly notable one, either.

Here are his catcher Mahalanobis comps:

Jacob Nottingham’s Mahalanobis Comps (Catchers)
Rank Name Proj. WAR Actual WAR
1 Josh Phelps 5.5 2.3
2 Jason Townley 4.1 0.0
3 Jeff Mathis 7.5 0.8
4 Ben Davis 5.0 4.7
5 Javy Lopez 6.1 13.9
6 Craig Wilson 5.1 6.4
7 Ronny Paulino 6.3 4.2
8 Ryan Christianson 7.6 0.0
9 John Buck 5.6 3.7
10 Raul Casanova 4.3 1.1

And here are the comps for Jacob Nottingham, first baseman:

Jacob Nottingham’s Mahalanobis Comps (First Basemen)
Rank Name Proj. WAR Actual WAR
1 Jason Stokes 2.0 0.0
2 Brian Dopirak 2.5 0.0
3 David Ortiz 1.5 10.1
4 Thomas Pittman 3.3 0.0
5 Daryle Ward 2.2 0.0
6 Mike Carp 2.5 2.4
7 Jon Tucker 1.3 0.0
8 Brad Nelson 2.1 0.1
9 Oreste Marrero 0.5 0.1
10 Alejandro Freire 0.7 0.0


Bubby Derby, RHP (Profile)

With Derby, there isn’t much to report, other than that his name is at least a 70. He was drafted in the sixth round last year and tossed 37 innings in the low minors. He posted a 33% strikeout rate, 1.21 ERA and 2.52 FIP in those 37 innings, but 37 innings in the low minors aren’t particularly telling.

A bit more telling, perhaps, are the 103 innings he threw at San Diego State before he was drafted. His 131 strikeouts were easily the most of any pitcher in the Mountain West Conference. Nobody else had more than 80. Derby may not have been deemed an early-round talent last June, but he’s dominated at every stop thus far.

Chris works in economic development by day, but spends most of his nights thinking about baseball. He writes for Pinstripe Pundits, FanGraphs and The Hardball Times. He's also on the twitter machine: @_chris_mitchell None of the views expressed in his articles reflect those of his daytime employer.

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Lt Fluffski
6 years ago

Derby and Nottingham are two big cities in the middle of the UK, about ten miles away from each other. Brian Clough managed Derby County before taking Nottingham Forest to two European Cups.

Forrest Gumption
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris Mitchell

Furthermore, Billy Beane has a very public love affair with English Premier League soccer, and was removed as GM after the season. This trade could be viewed as Forst is cleaning house of all the UK soccer name-based prospects Beane was obsessed with 😉

6 years ago
Reply to  Lt Fluffski

Indeed! The East Midlands derby is a good battle. Interestingly for purposes of this site, Derby County played for over 100 years in a stadium known as the Baseball Ground. As its name suggests, the stadium was originally the home of the Derby County Baseball Club, but after that folded the soccer team set up shop.

6 years ago
Reply to  Lt Fluffski

Jon Lester is very relieved to have a no-trade clause.

John Wrightmember
6 years ago
Reply to  csw117

The Brewers inquired with the Indians regarding Justus Sheffield, but reports do not indicate whether this occurred on Wednesday.