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Rays Deal Austin Pruitt To Houston

ST. PETERSBURG (WDAE) -- After making a trade earlier Thursday evening to bring in outfielders Jose Martinez and Randy Arozarena, the Tampa Bay Rays made a second deal, sending pitcher Austin Pruitt to the Houston Astros in exchange for a pair of minor-leaguers: pitcher Peyton Battenfield and outfielder Cal Stevenson.

Pruitt spent parts of the last three seasons at the major league level, including a 3-0 mark last year in 14 games, including a pair of starts, with a 4.40 ERA. In 67 career appearances, including 12 starts, he has compiled a 12-8 record with a 4.87 ERA.

Battenfield, a ninth round pick out of Oklahoma State in 2019, played his first profesisonal season with Tri-City of the New York-Penn League (short-season A). In 15 appearances, including a handful of starts, he went 2-1 with a 1.60 earned run average, striking out 46 in 39.1 innings.

Stevenson, an 10th round pick in 2018 by Toronto from the University of Nevada, played 113 games between Dunedin in the Florida State League, and Fayetteville of the Carolina League (high A), hitting .288/.388/.384 with five home runs and 59 RBI. He was dealt from the Blue Jays to the Astros at the trade deadline along with pitchers Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini.

The press release from the team is below:

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Tampa Bay Rays Communications) — The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired minor league right-handed pitcher Peyton Battenfield and minor league outfielder Cal Stevenson from the Houston Astros in exchange for right-handed pitcher Austin Pruitt.

Battenfield, 22, was selected by the Astros in the ninth round of the 2019 June Draft out of Oklahoma State University, where he was a honorable mention All-Big 12 selection following his sophomore and junior seasons. Over three collegiate seasons, he went 6-6 with a 4.19 ERA (122.1-IP, 57-ER) in 61 appearances (one start). After signing with the Astros, he pitched for Short-A Tri-City and was named to the New York-Penn League midseason All-Star Team. He went 2-1 with a 1.60 ERA (39.1-IP, 7-ER) and 46 strikeouts (10.53 SO/9 IP ratio) in 14 apps (5 starts) with Tri-City. His older brother, Blake, pitched for Oklahoma State from 2014-17 and ended last season with Double-A Birmingham in the Chicago White Sox system.

Stevenson, 23, split last season between the Toronto Blue Jays and Astros organizations, batting .288/.388/.384 (120-for-417) with five home runs, 59 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 113 games between Class-A Dunedin (Blue Jays) and Class-A Fayetteville (Astros). He was sent to the Astros, along with right-handed pitchers Joe Biagini and Aaron Sanchez, at the trade deadline in exchange for outfielder Derek Fisher. At the time of the trade, he ranked among Florida State League leaders in avg. (.298, third), runs (59, first), hits (100, sixth), RBI (50, tied for ninth), walks (50, third), on-base pct. (.388, first) and on-base plus slugging pct. (.780, fourth). He was selected by the Blue Jays in the 10th round of the 2018 June Draft out of the University of Arizona. Over two minor league seasons, he is batting .315/.433/.431 (199-for-631) with seven home runs and 90 RBI.

Pruitt, 30, is 12-8 with a 4.87 ERA (199.2-IP, 108-ER) in 67 appearances (10 starts) over three seasons in the majors, all with the Rays. Last season, he went 3-0 with a 4.40 ERA (47-IP, 23-ER) in 14 apps (two starts) over nine stints with the Rays, six of which were two days or fewer. In his third career start on August 2, 2017 at Minute Maid Park, he pitched in front of family and friends and went 6.1 scoreless innings, defeating former American League Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel. He was selected in the ninth round of the 2013 June Draft out of the University of Houston.

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