Chicago Acquires Bryan Warzek, Lake Country Receives Harrison Smith
American Association Daily provides insights, features, and recaps of the action from around the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions. In today’s edition, Robert Pannier evaluates the trade that sent Lake Country DockHounds left-handed pitcher Bryan Warzek to the Chicago Dogs for infielder Harrison Smith.
Bryan Warzek Traded for Harrison Smith
On Monday, the Lake Country DockHounds send left-hander pitcher Bryan Warzek to the Chicago Dogs for infielder Harrison Smith. Smith has already signed with the DockHounds for the 2023 season.
How the Deal Affects the DockHounds
Lake Country finishing ninth in the league in runs scored (517) and in homeruns (101) in 2022. This is a team that is definitely looking to upgrade their offense, and Harrison Smith comes with a solid resume.
The infielder has spent his entire professional career with the Chicago Dogs organization, joining the team in 2019. The batting average has never been great, with a high of .243 in 2021, but he comes with some pop in his bat.
Smith began with Chicago in 2019, hitting .207 with two homers and 12 RBI in 62 games. The following year he returned to the Dogs, hitting .223 with six homers, 18 runs scored, and 16 RBI in 38 games. In 2021, he hit .243 with nine homers, 41 runs scored, and 41 RBI, and finished last season with a .191 batting average, hitting eight homeruns while scoring 31 runs and driving in 32 in 67 games.
Smith can play anywhere on the infield with the exception a first base, and has even spent some time in the outfield with Chicago. He has been impressive defensively, making just 13 errors in 225 career games.
He will likely be battling for the starting position at either second or short. It looks that Ashton McGee and Jake Plastiak will start at the two corner infield positions.
How the Deal Affects the Dogs
Over the last few seasons, Chicago Dogs Manager Butch Hobson has made his bullpen one of the best in the American Association, and the addition of Warzek looks to be another step toward keeping this group as the top dog.
The left-hander started his career in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization after being selected in the sixth round of the 2018 MLB draft. He spent his first three seasons with the Dodgers, reaching AA-Tulsa in 2021. Last season, he joined the Seattle Mariners organization, pitching in 14 games for their rookie league team before being released. Warzek then signed with the DockHounds where he appeared in six games, allowing eight earned runs in 6.1 innings.
In his four years in the minors, the left-hander was 7-11 with a 4.86 ERA. He gave up 136 hits and 110 walks in 140.2 innings. He can potentially start as well, and will likely become a project for Stu Cliburn (Dogs pitching coach) to turn him into one of the five starters on this club.
American Association Transactions
February 14, 2023
Cleburne: Signed OF Hill Alexander
Lake Country: Signed INF Harrison Smith
Lake Country: Released INF T.J. Bennett, INF Jordan Schaffer and OF Daikan Yoh
Sioux City: Transferred the contract of RHP Max Kuhns to the Philadelphia Phillies
Sioux City: Signed INF Miguel Sierra
February 13, 2023
Chicago: Released C Trent Bauer
Cleburne: Signed OF Zach Nehrir
Kane County: Signed INF Galli Cribbs Jr.
Kansas City: Signed RHP Ryan Castellini
Lake Country: Signed LHP Evan Kruczynski and OF Aaron Simmons
Lake Country: Traded LHP Bryan Warzek to Chicago for INF Harrison Smith
Sioux City: Traded LHP Patrick Ledet to Ottawa (Frontier League) for OF Jake Sanford
By Robert Pannier