Braves acquire Demeritte for Harrell, Alvarez

Rangers No. 20 prospect and Cal League home run leader on the move

Travis Demeritte leads the Cal League with 25 home runs and a .583 slugging percentage. (Fernando Gutierrez Jr./MiLB.com)

By Chris Tripodi / MiLB.com | July 27, 2016 6:29 PM

Travis Demeritte is well on his way to setting career highs in multiple offensive categories this season, but he's about to do it in a different uniform.

The Rangers' 20th-ranked prospect was traded to the Braves on Wednesday for right-hander Lucas Harrell and left-hander Dario Alvarez. The 21-year-old second baseman led the California League with 25 homers, 73 runs scored and a .583 slugging percentage, but he's also tops with 125 strikeouts.

Demeritte has been especially hot in July, slashing .375/.426/.714 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 14 games, raising his average 21 points to .272, despite striking out 20 times. He played for the U.S. team at the Futures Game on July 10, starting at second base and going 0-for-1 with a walk.

The 2013 first-round pick slashed .285/.411/.444 in the Rookie-level Arizona League in his first season before leading Class A with 25 homers and driving in 66 runs while hitting .211 with 171 strikeouts in 118 games in 2014. He played 53 games last season after losing most of June and all of July and August to an 80-game suspension for testing positive for the performance-enhancing substance Furosemide.

After two seasons with an OPS under .800, Demeritte was second in the Cal League with a .935 mark, trailing only Ramon Laureano (.945), who recently was promoted from Lancaster to Double-A Corpus Christi.

Harrell, 31, signed a Minor League contract with the Braves in May and is 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA in five starts. After two rough outings in which he surrendered 11 runs -- nine earned -- over 9 2/3 innings, he bounced back with six scoreless innings against Minnesota in his last start.

Alvarez, 27, has a 3.00 ERA and 28 strikeouts over 15 innings in 16 relief appearances for  Atlanta. 

Chris Tripodi is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @christripodi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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