By Sam Bush

The Royals have traded minor league reliever Jonah Dipoto to the Phillies for cash considerations, and he’s headed to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Kansas City selected him out of UC San Diego in the 35th round of the 2019 draft. Despite the modest draft stock, Dipoto has pitched his way to the upper minors. He turned in a 3.55 earned run average in 50 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A a year ago. Dipoto fanned an above-average 26% of opponents, though he also walked almost 15% of batters faced.

Dipoto has had a shakier start to the 2024 campaign. He has allowed 11 runs (10 earned) over 14 1/3 innings for the Royals’ top farm team in Omaha. He has given up a trio of homers with a 13:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Phils will hope that a change of scenery at least allows him to find the bat-missing promise he showed a season ago. While Dipoto has never gotten much prospect fanfare, Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs credited him with a plus slider and ranked him 38th in the K.C. system last summer.

Dipoto won’t require a spot on their 40-man because he hadn’t been on the Kansas City roster. He went unselected in last winter’s Rule 5 draft and would be eligible again next December if Philadelphia doesn’t select his contract.

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