Grading the 58 Prospects Dealt at the Trade Deadline

This breakdown starts with the Scott Kazmir deal on July 23, but there weren’t any trades from the 16th to the 23rd, so this covers the whole second half of the month, trade-wise, up until now. I count 25 total trades with prospects involved in that span that add together to have 58 prospects on the move. Check out the preseason Top 200 List for more details, but I’ve added the range that each Future Value (FV) group fell in last year’s Top 200 to give you an idea of where they will fall in this winter’s list. Also see the preseason team-specific lists to see where the lower-rated prospects may fall within their new organization.

40 FV is the lowest grade that shows up on these numbered team lists, with 35+ and 35 FV prospects mentioned in the “Others of Note” section, so I’ll give blurbs for the 40 FV or better prospects here. I’ve also linked to the post-trade prospect breakdown for the trades I was able to analyze individually, so click there for more information. Alternately, click on the player’s name to see his player page with all his prior articles listed if I didn’t write up his trade.

I opted to not numerically rank these players now, but I will once I’ve made the dozens and dozens of calls necessary this fall and winter to have that level of precision with this many players. Look for the individual team lists to start rolling out in the next month, with the 2016 Top 200 list coming in early 2016. Lastly, the players are not ranked within their tiers, so these aren’t clues for where they will fall on the Top 200.

55 FV Group (8): Ranged from 29 to 79 in the Top 200
Jeff Hoffman, RHP, Colorado Rockies Tulowitzki Trade (TOR)

Potential frontline starter is coming off of elbow surgery and isn’t quite back to his previous form yet.

Jorge Alfaro, C, Philadelphia Phillies Hamels Trade (TEX)

Ultra-toolsy catcher has had little feel for the game but made progress with it this year before an ankle injury ended his season.

Nick Williams, LF, Philadelphia Phillies Hamels Trade (TEX)

Ulta-toolsy left fielder had little feel for the game but made some progress on that front this year, though scouts still think he’ll never hit his enormous upside.

Jake Thompson, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies Hamels Trade (TEX)

Traded last year at the deadline for Joakim Soria, Thompson projects as a closer or 3rd/4th starter with a power fastball/breaking ball combo.

Hector Olivera, 3B, Atlanta Braves ATL/MIA/LA Trade (LA)

30-year-old Cuban signed this offseason for $62.5 million and recently got a visa to begin playing in the minors; he should be up soon and could be an All-Star but comes with some age/injury risks.

Brett Phillips, CF, Milwaukee Brewers Gomez Trade (HOU)

Nearly anonymous as a 6th round pick in 2012, the late-rising prospect with a football background has made a huge amount of progress; he projects to hit about .270 with 12-15 homers, above average speed, average defense in center field and a plus-plus arm, possibly getting a big league look in late 2016.

Brandon Finnegan, LHP, Cincinnati Reds Cueto Trade (KC)

The 2014 1st rounder has already found success in the big leagues as a reliever, but some teams think he could be a mid-rotation starter, drawing comparisons to Billy Wagner and Scott Kazmir.

Daniel Norris, LHP, Detroit Tigers Price Trade (TOR)

Athletic lefty with four above average to plus pitches has all kinds of upside and is near big league ready, but has battled consistency and his delivery since back in his high school days.

50 FV Group (9): Ranged from 80 to 142 in the Top 200
Jairo Labourt, LHP, Detroit Tigers Price Trade (TOR)

Labourt has some risk due to his thick build and command issues that cause some scouts to see a reliever, but he’s up to 97 mph regularly and has an above average slider, so Detroit will try to develop him into a mid-rotation starter.

Jacob Nottingham, C, Oakland A’s Kazmir Trade (HOU)

One of the most improved prospects to be moved at the deadline, Nottingham went from a fringe receiver with contact issues but good tools entering the year to a guy that can probably stick behind the plate that starting tapping into his power in games en route to demolishing both A-Ball levels.

Miguel Castro, RHP, Colorado Rockies Tulowitzki Trade (TOR)

Rushed to the big league bullpen after a promising campaign in A-Ball last year, Castro predictably struggled, but there’s still mid-rotation or closer upside if Colorado can put him at an appropriate level and get him back on track.

Cody Reed, LHP, Cincinnati Reds Cueto Trade (KC)

A prospect whose stock has blown up this year, Reed went from big kid with some arm strength to high-end prospect after his velo spiked to hit 99 mph in the California/Carolina All-Star game, along with a slider that now flashes plus.

Sean Manaea, LHS, Oakland A’s Zobrist Trade (KC)

A typical high risk/reward pitcher, Manaea flashes #2 starter upside at times, but has had at least three notable injuries in the last few years, which will also impact his stuff at times.

Jose Peraza, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers ATL/MIA/LA Trade (ATL)

Compared to Luis Castillo or Juan Pierre early in his pro career, Peraza’s light has dimmed a bit in 2015 due to offensive questions, but he’s still an elite runner that’s near big league ready and can play multiple positions up the middle.

Zach Davies, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers, Parra Trade (BAL)

Still under the radar, Davies has an average 88-92 mph fastball and curveball along with a skinny frame, but the separators are his plus changeup and above average command, skills that bode well for outperforming his scouting upside.

Rob Kaminsky, LHP, Cleveland Indians Moss Trade (STL)

Seen as a heavy price to pay for Brandon Moss, Kaminsky hits 95 mph at times and also flashes a plus curveball, but has often pitched with more solid average stuff in 2015.

Michael Fulmer, RHP, Detroit Tigers Cespedes Trade (NYM)

I compared him to Joba Chamberlain entering the year and Fulmer has improved since then, improving his delivery, command and slider to where he could turn into a 3rd/4th starter, but is close enough that some sort of meaningful big league career is extremely likely.

45 FV Group (4): Ranged from 143 to 200 in the Top 200
Matt Boyd, LHP, Detroit Tigers Price Trade (TOR)

After his velo jumped in his senior year at Oregon State, making him into a decent prospect, the pitchability lefty’s stuff spiked again, out of nowhere this year, making him into more of a 3rd/4th starter than an inventory arm.

Alberto Tirado, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies Revere Trade (TOR)

Tirado has flourished in after a full-time move to the bullpen, sitting 93-95 with a slider that’s a consistent 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale, but will flash a notch or two better on some nights.

Keury Mella, RHP, Cincinnati Reds Leake Trade (SF)

Mella has an easy plus fastball that sits 92-95 and enough stuff to start, but some feel issues that cause scouts to see a reliever long-term.

Jerad Eickhoff, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies Hamels Trade (TEX)

Eickhoff is a near big league ready back-end starter type, though he has enough stuff to be a 7th or 8th inning reliever should that not work out.

40+ FV Group (8)
Casey Meisner, RHP, Oakland A’s Clippard Trade (NYM)

6’7/190 righty is in High-A at only 20 years old and sits 90-93, hittting 94 with three average to slightly above pitches along with projection and plane, but consistency is still an issue.

Jesus Tinoco, RHP, Colorado Rockies Tulowitzki Trade (TOR)

The 6’4 Venezuelan righty has some projection, hits 97 with his power sinker and flashes a slider and changeup that are average to slightly above at times, so the starter traits are here, but there’s still a ways to go and scouts think he’s more likely to end up a reliever.

Zach Bird, RHP, Atlanta Braves ATL/MIA/LA Trade (LA)

Bird is a high risk/reward righty that’s athletic, projectable and runs his fastball up to 97 mph at times with 3rd/4th starter stuff. He’s still working on his command and consistency, with his velocity at times starting games at 93-95 mph and sliding to 90-92 mph a few innings later.

Domingo Santana, RF, Milwaukee Brewers Gomez Trade (HOU)

Santana is the classic power/power right fielder with big raw power, a big arm and a big frame, but he still hasn’t figured out how to make consistent contact and he’s about to turn 23. Scouts are hoping he turns into a useful platoon guy that may have a good run for a couple years, but very few of this type of player turns into Nelson Cruz.

Josh Hader, LHP, Milwaukee Brewers Gomez Trade (HOU)

Hader is only 21, has already pitched a good bit at Double-A, has solid deception, is left-handed and will run his heater up to 96 regularly as a starter. The problem is that his breaking ball is fringy and his changeup isn’t plus, limiting his upside as a starter or matchup lefty reliever, making him more of an inventory arm unless he can make the adjustment.

Ramon Flores, LF, Seattle Mariners Ackley Trade (NYY)

Flores is 23, big league ready and has five fringy to average tools along with excellent plate discipline, so he’s a near lock to be a solid 4th outfielder or platoon partner, with some chance he can turn meager tools into a low-end everyday player for a stretch.

Jose Ramirez, RHP, Seattle Mariners Ackley Trade (NYY)

Ramirez is an exciting prospect, hitting 100 mph and flashing a 70 changeup at his best, reminiscent of Fernando Rodney’s knockout stuff. The problem is that Ramirez can’t stay healthy which, combined with his fringy breaking ball and below average command, eliminates him from starting contention.

Chih-Wei Hu, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays Jepsen Trade (MIN)

Hu is age appropriate for his level (21) and has three solid average pitches along with solid average command and a solid workhorse frame, making him a lower risk bet to be in a big league rotation at some point than most A-Ball pitchers.

40 FV Group (12)
John Lamb, LHP, Cincinnati Reds Cueto Trade (KC)

Lamb was a former top prospect who, after Tommy John surgery in June of 2011, never got his premium stuff back but has reinvented himself as a pitchability arm with improved feel that’s big league ready.

Daniel Mengden, RHP, Oakland A’s Kazmir Trade (HOU)

He isn’t big and doesn’t have a plus pitch, but has good feel, three solid average pitches and athleticism — he was also a pretty good hitter as a a two-way guy in college at Texas A&M — so you’re looking at a lower risk, possibly quick-moving back-end starter type, though the stuff still varies a bit start-to-start.

Nick Pivetta, RHS, Philadelphia Phillies Papelbon Trade (WSH)

He sits 92-94 and hits 96 mph, mixing in a slider that’s slurvy but above average at times, along with a curveball and changeup that are fringy. Pivetta has a durable workhorse frame and low miles on his arm as a later-developing Canadian and has the control (strike throwing) to start, but it still working on the command (quality strikes), with a backup plan in the bullpen.

John Gant, RHP, Atlanta Braves Uribe Trade (NYM)

Gant has a solid average four-pitch mix and solid feel to project as a back-end starter, thought his skinny frame could limit the amount of innings he can throw.

Rob Whalen, RHP Atlanta Braves Uribe Trade (NYM)

Whalen flashes an above average fastball and curveball at times, with enough changeup and command to start, but also with 7th/8th inning upside in the bullpen if he can’t develop all the starter traits.

JaCoby Jones, 3B, Detroit Tigers Soria Trade (PIT)

Jones has had huge tools since back in high school and never quite put them together at LSU, but projects to play third base with above average tools across the board, though he’s 23, just got to Double-A and has plenty of swing-and-miss to his game.

Luis Cessa, RHP, Detroit Tigers Cespedes Trade (NYM)

Cessa will run it up to 95 mph, has a slider, changeup and command that are all average to slightly above and projects as a back-end starter, swing man or 7th inning reliever depending on how the command plays at the big league level.

Yhonathan Barrios, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers Ramirez Trade (PIT)

Barrios converted to pitching in 2013 and will run it up to 100 mph with a slider and changeup that are around average, but he doesn’t get many strikeouts and the command is predictably lagging behind the velocity.

Adrian Houser, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers Gomez Trade (HOU)

Houser has been around for awhile and is just now putting it all together, sitting 94-96 late in to starts and hitting 98 mph, along with a curveball that’s above average to plus, but there’s no projection, the rest is still pretty rough, so he’s likely a reliever. He also needs to be added to the 40-man this offseason to avoid being lost int he Rule 5 Draft.

Jake Brentz, LHP, Seattle Mariners Lowe Trade (TOR)

Brentz had only pitched a few times in his life when he hit 95 mph in October of 2012 at a high school tournament. He’s athletic and projectable with a quick arm and flashes starter stuff, but the command still hasn’t showed up for sustained periods for the 20-year-old.

Nick Wells, LHP, Seattle Mariners Lowe Trade (TOR)

Wells was largely unknown entering his draft spring last year at a Virginia high school as he pitched in the low-to-mid-80’s until March of 2014 when he was regularly getting into the low-90’s.  He’s a projectable 6’5/180 that should add more arm speed and flashes back-end starter stuff now that could improve a couple notches.

Jeff Brigham, RHP, Miami Marlins ATL/MIA/LA Trade (LA)

Brigham is a former basketball player that’s athletic on the mound and sits 94-97, hitting 99 mph, but his upside is limited with secondary stuff that’s around average and a delivery that lacks deception.

35+ FV Group (11)
Malik Collymore, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers Broxton Trade (STL)

Jimmy Cordero, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies Revere Trade (TOR)

Ivan Pineyro, RHP, Miami Marlins Haren Trade (CHC)

Adam Duvall, 1B, Cincinnati Reds Leake Trade (SF)

Kevin Guzman, RHP, Miami Marlins ATL/MIA/LA Trade (LA)

Alec Asher, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies Hamels Trade (TEX)

Aaron Brooks, RHP, Oakland A’s Zobrist Trade (KC)

Eric Stamets, SS, Cleveland Indians, Murphy Trade (LAA)

Rob Rasmussen, LHP, Seattle Mariners Lowe Trade (TOR)

Eduar Lopez, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays DeJesus Trade (LAA)

Tomas Telis, C, Miami Marlins Dyson Trade (TEX)

35 FV Group (6)
Adrian Sampson, RHP, Seattle Mariners Happ Trade (PIT)

Alexis Tapia, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays Jepsen Trade (MIN)

Elliott Soto, SS, Miami Marlins Haren Trade (CHC)

Victor Araujo, LHP, Miami Marlins ATL/MIA/LA Trade (LA)

Kyle Barraclough, RHP, Miami Marlins Cishek Trade (STL)

Cody Ege, LHP, Miami Marlins Dyston Trade (TEX)

Kiley McDaniel has worked as an executive and scout, most recently for the Atlanta Braves, also for the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates. He's written for ESPN, Fox Sports and Baseball Prospectus. Follow him on twitter.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

top stuff as ever.