Projecting the Prospects in the Giancarlo Stanton Trade

The Yankees have acquired reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins in exchange for Starlin Castro plus prospects Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers. A possible $30 million in cash would also be included in the event Stanton chooses not to opt out of his mega-contract following the 2020 season.

Below are the KATOH projections for the prospects received by Miami. WAR figures account for each player’s first six major-league seasons. KATOH denotes the stats-only version of the projection system, while KATOH+ denotes the methodology that includes a player’s prospect rankings. In total, my KATOH system projects these prospects for a combined 5.9 WAR (5.2 by KATOH+) over their first six years in the majors.


Jorge Guzman, RHP (Profile)

Acquired from the Astros last winter in the Brian McCann trade, Guzman dominated the New York-Penn League in 2017. He struck out a league-leading 33% of opposing batters this past season and walked just 7%. The end result was a 2.30 ERA across 13 starts. At 21 years old, Guzman wasn’t particularly young for short-season ball — especially for an international signee — but his performance was off the charts. As a result, KATOH has him as a top-150 prospect. Guzman is obviously several levels away from the majors, but there is a lot to like.

I saw Guzman in person last summer, and it was immediately clear how he achieved those gaudy results: his stuff is nasty. He sat 96-100 mph as a starter and even ran it up to 102 a couple of times. He also missed bats with a slider that he threw as hard as 89 mph. Below is some mediocre-quality video I recorded. I tried to catch the velocity readings in the upper-left.

To put some faces to Guzman’s statistical profile, let’s generate some statistical comps. I calculated a Mahalanobis distance between Guzman’s Triple-A performance and every Triple-A season since 1991. In the table below, you’ll find the 10 most similar seasons, ranked from most to least similar. The WAR totals refer to each player’s first six seasons in the major leagues. 

Please note that the Mahalanobis analysis is separate from KATOH. KATOH relies on macro-level trends, rather than comps. The fates of a few statistically similar players shouldn’t be used to draw sweeping conclusions about a prospect’s future. For this reason, I recommend using a player’s KATOH forecast to assess his future potential. The comps give us some interesting names that sometimes feel spot-on, but they’re mostly just there for fun.

Jorge Guzman Mahalanobis Comps
Rank Name KATOH Proj. WAR Actual WAR
1 Ryan Vogelsong 1.7 0.8
2 Jason Isringhausen 2.2 6.5
3 David Williams 2.1 0.0
4 Cristobal Correa 3.0 0.0
5 Christian Parra 1.9 0.0
6 Shawn Nottingham 2.6 0.0
7 Anibal Sanchez 3.5 13.7
8 Duff Brumley 2.5 0.0
9 Jason Anderson 1.8 0.0
10 Nick Barnese 4.2 0.0


Jose Devers, SS (Profile)

Devers spent most 2017 as a 17-year-old shortstop in the Gulf Coast League. He performed reasonably well given his age and position, slashing .246/.359/.348 with 15 steals in 169 plate appearances. Devers has shown an encouraging capacity for making contact at a very young age while playing the middle infield, which gives him a reasonably high chance of reaching the major leagues. As an undersized infielder who’s extremely far away from the big leagues, though, he’s little more than a long-term lottery ticket.

Jose Devers Mahalanobis Comps
Rank Name KATOH Proj. WAR Actual WAR
1 Marcus Sanders 1.4 0.0
2 Amador Arias 1.6 0.0
3 Hanley Frias 1.6 0.2
4 Josh Wilson 1.5 0.0
5 Nick Noonan 3.3 0.0
6 Sean Rodriguez 1.4 4.8
7 Pedro Lopez 3.8 0.0
8 Brandon Cromer 1.8 0.0
9 Dionys Cesar 1.9 0.0
10 Alejandro Machado 3.1 0.1

Chris works in economic development by day, but spends most of his nights thinking about baseball. He writes for Pinstripe Pundits, FanGraphs and The Hardball Times. He's also on the twitter machine: @_chris_mitchell None of the views expressed in his articles reflect those of his daytime employer.

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4 years ago

The Marlins fans have no prospects.

The Cuban billionaire would be buying pitching right now instead of unloading the entire team. This is the third ownership group put in place by the MLB mafia that has acted exactly the same despite the Marlins now having a state-of-the-art ballpark and new TV deal.

Manfred and Jeter should be pictured in hoodies hauling flat screens out of a store. They’re looters and the people of Miami are their victims.

Baron Samedi
4 years ago
Reply to  JimmieFoXX

You were doing fine until the latent racism at the end there, my dude.

4 years ago
Reply to  JimmieFoXX

@Baron Samedi I don’t see the racism you mention. Hoodies are enormously popular with all races and looters taking a flat screen is a generic analogy…it sounds like you have the preconceived notions and that you are the racist.

4 years ago
Reply to  cubfanjack

Think for a moment. He was wrong to call you a racist but there is some implicit bias in your wording.

We are not very far off from the Trayvon Martin murder where the fact that he was wearing a hoodie was literally used as justification for his shooting.

The shooters defense was that a black man wearing a hoodie was fear inducing.

I work at a department of corrections work release. The center, after this incident banned the wearing of doo rags, hoodie and baggy pants. IE they banned black fashion on the premise that those clothing items put the inmates at risk of shooting if worn outside. This was a state wide Department of Corrections mandate.

So, the idea of a hoody being short hand for black criminality is very real.

Again, he shouldn’t have assumed you were racist and should have been more nuanced in his critique of your comment. But equating hoodies with criminals so soon after an innocent black teen was killed by a civilian and had the wearing of a hoodie used to center his defense around the fear of black men (successful defense btw) ruffles some feathers.

Bobby Ayala
4 years ago
Reply to  bpd

Almost 6 years ago. Please let us know when it’s not so soon so we can speak freely again without your nitpicking.

4 years ago
Reply to  JimmieFoXX

What is your prediction to when Jeter sells his share?