Projecting the Prospects in the Todd Frazier Trade

The White Sox swung a deal yesterday to acquire slugging third baseman Todd Frazier from the Reds. To do so, they sent Trayce Thompson, Micah Johnson and Francelis Montas to the Dodgers. The Dodgers sent Jose Peraza, Scott Schebler, and Brandon Dixon to Cincinnati. Here’s the skinny on the sextet of prospects changing hands in this trade. As usual, the numbers you see below come from my KATOH projection system.

Jose Peraza, 2B (Profile)

New Team: Cincinnati
Old Team: Los Angeles (NL)
KATOH Projection Through Age 28 (2015 stats): 10.6 WAR
KATOH Projection Through Age 28 (2014 stats): 5.3 WAR

Peraza burst onto the prospect scene in 2014, when he hit .339/.364/.441 between High-A and Double-A. His high BABIP came back to earth a bit in Triple-A last year, but was still roughly a league-average hitter. His .293/.316/. 378 showing wasn’t bad at all for a 21-year-old. Peraza hits for very little power, but his speed and contact ability should be enough for him to stick as a big league second baseman. His bat probably isn’t quite ready for everyday duty, but considering his age, there’s still plenty of time for it to get there.

Let’s take a look at some statistical comps for Peraza. “Mah Dist” denotes each player’s Mahalanobis distance from Peraza’s 2015 season, where the lower figure represents a more similar comp. Miguel Cairo and Joaquin Arias are the two most similar players.

Jose Peraza’s Mahalanobis Comps
Rank Name 2015 Age Mah Dist PA WAR
1 Miguel Cairo 41 1.10 4,392 5.0
2 Joaquin Arias 30 1.88 1,118 0.4
3 Tike Redman 38 2.74 1,461 2.0
4 Alex Diaz 46 2.97 872 0.0
5 Adam Kennedy 39 3.12 6,055 18.4
6 Hernan Perez 24 3.13 351 0.0
7 William Bergolla 32 3.97 38 0.0
8 Desi Relaford 41 4.15 3,347 0.0
9 Alcides Escobar 28 4.24 3,860 10.8
10 Omar Infante 33 4.30 5,549 14.5
11 Brent Abernathy 37 4.51 955 0.0
12 Willie Romero 40 4.53 0 0.0
13 Juan Sosa 39 4.58 12 0.0
14 Eric Young 48 4.68 6,996 19.8
15 Ezequiel Carrera 28 4.70 670 0.8
16 Damion Easley 45 4.78 6,211 17.4
17 Eury Perez 25 4.78 156 0.0
18 Jacoby Ellsbury 31 4.80 4,340 28.3
19 Neifi Perez 42 4.96 5,510 0.0
20 Eric Farris 29 5.03 10 0.0

*****

Frankie Montas, RHP (Profile)

New Team: Los Angeles (NL)
Old Team: Chicago AL
KATOH Projection Through Age 28 (2015 stats): 4.0 WAR
KATOH Projection Through Age 28 (2014 stats): 1.7 WAR

As many young flamethrowers do, Montas struggled with command in the low minors, which lead to some unsightly walk rates. He took a couple of big steps forward the last couple of years, though, making him an excellent prospect. He spent last season — his age-22 season — at the Double-A level, where he pitched extremely well (2.97 ERA, 3.04 FIP) with a 23% strikeout rate. Montas received a big league cup of coffee last September, but probably still needs some seasoning in Triple-A. Still, he’s not too far away, and his combination of stuff and performance makes him one of baseball’s more exciting pitching prospects.

Frankie Montas’ Mahalanobis Comps
Rank Name 2015 Age Mah Dist IP WAR
1 Felipe Paulino 31 0.17 404 4.0
2 Renyel Pinto 32 0.20 231 0.0
3 Mark Redman 41 0.23 1,239 16.0
4 Tom Gorzelanny 32 0.30 881 7.5
5 Rett Johnson 35 0.31 0 0.0
6 Clint Nageotte 34 0.37 42 0.0
7 Luis Martinez 35 0.38 16 0.0
8 Phil Norton 39 0.40 92 0.0
9 Travis Phelps 37 0.41 106 0.0
10 Juan Cruz 36 0.42 655 4.7
11 Shawn Chacon 37 0.46 922 2.6
12 Steve Soderstrom 43 0.47 14 0.1
13 Jose Cisnero 26 0.54 48 0.0
14 Lance Lynn 28 0.55 791 13.5
15 Zack Wheeler 25 0.59 285 3.4
16 Tony Saunders 41 0.62 346 4.2
17 James Paxton 26 0.63 165 2.1
18 Nathan Eovaldi 25 0.63 614 8.7
19 Chad Qualls 36 0.64 758 5.7
20 Drake Britton 26 0.64 28 0.5

Curiously, this is the second time Clint Nageotte’s name has come up this week. He also showed up as a comp for Mark Appel.

*****

Micah Johnson, 2B (Profile)

New Team: Los Angeles (NL)
Old Team: Chicago AL
KATOH Projection Through Age 28 (2015 stats): 2.9 WAR
KATOH Projection Through Age 28 (2014 stats): 4.2 WAR

Johnson hit an obscene .315/.375/.466 with 28 steals in 351 Triple-A appearances last year, which explains his semi-optimistic KATOH forecast. Not priced into that forecast, however, is the time he spent with the White Sox, where he put up a paltry 62 wRC+. Johnson has excellent speed, and has shown glimpses of promise with the bat, but it’s not clear if he’ll hit enough to get by as a second baseman. He hit for decent power in the minors last year, but did so by trading in a few points from his strikeout rate. That’s concerning, especially since he whiffed at an alarming 26% clip in the majors. For a prospect who turns 25 tomorrow (Happy Birthday!), Johnson still has a lot of flaws.

Micah Johnson’s Mahalanobis Comps
Rank Name 2015 Age Mah Dist PA WAR
1 Eric Patterson 32 0.73 575 0.0
2 Terry Shumpert 48 1.00 2,214 0.0
3 Jermaine Allensworth 43 1.07 1,190 0.0
4 Eric Young Jr.. 30 1.16 1,683 2.9
5 Eric Owens 44 1.17 2,577 0.0
6 Willie Harris 37 1.33 2,816 3.7
7 Chris Burke 35 1.41 1,443 0.8
8 Chad Curtis 46 1.45 4,650 11.5
9 Chone Figgins 37 1.62 5,360 21.5
10 Corey Hart 33 1.82 4,114 12.8
11 Alcides Escobar 28 1.82 3,860 10.8
12 Calvin Murray 43 1.95 719 1.4
13 Rod Myers 42 1.98 191 0.5
14 Shin-Soo Choo 32 2.28 4,859 28.0
15 Greg Tubbs 52 2.35 74 0.0
16 Henry Mateo 38 2.40 280 0.0
17 Bernie Castro 35 2.59 209 0.0
18 Chad Meyers 39 2.60 237 0.0
19 Peter Bourjos 28 2.63 1,655 10.3
20 Ezequiel Carrera 28 2.66 670 0.8

*****

Trayce Thompson, OF (Profile)

New Team: Los Angeles (NL)
Old Team: Chicago AL
KATOH Projection Through Age 28 (2015 stats): 1.8 WAR
KATOH Projection Through Age 28 (2014 stats): 0.6 WAR

Thompson is the son of former NBA center Mychal Thompson, and the brother of Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors, so athleticism clearly runs in his family. Yet, despite his tremendous athletic ability, Thompson’s unrefined baseball skills rendered him a fringe prospect over his six years in the minors. He hit 105 homers and stole 98 bases as a minor leaguer, but struggled to get on base due to chronically high strikeout numbers. After routinely whiffing more than 25% of the time in the low minors, Thompson cut his strikeout rate to a respectable 19% last year. However, his 5% walk rate suggested his offensive approach was still a work in progress. Thompson hit an unremarkable .260/.304/.441 as a 24-year-old in Triple-A, which yielded his KATOH projection of 1.8 WAR through age-28.

But a funny thing happened when the White Sox called Thompson up last August: He started to rake. He put up a 144 wRC+ over 135 plate appearances on the strength of a .238 ISO. Most encouraging of all, he struck out in just 19% of his plate appearances and walked in 10%, suggesting more refined plate discipline. Whether Thompson will sustain his breakout in a meaningful way is anyone’s guess. It’s easy to talk yourself into believing he’s finally learning to leverage his tools, but 135 PAs also a small enough sample where nearly anything can happen. But either way, since KATOH does not incorporate his big league stats, it’s almost certainly selling him short.

 Trayce Thompson’s Mahalanobis Comps
Rank Name 2015 Age Mah Dist PA WAR
1 John Mayberry 31 0.48 1,519 2.0
2 Derrick Gibson 40 0.56 52 0.2
3 Matt Mieske 47 0.77 1,705 0.2
4 Zack Cozart 29 0.81 2,013 7.3
5 Damon Buford 45 0.87 2,072 2.0
6 Logan Schafer 28 0.96 646 0.0
7 Jason Lane 38 1.01 1,366 2.3
8 Rich Aude 43 1.11 158 0.0
9 Josh Kroeger 32 1.12 55 0.0
10 Brian Buchanan 41 1.19 858 0.4
11 Scott Cousins 30 1.20 193 0.0
12 Dee Brown 37 1.28 874 0.0
13 Charlie Culberson 26 1.29 360 0.0
14 Wes Bankston 31 1.30 63 0.0
15 Juan Sosa 39 1.32 12 0.0
16 Juan Tolentino 39 1.37 0 0.0
17 Scott Lydy 46 1.44 111 0.0
18 Mike Peeples 38 1.49 0 0.0
19 Jose Nieves 40 1.49 573 0.0
20 Aaron Holbert 42 1.50 35 0.0

*****

Scott Schebler, OF (Profile)

New Team: Cincinnati
Old Team: Los Angeles (NL)
KATOH Projection Through Age 28 (2015 stats): 1.0 WAR
KATOH Projection Through Age 28 (2014 stats): 3.9 WAR

A former 26th round pick, Schebler began grabbing people’s attention when he belted 55 homers between 2013 and 2014. He came back to earth in 2015 by hitting an unremarkable .241/.322/.410. in Triple-A, but still played semi-regularly for the Dodgers as a September callup. Now that he’s no longer putting up crooked power numbers, Schelber doesn’t stand out in any one particular area. He smells like a future bench bat to me.

Scott Schebler Mahalanobis Comps
Rank Name 2015 Age Mah Dist PA WAR
1 Benji Gil 42 0.65 1,767 2.1
2 Josh Wilson 34 0.68 1,190 0.0
3 Zack Cozart 29 0.91 2,013 7.3
4 Dave Kelton 35 0.91 22 0.0
5 Ian Kinsler 33 0.96 6,192 38.4
6 Darrell Whitmore 46 1.11 357 0.0
7 Tyrell Godwin 35 1.24 3 0.0
8 Rod Robertson 47 1.28 0 0.0
9 Bronson Sardinha 32 1.40 12 0.0
10 Ramon Santiago 35 1.42 2,794 5.2
11 Greg Smith 48 1.44 19 0.3
12 Vernon Wells 36 1.48 7,212 24.8
13 Anthony Sanders 41 1.50 27 0.0
14 Michael Ryan 37 1.53 326 0.0
15 Josh Donaldson 29 1.64 2,402 24.1
16 Edward Salcedo 23 1.67 0 0.0
17 Jose Nieves 40 1.69 573 0.0
18 Aaron Cunningham 29 1.70 501 0.0
19 Andy Thompson 39 1.76 9 0.0
20 Garrett Jones 34 1.80 3,228 4.0

*****
Brandon Dixon, 2B (Profile)

New Team: Cincinnati
Old Team: Los Angeles (NL)
KATOH Projection Through Age 28 (2015 stats): 0.7 WAR
KATOH Projection Through Age 28 (2014 stats): 0.1 WAR

Dixon opened 2015 in Double-A, but was sent back to High-A after a rough start the year. The 23-year-old redeemed himself a bit in High-A by hitting .299/.358/.575 in limited time. Dixon hit 19 homers last year, so has good power for a middle infielder. But his 26% strikeout rate is a huge red flag, especially when paired with his 5% walk rate. Dixon’s struggled with his plate discipline since the Dodgers took him in the third round back in 2013. Unless he finds a way to make more contact, he’s probably nothing more than minor league depth.





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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Mike
Guest
Mike

I’d be interested in a Dee Gordon – Peraza comp.

al
Guest
al

why

Mike
Guest
Mike

Just surprised Gordon did not show up in the Mah Dist…he and Peraza are very similar players, same size, slap-hitting speedsters at 2B. Pareaza brings a bit more position versatility, and Peraza his RH, Gordon LH. But they seem very similar.

Peraza has made his debut at a bit earlier age. Baseball Ref has Gordon at 6.6 WAR for his thru-27 season.

esdrtfyu
Guest
esdrtfyu

There is absolutely no change whatsoever in how the Phillies are run.

Bill Giles put the ownership group together with people who think like him 35 years ago. Guess what? Bill Giles is still there. He took part in the hiring of MacPhail and Klentak both. He was at the press conference announcing the hiring of Klentak.

35 Years.

Jim Thome and Cliff Lee

That’s it.

35 Years.

Carlos Ruiz and Maikel Franco, the only two starting quality players signed out of Latin America. Ruiz was signed out of Panama for eight thousand dollars. Need that in numerical form? $8,000- Eight Stacks.

Maikel Franco was signed for $100,000- That’s one hundred thousand American dollars. One hundred Stacks.

The Red Sox paid $63 million to sign Yoan Moncada. The Phillies paid $108,000- to sign both Carlos Ruiz and Maikel Franco.

Two real free agents and two starting position players from Latin America signed for nothing.

The Phillies Way is unchanged. They will sit in the cellar until they collect enough free talent in the MLB Plantation Slave Auction held every June. These young slave/intern players will be exploited to the max by the Phillies bloodsucking ownership cabal. For seven years they will make these bloodsucking criminals massive profits. If a few become fan favorites and the crowds are still huge as they near free agency then they will be signed to short, team friendly deals. If any have slipped through their screening process and turn out to be normal players seeking long contracts they will be demonized and booted out the door.

The Phillies after telling lies to their fan base from 2012 onward finally admitted they were “rebuilding”. The truth of the matter is they are already planning their next rebuild as they conduct this one.

THAT is The Phillies Way.

Google: Kevin Maitan FREE_AEC
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