Ranking the Prospects Traded at the Deadline

Below is my ranking of the prospects dealt during this year’s “Trade Season,” a span of time encompassing the second half of July, essentially from the Drew Pomeranz deal onward. Each tier of prospects is separated by the Future Value grade I’ve placed on them. For further explanation on what goes into FV, please go here. I’ve also included a brief, one sentence summary of each player’s skillset as well as links to the full reports I’ve written here for the site over the past few weeks and hours. Players who didn’t get full write-ups have slightly longer blurbs written in this post. Players with the same FV are ranked within their tier simply in the order I like them.

Dilson Herrera isn’t technically a prospect and is therefore not on the list but his full report is here. Hector Olivera is also not a prospect, not because he’s exhausted his rookie eligibility but because the reports I’ve gotten there, as well as what I’ve seen in person, have been quite bad.

60 FV Prospects

Anderson Espinoza, RHP, San Diego Padres (report)

Traded from BOS to SD for Drew Pomeranz

Summary: One of the most electric arms in the minors, Espinoza has a shot at three plus or better pitches and a realistic #2 starter’s ceiling but is still just 18 and obviously risky.

Lewis Brinson, CF, Milwaukee Brewers (report)

Traded from TEX to MIL as part of package for Jonathan Lucroy

Summary: Star-level tools, including plus bat speed and barrel control, but the swing is still under construction and swing-and-miss remains an issue.

55 FV Prospects

Gleyber Torres, SS, New York Yankees (report)

Traded from CHC to NYY as part of package for Aroldis Chapman

Summary: Advanced bat-to-ball and enough power to profile at any of his potential defensive homes, even third base.

Clint Frazier, OF, New York Yankees (report)

Traded from CLE to NYY as part of package for Andrew Miller

Summary: Elite, high-effort bat speed which generates all-fields power that will play beautifully in Yankee Stadium.

Luis Ortiz, RHP Milwaukee Brewers (report)

Traded from TEX to MIL as part of package for Jonathan Lucroy

Summary: Big-bodied righty with mid-rotation stuff and more pound-the-zone control than refined command.

Dillon Tate, RHP, New York Yankees (report)

Traded from TEX to NYY as part of package for Carlos Beltran

Summary: Once booming stock and stuff that had him in consideration for the 2015 draft’s top selection has disappeared and what looked like a top-of-the rotation arm this spring is currently in prospect limbo.

50 FV Prospects

Lucius Fox, SS, Tampa Bay Rays (report)

Traded from SF to TB as part of package for Matt Moore

Summary: Has struggled in full-season ball due to physical immaturity and represents significant risk due to his age and (lack of) proximity to the majors, but is a potential plus defender at shortstop with high-end speed and a non-zero chance to hit as well.

Jharel Cotton, RHP, Oakland Athletics (report)

Traded from LAD to OAK as part of package for Rich Hill and Josh Reddick

Summary: Changeup artist with solid four-pitch mix and enough strike-throwing ability to start.

Adalberto Mejia, LHP, Minnesota Twins (report)

Traded from SF to MIN for Eduardo Nunez

Summary: Four average pitches with plus control/command.

Frankie Montas, RHP, Oakland Athletics (report)

Traded from LAD to OAK as part of package for Rich Hill and Josh Reddick

Summary: Big-bodied howitzer whose fastball has eclipsed the century mark but has also dealt with injuries, command issues and likely ends up in high-leverage relief.

Grant Holmes, RHP, Oakland Athletics (report)

Traded from LAD to OAK as part of package for Rich Hill and Josh Reddick

Summary: Mid-90s fastball, potential plus breaking ball and developing changeup but two straight years of control woes have knocked Holmes’ value down a half grade.

Justus Sheffield, LHP, New York Yankees (report)

Traded from CLE to NYY as part of package for Andrew Miller

Summary: Stocky, quick-armed lefty that touches 95 and is more heavily incorporating a slider into a repertoire that also has a promising changeup.

45 FV Prospects

Michael Santos, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays (report)

Traded from SF to TB as part of package for Matt Moore

Summary: Control/command freak with projectable body, low-90s fastball and three future-average secondaries.

Travis Demeritte, 2B, Atlanta Braves (report)

Traded from TEX to ATL for Lucas Harrell and Dario Alvarez

Summary: Explosive middle infielder with big raw power but potentially fatal swing-and-miss issues.

Josh Naylor, 1B, San Diego Padres (report)

Traded from MIA to SD in the partially aborted Andrew Cashner deal

Summary: First-base-only defender with electric hands but an in-game approach that doesn’t project for first-base-worthy offensive output.

Dan Vogelbach, DH, Seattle Mariners (report)

Traded from CHC to SEA as part of package for Mike Montgomery and Jordan Pries

Summary: Positionless masher without any premium offensive traits.

Phil Bickford, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers (report)

Traded from SF to MIL as part of package for Will Smith

Summary: Enigmatic righty with a foggy backstory, waxing and waning stuff/command, and no third pitch.

40 FV Prospects

Taylor Hearn, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (report)

Traded from WAS to PIT for Mark Melancon

Summary: Hard-throwing lefty with spotty injury history and raw secondaries.

Harold Ramirez, LF, Toronto Blue Jays (report)

Traded from PIT to TOR as part of the Francisco Liriano/Drew Hutchison deal

Summary: Physically mature outfielder who’s likely to slow down and move to a corner where his bat-to-ball skills will remain interesting but his lack of power will become an issue.

Ariel Miranda, LHP, Seattle Mariners (report)

Traded from BAL to SEA for Wade Miley

Summary: Potentially late-blooming athlete who has been up to 95 with inconsistent but intriguing slider/split combo.

Reese McGuire, C, Toronto Blue Jays (report)

Traded from PIT to TOR as part of the Francisco Liriano/Drew Hutchison deal

Summary: Terrific defender without much chance to hit due to poor bat speed and swing plane.

Charlie Tilson, OF, Chicago White Sox (report)

Traded from StL to CHW for Zach Duke

Summary: Fleet-of-foot fourth outfielder with good hand-eye but not enough pop to start.

Billy McKinney, OF, New York Yankees (report)

Traded from CHC to NYY as part of package for Aroldis Chapman

Summary: Hit-before-power corner-outfield prospect whose bat speed has gone significantly backward over the last year.

Hansel Rodriguez, RHP, San Diego Padres (report)

Traded from TOR to SD for Melvin Upton Jr.

Summary: A body/delivery lottery ticket with a heavy, low-90s fastball, some slider feel, and a loose, projectable arm.

Pat Light, RHP, Minnesota Twins 

Traded from BOS to MIN for Fernando Abad

Summary: Light was drafted by the Twins in the 28th round coming out of Christian Brothers High School in New Jersey (where he had a career 20-0 record), but he opted not to sign and went to Monmouth. He was up to 96 as a junior and was drafted in the supplemental round by the Red Sox with the pick they accrued when Jonathan Papelbon signed with the Phillies. After scuffling early in his minor-league career, Light’s stuff took off when he moved to the bullpen. He’ll now touch 100 with a plus splitter. It’s high-leverage stuff but he’s 25 and still has issues with control.

35 FV Prospects

Max Wotell, LHP, Cincinnati Reds (report)

Traded from NYM to CIN as part of package for Jay Bruce

Summary: Funky prep lefty just a year removed from the draft who has been up to 94 with breaking-ball feel.

Jhonleider Salinas, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays (report)

Traded from CLE to TB as part of package for Brandon Guyer

Summary: Up to 95 this year in the Arizona League with flashing average secondaries but limited strike-throwing ability and was old for the level.

Ben Heller, RHP, New York Yankees (report)

Traded from CLE to NYY as part of package for Andrew Miller

Summary: Deceptive upper-90s heat and a slurvy breaking ball that might not play in the bigs.

Jonah Heim, C, Tampa Bay Rays (report)

Traded from BAL to TB for Steve Pearce

Summary: Plus arm and solid overall defensive package with pretty swing but subpar in-game results.

Yordan Alvarez, 1B, Houston Astros 

Traded from LAD to HOU for Josh Fields

Summary: Alvarez got $2 million from the Dodgers just before they were put into the penalty box for this year’s J2 period. Alvarez hit .351/.402/.387 as a 17-year-old for Las Tunas in Cuba’s Serie Nacional back in 2014. Has plus raw power that didn’t play in-game while he was in Cuba because of a contact-oriented approach.

Jesus Castillo, RHP, Los Angeles Angels 

Traded from CHC to LAA for Joe Smith

Summary: Castillo was part of the return sent from Arizona to the Cubs for Tony Campana. His body has started to mature and he’s been 89-93 this year, touching 94, with an average changeup and below-average breaking ball. He’s loose and still has some physical projection left.

Alex Meyer, RHP, Los Angeles Angels (report)

Traded from MIN to LAA in the Hector Santiago/Ricky Nolasco swap

Summary: Former first-rounder has been up to 98 with a plus slider in the past but has had serious control issues and is currently on the shelf with shoulder fatigue.

Rashad Crawford, OF, New York Yankees (report)

Traded from CHC to NYY as part of package for Aroldis Chapman

Summary: Toolsy but raw athlete with the wheels to play center.

Alan Busenitz, RHP, Minnesota Twins (report)

Traded from LAA to MIN in the Hector Santiago/Ricky Nolasco swap

Summary: Upper-90s fastball that plays down because of lack of plane and extension and no clear bat-missing secondary.

Vicente Campos, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Traded from NYY to ARI for Tyler Clippard

Summary: Campos has been up to 95 with an average curveball and a reliever’s delivery.

Erik Swanson, RHP, New York Yankees (report)

Traded from TEX to NYY as part of package for Carlos Beltran

Summary: Has been up to 99, slider and changeup both have fringe projection.

Tayron Guerrero, RHP, Miami Marlins (report)

Traded from SD to MIA as part of the Andrew Cashner deal

Summary: Hard-throwing beanstalk with 30 control.

Nick Green, RHP, Texas Rangers (report)

Traded from NYY to TEX as part of package for Carlos Beltran

Summary: Quick-armed righty with middling repertoire and spot-starter projection.

J.P. Feyersien, RHP, New York Yankees (report)

Traded from CLE to NYY as part of package for Andrew Miller

Summary: Mid-90s fastball and above-average breaking ball, usually enough to profile in middle relief but today’s relievers are often bumping 97-plus.

Nathan Lukes, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

Traded from CLE to TB as part of package for Brandon Guyer

Summary: Over-achieving fifth-outfielder type with good bat control and speed but well below-average bat speed.

Paul Blackburn, RHP, Seattle Mariners (report)

Traded from CHC to SEA as part of the Dan Vogelbach/Mike Montgomery deal

Summary: Strike-throwing sinkerballer who projects as minor-league depth.

Jordan Pries, RHP, Chicago Cubs (report)

Traded from SEA to CHC as part of the Dan Vogelbach/Mike Montgomery deal.

Summary: Upper-80s fastball and slurvy, fringe average breaking ball. Org depth.





Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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Maverik312member
6 years ago

Alex Meyer as a 35 FV??? I get frustration with injury, but he has minors pedigree and a 3.28 FIP in AAA as recently as last year. Control issues forever, but he’s probably an 8th inning guy as a floor. That’s only because the Angels pen has Cam and Salas. If he were on a lesser team he could be their closer. This is all even ASSUMING they don’t stretch him out behind Richards, Skaggs, and Heaney.

Bipmember
6 years ago
Reply to  Maverik312

shoulder fatigue

*tugs collar*

dmgetz
6 years ago
Reply to  Maverik312

A 3.28 FIP in AAA last year, but at age 25. He’s 26 now and he hasn’t shown anything at the ML level and still walks a lot of guys; that seems like a long way from set-up guy as a floor, especially with how a lot of 8th inning guys are pitching these days.

jdbolick
6 years ago
Reply to  Maverik312

I agree that he’s a 40 FV, but is five points really worth arguing over?

Forrest Gumption
6 years ago
Reply to  jdbolick

Prospect hounds are probably the worst scourge on internet baseball chatter today.

Forrest Gumption
6 years ago
Reply to  Maverik312

Can we all agree to stop calling players by their first names please and thanks.

besgueToDiffer
6 years ago

When a guy’s last name is a pain to spell and it’s obvious who is being talked about, why not? Seems like you’re being snarky just to be snarky.