Below is a ranking of the prospects traded this month, tiered by our Future Value scale. A reminder that there’s lots of room for argument as to how these players line up, especially within the same FV tier. If you need further explanation about FV, bang it here and here. Full writeups of the prospects are linked next to their names. If the player didn’t receive an entire post, I’ve got a brief scouting report included below. Enjoy.
60 FV Prospects
55 FV Prospects
50 FV Prospects
9. Tyler O’Neill, OF, STL (Acquired from SEA for Marco Gonzales)
O’Neill garnered top 100 consideration during the offseason despite career-long contact issues – which were on display in front of much of the industry in the Arizona Fall League — because of his combination of power and patience. He also has above average straight-line speed. While O’Neill has struggled in his first taste of Triple-A, hitting just .244 with a .328 OBP before the trade, his power and ability to discern balls from strikes remain intact. Scouts think his contact issues will persist and some think there’s risk that he doesn’t hit enough to play every day. Others think the power is an equalizer that will allow O’Neill to produce in a way commensurate with an average everyday outfielder.
45 FV Prospects
10. Teoscar Hernandez, OF, TOR (Acquired for Francisco Liriano)
Hernandez simplified his footwork in the box and took off last year, but there was nowhere for him to fit into Houston’s outfield. His natural bat speed and wrist strength generate the quality of his contact. He projects as an average hitter with average game power. If he can play center field (most scouts think he can) he’s an average everyday player. In a corner he’s a second division regular unless his glove buoys his overall value.
11. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, OAK (Acquired from WAS for Ryan Madson, etc.)
During Luzardo’s Tommy John rehab, he improved his conditioning. When he came back, he was throwing 92-96. Last week, following the trade, Luzardo was 90-95 — touching 96 — in his second AZL start with Oakland. He missed bats with his curveball and change-up, the latter of which has plus projection. In addition to the quick return in velocity, Luzardo has quickly regained feel for locating his breaking ball for strikes, which is something rookie-level hitters don’t often see. He has a chance for two plus pitches in his fastball and change-up, and an average curveball that plays up due to command. He projects as a mid-rotation starter with significant injury/proximity risk.
14. Merandy Gonzalez, RHP, MIA (Acquired from NYM for A.J. Ramos)
Though short, Gonzalez generates above-average velocity by incorporating his entire 6′ frame into his delivery, and he’s athletic enough to maintain it and throw strikes despite considerable effort. He’ll flash an above-average curveball and has some change-up feel. Some scouts think he projects as a #4/5 starter; others project him in relief.
15. Marco Gonzales, LHP, SEA (Acquired from StL for Tyler O’Neill)
Gonzales made his big league debut back in 2014, but his career has since been tormented by injuries. He had Tommy John last year. A quintessential change-up/command left-handed pitching prospect at his zenith, Gonzales’ skillset remains dependent on those two traits. His short, deceptive arm action makes it difficult for hitters to pick up his change-up upon release, and hitters often offer at pitches that die in the dirt in front of them. It’s a plus pitch. Gonzales’ fastball and curveball are fringey and, when he isn’t commanding his fastball, it’s difficult for Gonzales to get by. He projects as a back-end starter and his resume makes him an undeniable risk for injury.
16. Sheldon Neuse, 3B, OAK (Acquired from WAS for Ryan Madson, etc.)
Neuse was a two-way player at Oklahoma who would bump the mid-90s with his fastball in relief. He’s a power-over-hit third baseman (he played shortstop in college but is a 40 runner) with above-average raw power and a good idea of the strike zone. Some scouts are concerned about swing and miss, especially with a corner-only defensive profile. Scouts who had Neuse as part of their amateur coverage revere his makeup. If he hits enough, he’s an everyday player at third base. If not, he’ll be a useful bench bat provided he can add some semblance of defensive versatility. It’s also possible that given what seems to be a liberal organizational philosophy about what kind of glove is acceptable to run out at shortstop that Neuse spends more time there with Oakland than he would with another org.
19. Gabriel Moya, LHP, MIN (Acquired from ARI for J.R. Murphy)
Moya is a colorful and deceptive multi-pitch reliever with a spunky, low-90s fastball and shapeshifting breaking ball that he can throw for strikes. He also throws an occasional change-up. His curveball flashes plus and because his fastball plays up due to deception, he’s at least ticketed for a lefty middle relief role. He hasn’t allowed an earned run at Double-A in 26 consecutive appearances, dating back to May 1.
20. Ryan Cordell, OF, CHW (Acquired from MIL for Anthony Swarzak)
Cordell hasn’t been able to find a favorable defensive home nor hit quite enough to justify playing every day at a lesser one, so he projects as either a high-end bench outfielder or platoon option in an outfield corner. He has several above-average tools, but isn’t unanimously passable in center field and doesn’t project to make enough contact to play every day in a corner spot.
40 FV Prospects and below
26. Brayan Hernandez, OF, MIA (Acquired from SEA for David Phelps)
Hernandez wasn’t scouted heavily until last summer — both then and now, many scouts have mixed opinions on him. Most of Hernandez’s profile is dependent upon him remaining in center field. He’s an average runner from home to first. That isn’t quite the kind of speed typically associated with center field, but he takes long strides that could allow him to cover greater distances in the outfield than the stopwatch indicates. His defensive instincts aren’t great right now, though his arm is plus. Offensively, he has plate coverage issues created by poor footwork. Much of the contact he makes is on the ground. He appears to have some physical projection, but his frame is narrow and some scouts think he’s destined to be slight of build. He’s unlikely to hit for power at maturity. There’s time to remedy Hernandez’s approach and contact ills and scouts like his loose hands and barrel control enough to project an average hit tool here, but he may not stay in center field, and thus he’s more likely to winds up as a bench outfielder.
30. Brandon Miller, RHP, MIA (Acquired from SEA for David Phelps)
Miller’s plus-flashing breaking ball is his best pitch. It’s a low-80s slider with terrific depth, and it’s able to dip beneath the barrels of both left- and right-handed hitters. He also throws strikes with a riding low-90s fastball that works well in sequence with the slider, as Miller can run the fastball up above the zone and bury the slider, inducing fruitless swings with both. Miller’s arm action is a bit long and scouts think the change-up, currently below average, might not quite reach respectability. That could limit Miller’s future role to one of relief, but if the change-up comes along Miller fits in the back of a rotation. Either is an excellent outcome for a sixth rounder out of a Division II school.
32. Sergio Alcantara, SS, DET (Acquired from ARI for J.D. Martinez)
The diminutive Alcantara is an average runner with good feel for the strike zone and a plus-plus arm. He’s a better hitter from the right side of the plate where his body is more efficiently used throughout the swing, and he has better bat control from that side, too. Alcantara doesn’t make much hard contact and will likely top out as a utility man, though his approach and defensive profile might allow for a bit more than that.
33. Samad Taylor, 2B, TOR (Acquired from CLE for Joe Smith)
A twitchy and athletic plus-plus runner without prototypical shortstop arm strength, Taylor has an intriguing blend of physical tools and early-career performance. Scouts are concerned about his lack of size, but he does have some pop. He’ll need it to profile at second.
34. Tobias Myers, RHP, TB (Acquired from BAL for Tim Beckham)
Myers was a smooth two-way high school prospect who was committed to play third base and pitch at the University of South Florida. Baltimore drafted him as a pitcher in the sixth round last year, and signed him for an under-slot bonus. Myers has been great at Aberdeen, striking out 35 in 29.2 innings and walking just six. His fastball sits in the low-90s and has life up in the zone. He has also shown feel for spinning a curveball.
35. Ricardo Cespedes, OF, MIA (Acquired from NYM for A.J. Ramos)
It has been a lost year so far for Cespedes, who hit .323 as an 18-year old in the Appy League last season. He has dealt with a leg injury this year, but hasn’t hit when healthy and lacks the physical projection commensurate with corner outfield prospects. He’ll have to get back to hitting at an elite level to resurrect his prospect status, but he’s an interesting buy-low for Miami.
36. Pablo Lopez, RHP, MIA (Acquired from SEA for David Phelps)
Lopez missed 2014 due to a ligament tear, which required Tommy John surgery, and then he struggled to miss bats in 2015 and 2016 while throwing a nearly-elite level of strikes. While he’s avoiding more wood this year (a 21% K% before the trade, up from 17.3% last year) Lopez has continued to pound the strike zone with his sinking fastball and fringe secondaries, the best of which is a potentially average change-up. Lopez’s ability to work in the zone, specifically in its nether regions, allows him to limit batted balls in the air. He had a 49% GB% this year before the trade (and 62.5% since the trade) and while most sources I spoke to consider Lopez a potential up-and-down arm, one source thought he could be a steady rotation piece with the right defense behind him.
37. Drew Smith, RHP, NYM (Acquired from TB for Lucas Duda)
The 23-year-old Smith is deceptive and throws in the mid-90s, but I’ve spoken with scouts who think it plays down due to lack of movement. He has an average curveball and projects in middle relief.
40. Tyler Watson, LHP, MIN (Acquired from WAS for Brandon Kintzler)
Watson is a big lefty with a deceptive but ugly delivery that scouts think might necessitate a move to the bullpen. He’s thrown strikes to this point in his career, he induces lots of ground balls and has an inning-eater’s build. He could have three average pitches — 87-92 mph fastball with sink, plus a change-up and curveball — with average command and be a fifth starter.
41. Luis Madero, RHP, LAA (Acquired from ARI for David Hernandez)
Madero has a lithe, projectable frame and sits in the low-90s, flashing arm-side run. His change-up and breaking ball are fringey right now, but he shows feel for both as well as some strike-throwing ability. He could be a back-end starter and, if he adds velo as he fills out (if he fills out, he hasn’t added mass since arriving in the states) he could be a bit more.
44. Thomas Pannone, LHP, TOR (Acquired from CLE for Joe Smith)
Pannone is throwing a bit harder this year and sitting 88-91. He sequences it well, changing hitters’ eye level with it and a loopy curveball. Scouts are skeptical of his stuff playing in the majors long-term, but he has a FIP under 3 at Double-A right now.
45. Seth McGarry, RHP, PHI (Acquired from PIT for Joaquin Benoit)
McGarry has a well-balanced delivery and good arm action, both of which help generate a sinking, plus fastball. It’s hard to square up and has helped enable McGarry’s 73% GB%. Hitters have a hard time catching it. McGarry has a fringey breaking ball and change-up.
46. Angel German, RHP, PIT (Acquired from LAD for Tony Watson)
German will touch 100 and flash a plus, upper-80s slider, but he has 30 control. He’s a high-risk relief prospect who, if he ever harnesses his stuff, cold pitch at the back of a bullpen.
49. Oneil Cruz, OF, PIT (Acquired from LAD for Tony Watson)
Cruz measured in at 6-foot-8 this spring and was literally too big to get his glove down to the ground in time to field some hot shots hit toward him at third base during extended. He’s likely to end up in the outfield or at first base, but if he can close the holes his his enormous swing, he’ll likely have the power to profile there as he continues to grow into his body.
50. Zack Littell, RHP, MIN (Acquired from NYY for Jaime Garcia)
A big, 6-foot-4, 220-lb. righty with an above-average fastball (fringe velo but great plane, extension and some movement) and fringey coffer of secondary pitches. His slider is short, the change-up is a bit firm but he throws strikes and sequences well. He’s competent upper-level rotation depth.
52. Yefry Ramirez, RHP, BAL (Acquired from NYY for international bonus slot)
The Yankees took Ramirez in the Triple-A phase of the 2015 minor league Rule 5 draft, which cost them $12,000 (Rule 5 pick costs doubled to $24,000 the next year) and flipped him for an international slot here. As a prospect, Ramirez has sinker command and can pitch off the plate with two different breaking ball shapes. He could be a back-end starter.
55. Jose King, SS, DET (Acquired from ARI for J.D. Martinez)
A physically projectable speedster without prototypical arm strength for the infield’s left side, King likely projects to second base and needs to improve his approach to profile there. There are some interesting physical tools here, but King is an extreme distance from the majors.
56. Casey Gillaspie, 1B, CHW (Acquired from TB for Dan Jennings)
Gillaspie has power, but is a well-below average athlete with a stiff, ineffective swing. He’s an interesting buy-low for the White Sox but, as a poor defensive first baseman, he’ll have to make an extreme turnaround to be considered a prospect.
57. Tyler Webb, LHP, MIL (Acquired from NYY for 1B Garrett Cooper)
Webb is a 27-year-old lefty with a low-90s fastball, above-average change-up and fringe curveball. He was Rule 5’d by Pittsburgh and returned to New York. He has fringe stuff for a bullpen piece, but is quality injury insurance at Triple-A.
58. Yeison Yrizarri, SS, CHW (Acquired from TEX for International slot)
An explosive prospect with a rare raw power/speed combination, Yrizarri has never developed a feel to hit and has a career .290 OBP in parts of four pro seasons. He’s still just 20.
59. Ryan McBroom, 1B, NYY (Acquired from TOR for Rob Refsnyder)
A backwards first baseman with contact skills and average raw power, McBroom is a compelling offensive prospect but is limited to first base and doesn’t have quite the heavy-hitting tools necessary. Like Cooper, he’s corner depth for a competitive franchise with injuries at first base.
60. Luis Ysla, LHP, LAD (Acquired from BOS for cash)
Ysla was DFA’d by Boston to clear room on the 40-man for Eduardo Nunez. He’s a funky lefty who varies his arm slot and generally has difficulty throwing strikes, but he has middle relief/lefty specialist stuff if he ever improves his command. Signed at 20, Ysla is now 25.
61. Luke Farrell, RHP, LAD (Acquired from KC for Cash)
A big, 6-foot-6 righty, Farrell has a fastball that sits 88-92 mph, and touches 94. He flashes fastball command, and has two separate breaking balls, the best of which is a low-80s slider. It’s consistently average, and flashes above. He eats competent innings at Triple-A and made his major league debut this year.
62. Garrett Cooper, 1B, NYY (Acquired from MIL for Tyler Webb)
A big, 26-year-old, 230-lb., right-handed hitting first baseman with bat control, Cooper hadn’t hit for significant power until he landed in Colorado Springs this year. Long term, he’s a depth bat, but a provides a safety valve for the Yankees, who have had injury issues at first base.
63. Dietrich Enns, LHP, MIN (Acquired from NYY for Jaime Garcia)
65. Hendrik Clementina, C, CIN (Acquired from LAD for Tony Cingrani)
A big-bodied catcher with power and good feel for the strike zone, Clementina likely doesn’t have the athleticism to catch or play anywhere other than first base.
67. Dillon McNamara, RHP, SF (Acquired from NYY for undisclosed return)
69. Lukas Schiraldi, RHP, MIA (Acquired from SEA for David Phelps)
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.