Scouting the Prospects in the Giancarlo Stanton Trade

Today, the Marlins acquired two prospects, RHP Jorge Guzman and SS Jose Devers, as part of the package sent from New York in exchange for Giancarlo Stanton. Below are scouting reports on those prospects as well as thoughts on whom, within New York’s system, might represent a competent stopgap replacement at second base for the spot vacated by Starlin Castro, who was traded to Miami as part of the deal.

Miami’s New Prospects

Houston signed Jorge Guzman in June of 2014, just before the end of the 2013-14 international signing period. He was a bit older than most other IFA signees but still spent his first pro season in the Dominican Summer League. The following year, 2016, he split the season between the Gulf Coast and Appalachian Leagues and began to generate some buzz around baseball as he was seen by a larger number of pro scouts. In November of 2016, he was traded to New York as part of the package for Brian McCann, which also included RHP Albert Abreu. Guzman was seen as a premium arm-strength lottery ticket at the time, sitting 95-97 and touching 102.

In 2017, Guzman went to the New York-Penn League and threw strikes with a 96-102 mph fastball and plus slider. He struck out 88 hitters in 66 innings. His changeup is still raw, and scouts don’t like his stiff, hunched posture during his delivery, but he throws strikes and has a chance to start. He could have an 80 fastball and 70 slider at peak, which alone could make him an elite reliever. If Marlins player development can improve his changeup, or develop a different third pitch, his ceiling as a rotation piece is quite high. He enters his age-22 season in 2018.

Jose Devers is a shortstop who hit .245/.336/.342 as a 17-year-old in the GCL this year. He has an immature but projectable 6-foot frame, and his physical composition is such that scouts think he’ll fill out and add strength as he matures. He has precocious feel for hitting but currently lacks the physicality and swing plane to do any real damage with the bat. Devers’ actions and arm strength are such that scouts think he has a chance to be an above-average defensive shortstop, so he doesn’t necessarily have to develop an impact bat to profile as a big leaguer. There’s a perfect-world outcome in which Devers’ frame develops in that Goldilocks zone that affords him the physicality necessary to punish the baseball even as he retains the agility to stay at shortstop, though it sounds like a swing tweak might also be necessary for such an outcome.

I have a 50 FV on Guzman, which means he’ll garner heavy consideration for this offseason’s top 100, and a pretty aggressive 40 on Devers based largely on his frame, athleticism, and natural feel to hit. Where does that rank on our yet-to-be-released Marlins list? Well, 2016 first-rounder Braxton Garrett — low-to-mid 90s, above-average curveball, above-average changeup, chance for plus command — would be soundly ahead of Guzman if he hadn’t required Tommy John in June. Brian Anderson and the newly acquired Nick Neidert are both relatively polished prospects who I think can be average big-league regulars, but neither of them can touch what Guzman’s ceiling looks like if he develops a good third pitch.

Trevor Rogers, Miami’s 2017 first-rounder, is a huge 6-foot-6 lefty with a mid-90s fastball, but his breaking ball and strike-throwing are behind Guzman’s right now, and Rogers is already20 years old despite having been a 2017 high-school draftee. I think TJ recovery rates are such that I’d still rather have Garrett if given the choice between all of these guys, but there’s an argument to be made for Guzman as the No. 1 guy in this system. He’ll likely rank somewhere in the back third of our top 100.

The Yankees’ Internal Options at the Keystone

The Yankees can patch the hole created by Castro’s departure with some combination of Tyler Wade and Thairo Estrada. Wade failed to do much in a meaninglessly small big-league sample, but his scouting report remains the same as it did a year ago. He’s a plus runner with an all-fields approach to contact and sound ball/strike recognition. He lacks the power to profile as an everyday player anywhere other than shortstop (where Wade’s glove would be average). With superior talents at short in the upper levels of the organization, the Yankees began moving Wade around the diamond during the last few seasons. He began seeing work all over the outfield during the 2016 Arizona Fall League and got reps at six positions in 2017, including first-time action at third base.

Estrada is also a capable defensive shortstop who could be plus at second base. He, too, has doubles power, insufficient for everyday reps at second base, but he grinds out tough at-bats and played well enough in the heavily scouted 2017 Arizona Fall League that he likely would have been a Rule 5 pick had New York not added him to the 40-man roster this offseason. Both project as quality utility guys, with Wade offering more versatility and Estrada offering better defense at short, but they’ll be fine at second base in a pinch until Gleyber Torres is ready.

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 Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.

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6 years ago

Gerrit Cole for Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar next?

6 years ago
Reply to  BillClinton

7 years of control over Frazier and Andujar for 2 years of Cole?

6 years ago
Reply to  abgb123

Cole’s a top 20 pitcher since his 2014 debut, has excellent stuff, and has upside to ~5 WAR seasons. With their roster construction and the stated desire to get under the CBT, I do think 2 years of Cole could be worth 6 each of Andujar and Frazier, sure.

6 years ago
Reply to  BillClinton

with Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar, why not throw in a little more and try for Bumgarner?

why not go for the guy who has proven to be as tough as nails in the biggest games?