10 Blocked MLB Prospects Who Would Relish Chance to Be Traded
Every year, there are countless prospects who, despite an exceptional performance at a high minor league level, fail to reach the major leagues because their path is blocked at a specific position.
For some prospects, they must patiently wait for their turn or hope for unexpected injury. Other players simply fall out of the organization’s long-term plans, as the incumbent is offered a contract extension that blocks the position for years to come.
However, a prospect with no clear path to playing time in the major leagues can also serve as a key trade chip—especially around the trade deadline. With the potential to yield big league talent headed into the final two months, trading a blocked prospect to a team capable of playing them can be a move that dictates the outcome of the season.
Here are 10 prospects who would benefit from being moved at the deadline.
Mike Olt, 3B, Texas Rangers
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Blocked at the hot corner in Arlington by Adrian Beltre, Olt figures to be one of the most coveted prospects at this year’s trade deadline. With plus power to all fields and above-average defense, the right-handed hitter is nearly big league-ready, as he continues to post robust power numbers at Double-A.
If the Rangers ultimately make the move to acquire Zack Greinke, there’s a chance Olt is the key prospect who seals the deal.
Jean Segura, SS/2B, Los Angeles Angels
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Although Segura was recently promoted to the major leagues from Double-A, the possibility of him finishing the season there is unlikely. Providing middle infield depth with Erk Aybar ailing, Segura can handle both positions, though he is strongest and holds the most value at shortstop.
Given his readiness to contribute, Segura could be moved as part of a larger package for a front-line starting pitcher.
Henry Rodriguez, 2B/3B, Cincinnati Reds
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A switch-hitting second baseman, Rodriguez is enjoying a strong season that has seen him reach Triple-A Louisville after batting .348/.385/.439 in 33 games at Double-A. However, he has Brandon Phillips in his path, who signed an extension prior to the 2012 season.
If the Reds add by the trade deadline, Rodriguez figures to be one of the team’s more expendable trade chips.
Scooter Gennett, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers
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A left-handed bat known for his all-out style, Gennett is an aggressive hitter who amasses multi-hit games while offering plus defense.
Blocked by at the position by Rickie Weeks, it’s hard to see Gennett getting an opportunity unless the incumbent is either traded or injured. Due to the fact that there are but a few second base prospects in the game who are close to breaking through in the big leagues, he should hold extra value.
Grant Green, UTIL, Oakland Athletics
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Green hasn’t quite ascended to the major leagues in the manner that was expected, but he’s become a highly versatile player. There’s no single position that he’s really the best at, so his offensive production will continue to dictate his defensive role. For a team needing extra depth of their bench—possibly even looking ahead to 2013—Green is an attractive option.
Christian Colon, SS, Kansas City Royals
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Despite having spent some time on the disabled list this season, Colon is enjoying a solid all-around season after a disappointing first full professional season.
His best chance of reaching the majors with the Royals may be at second base. However, he’s been playing shortstop regularly this season at Double-A. If the Royals still try to add a starting pitcher, Colon may serve as one of their only minor league trade chips.
Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves
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Teheran continues to frustrate with lackluster performances in Triple-A. And, as evidenced when the team nearly shipped Randall Delgado to Chicago for Ryan Dempster, the Braves won’t hesitate to trade either of their young arms for major league talent.
Compared to Delgado, Teheran has the potential to net a better return. So if the Braves go all-in on a certain player, expect the right-hander to be included in the package.
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Toronto Blue Jays
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Although the Blue Jays seem to be interested in moving current shortstop Yunel Escobar, his average production and questionable makeup have made it difficult.
Hechavarria is nearly big league-ready and is producing in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, so if it comes down to it, perhaps the Blue Jays will adjust their plan and move him instead.
Dan Straily, RHP, Oakland Athletics
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As Straily continues to widen the gap as the 2012 minor league strikeout leader, there are growing demands for a promotion to the major leagues.
The A’s are still on the fence about whether or not to deal one of their talented starters for a key player in return or keep things status quo. Either way, Straily’s value should be tapped into—immediately.
Anthony Gose, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
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Headed into the 2012 season, it seemed as though Gose would inevitably take over in center field in place of a struggling Colby Rasmus. However, Rasmus is enjoying a resurgent season and has become a fixture in the team’s everyday lineup.
Additionally, the Blue Jays have an even better outfield prospect at Double-A in Jake Marisnick, which could make Gose expendable.
Given his assortment of above-average to plus tools, there are plenty of teams that would overpay for the potentially dynamic outfielder.