MLB Trade Deadline: Final Predictions on Top Prospects Who Will Be Dealt
With the 2012 trade deadline now less than five hours away, prospects throughout baseball are being scrutinized to determine whether they may be key pieces of a last-minute trade. While some teams have merely thrown their respective prospect’s name into the mix, there are other teams waiting until the deadline unfolds to decide who’s available.
While most organizations will target top prospects in exchange for their top players, there are also a host of under-the-radar, fast-rising prospects who will may serve as trade bait as teams look to acquire a potential steal as part of a bigger package.
Here are 10 prospects who could be moved before today’s trade deadline and, more importantly, where they may be headed.
Jonathan Schoop, 3B, Baltimore Orioles
After an unexpectedly slow start to the 2012 season, Schoop has seemingly turned the corner and found his name back in the middle of Orioles’ trade rumors.
After hitting a combined two home runs with 13 RBI between April and May, Schoop has 10 home runs with 30 RBI since.
Trade: Philadelphia Phillies for Joe Blanton
Randall Delgado , RHP, Atlanta Braves
So it turns out that Delgado wasn't traded to the Chicago Cubs for Ryan Dempster after all. Oh well. However, that clearly indicates that the 22-year-old right-hander is still available. The Braves haven't backed off in their pursuit of a top-notch starting pitcher, so if it goes down, Delgado's inclusion is imminent.
Trade: Chicago Cubs (Ryan Dempster)
Zach Lee, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
At this rate, I think we should expect Lee to be moved within the next week. He's already been directly mentioned in trade rumors—more specifically, a deal that would send him to the Cubs for Matt Garza, as reported by Jim Bowden of ESPN.
The Dodgers are throwing all their chips in the pot this week with little care about the ramifications on their farm system. Considering that he's their top trade chip, if the organization makes an acquisition, expect Lee to be on the move—quickly.
Trade: Philadelphia Phillies (Hunter Pence)
Mike Olt, 3B, Texas Rangers
A right-handed hitting third baseman with plus power and above-average defense, Olt is currently blocked by Adrian Beltre in Arlington through the 2013 system. However, as a top-ranked prospect, Olt will likely be part of a major trade—one that sends a star-level player to Texas.
Trade: Philadelphia Phillies (Cliff Lee) (via Buster Olney of ESPN)
Cody Buckel, RHP, Texas Rangers
Apparently the prospect package that the Rangers offered to Brewers was headlined by Cody Buckle, so there’s no reason to believe that he won’t be available headed into the final hours of the trade deadline. With a four-pitch mix (and sometimes more), the right-hander possesses excellent command and is a strikeout artist despite his unimposing size.
Trade: Philadelphia Phillies (Cliff Lee)
Dellin Betances, RHP, New York Yankees
A local prep product selected in the eighth round of the 2006 first-year player draft, Betances continues to experience control problems. Remaining steadfast in their development of the 6'8" right-hander as a starter, he was demoted to Double-A after a dismal start to the 2012 season at Triple-A.
Now that he's 24 years old, it's gotten to the point where the Yankees have to decide whether to relegate him to a bullpen role or try to cash in on what remains. Don't expect him to generate a big return.
Trade: Philadelphia Phillies (Ty Wigginton)
Shelby Miller, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
For the last two years, Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak has stated that top pitching prospect Shelby Miller is off limits. This season, however, it seems as though the Cardinals will entertain offers for the highly touted right-hander, as they are looking to acquire a starter without trading from their big-league roster.
They are playing coy at the moment, but don't be surprised if his name crops up within the last hours before the deadline.
Trade: Cleveland Indians (Justin Masterson)
Didi Gregorius, SS, Cincinnati Reds
The Reds’ system is loaded with shortstops, with Zack Cozart enjoying a strong rookie season in Cincinnati and the fastest man in baseball, Billy Hamilton, now at Double-A.
Gregorious, who’s playing at Triple-A after a promotion last week, is a left-handed hitter with top-of-the-order potential and could help a team dealing with an infield injury during the final months of the season.
Trade: Philadelphia Phillies (Juan Pierre)
Jake Marisnick, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
A highly athletic and toolsy outfielder, Marisnick was recently promoted to Double-A—a move that seemed rather premature given that he wasn’t excelling at High-A.
Therefore, it seems likely that the Blue Jays are trying to either jump start his bat or showcase for teams with the trade deadline rapidly approaching.
Trade: Chicago Cubs (Matt Garza)
Gary Brown, OF, San Francisco Giants
In his first full season, Brown opened tons of his eyes with his 80-grade speed and ability to make consistent, hard contact. He has a knack for peppering the gaps with line drives and is an extra-base threat the second he stands in the batter’s box.
He may not hit for much power, but it really doesn’t matter. His speed has him pegged as a future leadoff hitter and center fielder.
Trade: Philadelphia Phillies (Hunter Pence)