MLB Trade Deadline: Predicting the ETA, Impact of Top Traded MLB Prospects

Mike Rosenbaum@GoldenSombreroMLB Prospects Lead WriterAugust 1, 2012

MLB Trade Deadline: Predicting the ETA, Impact of Top Traded MLB Prospects

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    Now that the 2012 Major League Baseball trade deadline has come and gone (finally!), it’s time to sit back and analyze all of the deals that transpired over the last week-and-a-half.

    Although there wasn’t a lot of movement involving top prospects, a majority of the prospects moved before the deadline are definitely worth noting.

    For teams like the Tigers, Giants, Rangers and Dodgers, who traded at least one high-profile prospect, the emphasis to "win now" was overly apparent in their decision to acquire the necessary final pieces to hopefully ensure a playoff berth.

    At the same time, teams such as the Astros, Phillies, Cubs and Marlins focused on rebuilding their subpar systems, trading major league talent for high-upside prospects.

    When it was all said and done, the trade activity leading up to the deadline was somewhat disappointing. Other than Zack Greinke and Ryan Dempster, there were no star-caliber big leaguers traded despite previous weeks of rampant speculation.

    So, to make sense of all the trade deadline activity, it’s only appropriate to dissect each prospect-related transaction to determine the impact respective players may have on their new organization.

    While I would love to offer notes on every player involved in a trade, I decided to focus solely on those considered to be legitimate prospects.

Milwaukee Brewers

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    SS/2B Jean Segura

    Age: 22

    ETA: Late-2012

    Regarded as the No. 2 prospect in the Angels' system behind Mike Trout headed into the season, Segura is an undersized (5'11", 185 lbs) middle infielder with exciting tools. 

    With raw bat speed and a compact swing, he will surprise people with the amount of pop in his bat. His quick wrists allow him to sit on off-speed offerings, and he's become increasingly comfortable hitting to all fields. 

    By the time he settles in at the major league level, the right-handed hitter could flirt with a .300 batting average, as well as 10-15 home runs. He’s had ongoing issues with his legs (hamstring, knees), but when healthy, Segura has the potential to be a regular base-stealing threat. 

    Although he’s always had a high contact rate, Segura could better utilize his speed by drawing more walks—something that he’s done at an eight percent clip in his best seasons.

    With enough range to play both middle-infield positions for the time being, Segura’s plus arm makes him more attractive as a shortstop. If he moves to second base, it will likely be a result of injury concerns. Still, he plays both positions aggressively and has good instincts on the field.


    RHP Johnny Hellweg

    Age: 23

    ETA: 2013

    A 6’9”, 210-pound right-hander drafted in the 16th round of the 2008 draft, Hellweg spent the 2008 through 2010 seasons coming out of the bullpen as a late-inning reliever and occasional closer in the low minors.

    Although he showed absolutely electric stuff and posted high strikeout rates, his control was astonishingly bad, as he walked 98 batters in 75.1 innings.

    After some fine-tuning of his mechanics—it’s not exactly easy to control a wiry, 6’9” frame, people—the right-hander was lengthened out as a starter, where he has blossomed into one of more high-ceiling/high-risk pitching prospects in all the minors.

    For someone of his size with so many working parts, the ball comes out of Hellweg’s hand with ease, resulting in 94-98 mph fastballs with late sinking action to arm side.

    When he wants to and much like he did as a reliever, the right-hander can rear back for triple digits. Despite the fact he’s a power pitcher, Hellweg induces an large amount of ground balls (52.2 percent) due to the heavy downward action on all his pitches—especially his fastball.

    The shape of his curveball can vary, as all of those variations register in the low 80s with plus potential and feature late, sharp break. Now you’re beginning to see why he was a reliever, right?

    Anyway, Hellweg also features a changeup, but he’s never really thrown it for effectiveness. It may not matter, because with a fastball-curve combo like his, he may never need it. The only thing that will prevent Hellweg from success in the major leagues by 2013 is his control.


    RHP Ariel Pena

    Age: 23

    ETA: 2013

    Signed by the Angels as 17-year-old out of the Dominican Republic in early 2007, Pena and Hellweg are cut from a similar mold: They are both hard-throwing right-handers who have overcome extreme control problems.

    Pena has been dominant at Double-A this season, enjoying what is easily his best minor league season to date.

    Not only has he learned to control his fastball, he’s been able to command it with consistency. Even though his four-seam fastball sits in the mid-to-upper 90s, Pena relies equally on his sinker in the low 90s.

    He has a repeatable, quick arm that produces the ball seemingly out of nowhere to opposing hitters, which only adds more deception to his fastball variations.

    Pena’s best secondary pitch is easily his slider, which can even be a plus offering at times—when he’s locating his fastball to both sides of the plate, it plays up a grade.

    He’ll work in the occasional changeup, but it’s nothing special. He’ll have to refine the pitch to be at least a solid, average offering before reaching the major leagues.

    With a career 4 BB/9 in 614 minor league innings, Pena has posted a career-best 3.3 BB/9 this season at Double-A without sacrificing his K/9 (8.6).

    If he can continue to refine his command and add a mediocre third pitch, the right-hander could conceivably reach the major leagues at some point next season.


    *All three players were acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for RHP Zack Greinke (MLB)

Miami Marlins

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    RHP Jacob Turner

    Age: 21

    ETA: Late-2012

    Turner’s 6'5" frame allows him to pound the zone with a heavy, sinking fastball that registers in the low-90s.

    He struggles at times with the command of his curveball, but it’s still a hammer with good shape. Turner’s changeup is only an average offering as of now, but he does throw it with fastball-like arm speed.

    He probably won’t be a strikeout pitcher in the major leagues, but he has enough movement and deception to induce plenty of weak contact.

    Having made his debut at age 20, a strong argument can be made that he was rushed to the major leagues in 2011—a common complaint regarding Tigers prospects. Furthermore, the right-hander has endured multiple bouts of shoulder and arm fatigue, though there’s never been any indication of structural damage.

    Yet what concerns me regarding Turner is that his strikeout and walk ratio statistics have been trending in the wrong direction—possibly part of the reason that the Tigers were willing to part with their prized pitching prospect.


    C Rob Brantly

    Age: 23

    ETA: Late-2012/Early-2013


    Left-handed hitting catchers with at least average defensive skills are always a hot commodity, and the 22-year-old Brantly fits the bill. Blocked by Alex Avila in Detroit, he quickly becomes the Marlins’ top catching prospect and should be big-league ready by the 2013 season.

    He doesn’t have a lot of power, but should hit plenty of doubles and for a decent average due to his quick, direct swing that yields line drives from line-to-line.

    He’s surprisingly agile behind the plate with improving receiving skills, as well as a strong arm that has cut down 31 percent of opposing base-stealers over three seasons. If Brantly turns in a strong August at Triple-A New Orleans, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Marlins offer him a late-season cup of coffee.


    LHP Brian Flynn

    Age: 22

    ETA: 2014

    A 6’8” left-hander, Flynn’s fastball may only register in the 88-92 mph range, however, it gets on opposing hitters due to his size and reach toward home plate. The 22-year-old’s out pitch is a breaking ball that’s more like a slider-cutter hybrid with tight spin and late break.

    Although he has a changeup, it lags well behind his other two offerings and is sparingly thrown. To be successful at higher levels, Flynn will need to develop the pitch to neutralize right-handed hitters and make his fastball-breaking ball combination more deceptive.

    Given his massive size and hands, it’s hard to not get excited about Flynn. But despite his high ceiling, the southpaw still has a long way to go before reaching the major leagues.


    3B Zack Cox

    Age: 23

    ETA: 2013

    Coming out of the University of Arkansas in 2010, Cox had the best hit tool in the entire draft class and was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 25th overall pick.

    A left-handed hitter, Cox spent the majority of his first full professional season at Double-A and finished with a .797 OPS. However, he’s batting only .254/.294/.421 at Triple-A this season and currently on the disabled list due to a strained hamstring.

    However, the Marlins are acquiring a third baseman who should be ready for a big-league trial by the end of 2013. Given his quick bat and ability to use the whole field, Cox may hit for a decent average, but his lack of power isn’t a clean fit at a corner position.

    There’s been talk of him moving to second base, but I don’t think that he has the quickness and overall athleticism to handle the position.


    RHP Scott McGough

    Age: 22

    ETA: 2014

    An undersized pitcher at 6’0", 170 pounds, McGough, 22, possesses a lightning-quick arm and borderline max-effort mechanics.

    However, those aren’t necessarily bad attributes for a potential late-inning, right-handed reliever. His fastball typically sits in the 92-95 mph range, although he’s more than capable of reaching back to scrape 96-97 mph when needed.

    His slider can be a big tease; when thrown correctly it’s a devastating and heavy pitch with plenty of tilt. But for the most part, McGough struggles to repeat his release point and lacks overall command of the pitch.

    With the potential to be a future closer—he has 15 saves in 61 games between 2011 and 2012—McGough’s success and subsequent rise through the Marlins’ system will be dictated by his control.

    Already regarded as a strikeout pitcher, the right-hander will obviously need to walk fewer hitters as he continues to develop. His current 4.94 BB/9 rate is a direct result of his fringy command being challenged at a more advanced level.


    *RHP Jacob Turner, C Rob Brantly and LHP Brian Flynn were acquired from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for 2B Omar Infante and RHP Anibal Sanchez

    *3B Zack Cox was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals for RHP Edward Mujica

    *Nathan Eovaldi (MLB) and Scott McGough were acquired from the Dodgers for SS Hanley Ramirez and LHP Randy Choate

    *OF Gorkys Hernandez (Triple-A) was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates for 1B Gaby Sanchez (Triple-A) and RHP Kyle Kaminska (Double-A)

Seattle Mariners

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    OF Leon Landry

    Age: 22

    ETA: 2014

    Selected by the Dodgers in the third round of the 2010 draft out of Louisiana State, Landry is a toolsy player with plus speed and defense that allows him to handle all three outfield positions.

    A left-handed hitter with a compact swing and direct bat path, he makes a lot of hard contact but hits for limited power.

    Therefore, it’s hard to see him reaching the major leagues as a corner outfielder. It’s more likely that he’ll either see time exclusively in center field or become a fourth outfielder.


    RHP Logan Bawcom

    Age: 23

    ETA: Mid-2013

    Bawcom, a 23-year-old right-hander drafted in the 17th round of the 2010 draft, has a low ceiling but could have a career in the big leagues as a reliever.

    His swing-and-miss arsenal—a low- to mid-90s fastball that’s complemented by a hard, late-breaking slider—has registered a 10.89 K/9 rate over three seasons, and he also induces loads of groundballs (2.13 GB/FB in career).

    He’s worked as a closer in the leagues, but his stuff isn’t electric or deceptive enough to profile there in the major leagues. Still, he has good enough pure stuff to likely reach Seattle's bullpen by mid-2013.


    *OF Leon Landry and RHP Logan Bawcom were acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for RHP Brandon League (MLB)

    *RHP D.J. Mitchell (Triple-A) and RHP Danny Farquhar (Triple-A) were acquired from the New York Yankees in exchange for OF Ichiro Suzuki (MLB)

Colorado Rockies

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    2B Charlie Culberson

    Age: 23

    ETA: 2013

    Selected by the Giants with the 51st overall pick in the 2007 draft, Culberson made his big league debut earlier this season and batted .136 (3-for-22) in six games. For a right-handed hitting second baseman, the 23-year-old has some pop in his bat.

    However, it comes with a price, as there continues to be too much swing-and-miss in Culberson’s game—to be exact, 509 strikeouts in 615 minor-league games. Even though he has a plus arm that plays at shortstop, his instincts and range are a cleaner fit at second base.

    Culberson may reach the major leagues later this season or at some other point in the upcoming years. But until he improves his plate discipline and shortens his swings, it’s hard to envision as anything more than a Triple-A second baseman.


    *Charlie Culberson was acquired from the San Francisco Giants for INF Marco Scutaro (MLB)

Minnesota Twins

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    INF Eduardo Escobar

    Age: 23

    ETA: Late-2012

    While he won’t ‘wow’ you with anything he does on the field, Escobar's all-around game is solid and his versatility makes him especially valuable.

    The 23-year-old shortstop has been lauded for his defensive prowess, as he has soft hands, smooth actions and a strong arm. Serving as a utility infielder for the White Sox this season, Escobar has logged time at second base, shortstop and third base.

    A switch-hitter, Escobar’s offensive ability lags behind his defense, but he hits enough for at least a backup role in the major leagues.

    He makes lots of contact from both sides of the plate, always looking to put the ball in play and utilizing the whole field. He’ll never hit for power, but has plus speed that will lead to a fair amount of doubles and triples.

    The Twins always have an affinity for defense-oriented middle infielders, so, despite being assigned to Triple-A Rochester following the trade, Escobar should return to the majors when the rosters expand in September.


    *Eduardo Escobar and LHP Pedro Hernandez (Triple-A) were acquired from the Chicago White Sox for LHP Francisco Liriano (MLB)

Philadelphia Phillies

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    RHP Ethan Martin

    Age: 23

    ETA: 2014

    Selected by the Dodgers with the 15th overall pick in the 2008 draft, Martin’s status as a prospect has been on steady decline due to wavering command and struggles to make adjustments.

    After registering a 3.87 ERA and 10.8 K/9 in his full-season debut in 2009, the 23-year-old right-hander has struggled to repeat such success. His pure stuff is still there, including a low-90s fastball, above-average breaking ball and decent changeup.

    Although he amassed plenty of strikeouts (9.3 K/9 in four minor league seasons), Martin’s overall development has been impeded by his lack of control, which has resulted in a consistently high walk rate (5.7 BB/9 career mark).

    He struggles to keep his weight back and rushes forward which, in turn, causes his glove side to fly open and create a varying arm slot.

    Repeating Double-A this season, the right-hander has made some adjustments, but still leaves plenty to be desired.

    Even though his strikeout rate has dipped to 8.5 K/9, he’s also posted the lowest walk rate of his career at 4.7 BB/9. If he can’t get a grip on his control problems, Martin definitely has the stuff to be an effective late-inning reliever.


    C Tommy Joseph

    Age: 21

    ETA: 2014

    The Giants’ second-round draft pick out of an Arizona high school in 2009, Joseph has gone from a catcher who may not stick behind the plate to one of the top catching prospects in the minor leagues, as he played in his first XM Futures Game earlier this month.

    At 6’1”, 215 pounds, the right-handed hitter has plus raw power to all fields and should possess at least an average hit tool by the time he reaches the major leagues. Joseph’s blocking and receiving skills are still raw, however, they’ve vastly improved over the past season.

    His arm strength is tremendous, as he throws crisp, accurate darts to second base. This season, Joseph has thrown out 48 percent of base stealers, which is well above his impressive 38 percent career rate.


    RHP Seth Rosin

    Age: 23

    ETA: Late-2013 

    A 6’6”, 250-pound right-hander selected in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, Rosin has worked mostly as a reliever since entering the Giants’ system, even working as the closer this year at High-A San Jose.

    Using a fastball that ranges from 89-94 mph, the University of Minnesota alumnus pounds the lower half of the strike zone and keeps the ball in the yard. Beyond that, Rosin features a a pair of average off-speed pitches in a slider and changeup.

    He’s posted favorable strikeout rates in his three-year career (9.8 K/9) without sacrificing any command (2.8 BB/9), and should reach the major leagues in late 2013 or early 2014 as a late-inning reliever.


    *OF Nate Schierholtz (MLB), C Tommy Joseph and RHP Seth Rosin were acquired from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for OF Hunter Pence

    * Ethan Martin and RHP Josh Lindblom (MLB) were acquired in from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for OF Shane Victorino

Chicago Cubs

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    RHP Jacob Brigham

    Age: 24

    ETA: 2014

    Although his stats at Double-A Frisco don’t particularly stand out, Brigham is the type of pitcher who misses just as many bats as hits allowed. While such a trend is somewhat concerning, it also leaves room for projection.

    With a fastball that works best in the low-90s, the 24-year-old right-hander has been known to reach back to scrape 96-97 mph. Throwing from a high release point, Brigham complements his fastball with an above-average breaking ball with tight spin and solid pace.

    If he can command his pitches down in the zone with consistency—his 19 home runs surrendered were the most in the Texas League—Brigham may be able to reach the major leagues as a back-end starter. If not, it’s a pretty safe bet that the right-hander would be a successful reliever, too. 


    RHP Arodys Vizcaino

    Age: 21

    ETA: 2013 

    Widely regarded as the Braves’ third-best prospect behind fellow right-handers Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado, Vizcaino entered spring training as a strong favorite for a spot in the team’s talented bullpen.

    However, he tore his UCL toward the end of the spring and has missed the entire season following reconstructive surgery.

    Developed as a starter, his track record of arm problems forced a move to the bullpen in mid-2011. Once he’s healthy, Vizcaino will serve as a late-inning weapon coming out of the Cubs’ bullpen.

    Prior to the injury, the 6’, 190-pound right-hander was popping mid- to upper-90s with his fastball and a nasty, low-80s breaking ball.

    Don’t expect Vizcaino to have as electric stuff right when he comes off the disabled list. The velocity may be there, but it may take the entire season for him to regain his pre-surgery command.


    3B Christian Villanueva

    Age: 21

    ETA: 2015

    Trapped behind Mike Olt and Adrian Beltre on the depth chart, there wasn’t much of a future for Villanueva, 21, in the Rangers organization. But just because he may have been expendable shouldn’t diminish his upside.

    Undersized at 5’11”, 160 pounds, he’s an above-average defender at the hot corner with natural actions and a strong, accurate arm. At the moment, Villanueva, a right-handed hitter, has mainly gap power, but flashes above-average raw power to the pull-side.

    More may come with better plate discipline and fewer strikeouts, which he’ll have time to improve as he’s still at least two years away from the major leagues.


    RHP Kyle Hendricks

    Age: 22

    ETA: 2014

    Selected in the eighth round of the 2011 draft out of Dartmouth, Hendricks is a 22-year-old right-hander with quiet upside.

    With a five-pitch mix that includes a high-80s fastball with arm-side life, above-average cutter, curveball, slider and changeup, he has excellent command—evident by 15 walks in 131 innings at High-A this season.

    None of his offerings are greater than above-average, but they essentially all play up a grade due to his command. At 6’2”, 165 pounds, Hendricks still has room for projection and could reach the major leagues by 2014.  


    *Jake Brigham was acquired from the Texas Rangers in exchange for C Geovany Soto (MLB)

    *Arodys Vizcaino (DL) and RHP Jaye Chapman (Triple-A) were acquired from the Atlanta Braves for OF Reed Johnson (MLB) and LHP Paul Maholm (MLB)

    *Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks were acquired from the Texas Rangers in exchange for RHP Ryan Dempster (MLB)

Cleveland Indians

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    1B/OF Lars Anderson

    Age: 24

    ETA: Late-2013

    After posting a .934 OPS between High- and Double-A as 20-year-old in 2008, the left-handed hitting Anderson was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 17 prospect in baseball.

    Since then, he has repeatedly struggled at Triple-A and failed to capitalize on big-league promotions in each of the last three seasons.

    At 6’4”, 215 pounds, he still has a nice swing and some untapped potential, but was blocked by Adrian Gonzalez in his path to playing time in Boston.

    Even though he’s seen some time in the outfield, he’s really a first-base-only prospect. Now he’ll just need to the power to warrant considerable playing time with the Indians.


    *Lars Anderson was acquired from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for RHP Steve Wright (Double-A)

Kansas City Royals

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    RHP J.C. Sulbaran

    Age: 22

    ETA: 2014

    The Royals may have acquired a potential steal in Sulbaran, a 6’2”, 220-pound right-hander. Selected by the Reds in the 30th round of the 2008 draft, he has an impressive arsenal of pure stuff but inconsistent command.

    Using an across-the-body delivery, Sulbaran throws a heavy, sinking fastball in the low-90s, above-average changeup and a plus breaking ball with late, downward bite.

    He struggles to repeat his mechanics, which, in turn, makes him less deceptive while his pitches level off. However, the pure stuff and live arm are there, and with more refinement, Sulbaran has No. 4 starter upside.  


    LHP Donnie Joseph

    Age: 24

    ETA: 2013

    Employing a tense, max-effort delivery, Joseph can be absolutely lights-out when he’s commanding his plus fastball-slider combination.

    At times, his mechanics can be wild and he’ll lose a feel for the strike zone. However, the 24-year-old left-hander has the stuff (88 K in 52 innings this season) and aggressiveness to be a major league reliever and, given his success this season at Double- and Triple-A with the Reds, may pitch out of the Royals’ bullpen as a September call-up.


    *J.C. Sulbaran and Donnie Joseph were acquired from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for RHP Jonathan Broxton (MLB)

Houston Astros

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    OF Robbie Grossman

    Age: 22

    ETA: Late-2013

    Drafted by the Pirates in the sixth round of the 2008 MLB first-year player draft, Grossman had a breakout season at High-A Bradenton in 2011.

    In 616 at-bats, the switch-hitter batted .294/.418/.451 with 49 extra-base hits (13 home runs) and 24 stolen bases. Although he struck out 111 times, the 6’0", 205-pound outfielder led all minor league hitters with 104 walks.

    But is Grossman really that selective and efficient as a hitter? Or was his production merely a result of his second straight season at High-A?

    There’s uncertainty regarding his power and whether it will ever develop to be anything more than big-league average. Even though he still strikes out more than desired, his advanced plate discipline should allow him to hit for a decent average down the road—but nothing spectacular.

    Grossman’s highest value comes as a top-of-the-order center fielder where his power hitting, on-base skills and above-average speed are all premiums. If he’s able to hit for enough power, then a move to a corner outfield position may be more appropriate.

    Considering that he now has both Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen blocking his path in center, it’s a move that may come sooner rather than later. 

    His stats at Double-A Altoona prior to the trade may not blow your mind, but he’s turning in a solid season and has made several adjustments.


    LHP Rudy Owens

    Age: 24

    ETA: 2013

    A 24-year-old left-hander, there’s not a lot of projection left with Owens, as he’s nearly ready to contribute as a back-end starter at the major league level.

    At 6’3”, 230 pounds, his fastball only works in the low-90s. However, his command of the pitch throughout the strike zone is exceptional and makes him effective against both right- and left-handed hitters.

    Owens also throws an average curveball, although his above-average changeup serves as his best secondary offering. He mixes the pitches well and features similar, deceptive arm action with all of them.


    LHP Colton Cain

    Age: 21

    ETA: 2014

    Of the three prospects acquired by the Astros in the trade, Cain is the player with the highest ceiling. A physically strong, 6’3”, 225-pound left-handed pitcher, he was an eighth-round draft pick by the Pirates in 2009 out of Waxahachie High School in Texas.

    The 21-year-old is still a work in progress. He features an above-average command of an 88-93 mph fastball with late, arm-side action.

    Cain’s breaking ball has drawn mixed reviews, as he still lacks the feel to throw it with consistency. His fading changeup continues to develop and may be an above-average secondary offering by the time he reaches the major leagues.


    OF Marc Krauss 

    Age: 24

    ETA: 2013

    Selected in the second round of the 2009 draft, Krauss is a physically strong, 6’2”, 235-pound outfielder whose offensive game compares to Adam Dunn’s.

    A 24-year-old in his third full professional season, Krauss is enjoying his best minor-league campaign to date with a .924 OPS in 104 games at Double-A Mobile.

    Although his defense in left field is fringy at best, Krauss' three-outcome (home run, walk or strikeout) approach should garner opportunities in the major leagues over the next two seasons, and there’s a strong chance that he receives most of his at-bats against left-handed pitching.

    To avoid the Rule 5 draft next season, Krauss will need to be added to the Astros’ 40-man roster, so don’t be surprised if he receives a September call-up.


    OF Bobby Borchering 

    Age: 21

    ETA: Late-2014

    The Diamondbacks’ first-round pick (No. 16 overall) in 2009, Borchering began his professional career as a third baseman before his error-prone defense forced a move across the infield to first base.

    This season, the organization has had him playing both corner outfield positions even though he’s still a defensive liability.

    However, the 21-year-old switch hitter still possesses what made him a first round draft pick in 2009: robust raw power. Borchering has hit at least 15 home runs in each of his first three full seasons, including 24 last year at High-A Visalia.

    But with all the power comes a long, lofty swing that has led to worrisome strikeout totals—he fanned 162 times in 2011. He’s not afraid to draw a walk, but would still greatly benefit from improved plate discipline, especially as he reaches higher levels.

    The upside is still there with Borchering; now it’s a matter of whether he makes the necessary adjustments to reach his ceiling.


    RHP Joe Musgrove

    Age: 19

    ETA: 2015 

    A Blue Jays’ first-rounder in 2011 (No. 46 overall) has a power pitcher’s frame (6’5”, 230) that produces heavy fastballs that pound the lower half of the strike zone. Rounding out his arsenal is an above-average breaking ball, as well as a splitter that has late tumble and continues to improve.


    RHP Asher Wojciechowski

    Age: 23

    ETA: 2013


    A 6’4” right-hander, Wojciechowski has a three-pitch mix that includes a plus fastball, above-average slider and improving changeup. He has a physical frame that should allow a heavier workload than most starters, but will need to refine the command of all his offerings.


    LHP David Rollins

    Age: 22

    ETA: Mid-2014

    Despite not possessing a plus pitch, Rollins had a strong professional debut in 2011, posting a 1.77 ERA, 7.3 K/9 and 0.8 BB/9 in 35.2 innings in Short Season and Rookie-ball.

    This season, Rollins hasn’t had the same exceptional command of his low-90s fastball, curveball and changeup, but he’s still been highly effective. 


    C Carlos Perez

    Age: 21

    ETA: 2014

    Blocked by J.P. Arencibia and Travis d’Arnaud in Toronto, Perez instantly became the team’s top catching prospect upon arrival. He doesn’t drive the ball as well as he can, but the hand-eye coordination and bat control is there.

    Furthermore, he has advanced plate discipline that should allow for his hit tool to continue to develop. An athletic catcher, Perez has a strong, accurate arm that has led to a 33 percent caught-stealing rate over five seasons.


    *RHP Francisco Cordero (MLB), OF Ben Francisco (MLB), Carlos Perez, Asher Wojciechowski, Joe Musgrove, David Rollins and PTBNL were acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for RHP Brandon Lyon (MLB), LHP J.A. Happ (MLB) and RHP David Carpenter (Triple-A)

    *RHP Matt Heidenreich (Double-A), LHP Blair Walters (High-A) and PTBNL were acquired from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for RHP Brett Myers (MLB)

    *OF Robbie Grossman, LHP Rudy Owens and LHP Colton Cain were acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for LHP Wandy Rodriguez (MLB)

    *OF Bobby Borchering and OF Marc Krauss were acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for 3B Chris Johnson (MLB)