Ranking the Top 10 MLB Prospects Traded This Offseason

Mike Rosenbaum@GoldenSombreroMLB Prospects Lead WriterJanuary 14, 2013

Ranking the Top 10 MLB Prospects Traded This Offseason

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    When a top-ranked prospect is traded during the offseason, it’s a big deal.

    When numerous top prospects are dealt, as has been the case this offseason, it’s essentially unprecedented.

    Wil Myers, Travis d’Arnaud, Trevor Bauer, Noah Syndergaard, Jake Odorizzi and Jake Marisnick, each of whom is a top-50 prospect, were all moved as part of blockbuster deals that also involved a host of superstar players.

    Here’s a look at the top 10 prospects who have been traded this offseason.

10. Trevor May, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies

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    Trade: The Twins acquired May, as well as right-hander Vance Worley, from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere.

    Team Ranking: No. 8

    Season in Review: Having moved slowly but surely through the Phillies’ system, May registered a 4.87 ERA with 151/78 K/BB in 149.2 innings at Double-A Reading.

    Scouting Report: The  6’5” right-hander has a power pitcher’s frame and projectable arsenal. He took a step back with his command after a highly successful 2011 campaign, and he has a tendency to overthrow and, in turn, lose a feel for his natural arm slot.

    His fastball sits at a very heavy 90-95 mph, and he can reach back for a few more ticks when needed. He throws the pitch on a solid downward plane. Effectively locating it is key to setting up his secondary offerings.

    His curveball is a hammer when he doesn’t over-grip and spike it. His changeup has the potential to be an average pitch in the low-80s, though he throws it with inconsistent arm speed. His slider gives the tall right-hander a potential fourth average pitch.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Triple-A

9. Didi Gregorius, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Trade: Acquired essentially in return for Trevor Bauer, the Diamondbacks landed Gregorius in the three-team, nine-player deal with the Indians and Reds.

    Team Ranking: No. 5

    Season in Review: Gregorius batted .278/.344/.373 in 81 games for Double-A Pensacola before a mid-season promotion to Triple-A Louisville. He batted .243/.288/.427 in 48 games for Louisville and ultimately received a big-league call-up, collecting six hits in 20 at-bats.

    Scouting Report: At 6’1”, 185 pounds, Gregorius has a projectable build that should allow him to add strength as he matures physically; instinctual and creative shortstop; 22-year-old is a plus defender with excellent range in all directions; glove stands out due to a combination of impressive hand-eye coordination and soft, sure hands; above-average arm strength completes his impressive overall defensive skill set; more than enough for the position at the big league level.

    Gregorius isn’t as polished at the plate; left-handed hitter employs a line-drive-oriented swing and is comfortable using the entire field; drops his hands too often which, in turn, makes his swing long; tendency to get beat by good velocity; solid overall approach with bat-to-ball skills; would benefit from working deeper counts and drawing more walks; value tied to his defense should make him a commodity; shows potential for an average hit tool; below-average power.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Triple-A

8. Alex Meyer, RHP, Minnesota Twins

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    Trade: The Minnesota Twins acquired right-hander Alex Meyer from the Washington Nationals in exchange for outfielder Denard Span.

    Team Ranking: No. 3

    Season in Review: Beginning the year at Low-A Hagerstown of the South Atlantic League, Meyer registered a 3.10 ERA and .210 BAA with 107/34 K /BB over 90 innings spanning 18 starts. He was promoted to High-A Potomac of the Carolina League shortly thereafter, where the right-hander registered a 2.31 ERA and .213 BAA with 32/11 K/BB in 39 innings.

    Scouting Notes: 6’9” right-hander has a massive frame and long limbs; shows body control and repeatable mechanics uncommon in players his size; throws everything on a steep downhill plane; fastball is difficult to barrel; registers between 93-97 mph and can flirt with triple-digits in shorter stints; plus slider has a sharp, wipe-out break; changeup showed signs of being at least average last season and will need to continue to develop to remain a starter.

    2013 Opening Day Level: High-A/Double-A

7. Justin Nicolino, LHP, Miami Marlins

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    Trade: Nicolino was acquired by the Marlins along with Jake Marisnick, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez, Anthony Descalfini, Yunel Escobar and Jeff Mathis in exchange for Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio.

    Team Ranking: No. 4

    Season in Review: Nicolino made his full-season debut for Low-A Lansing in 2012, registering a 2.46 ERA and .241 BAA with 119/21 K/BB in 124.1 innings.

    Scouting Report: Pitchability; projectable 6’3”, 160-pound frame with room to grow; exceptional at repeating his mechanics; can make it look easy; minor cross-body delivery lends to his overall deception; advanced feel for mixing his pitches and when to add/subtract; high-floor, mid-rotation upside.

    Fastball sits 88-92 mph; commands it to both sides of the plate; challenges both right-handed and left-handed hitters; changeup is a plus offering and easily his best pitch; thrown with deceptive arm action relative to fastball; features late fade out of the zone; comfortable throwing it in any count; mixes in a curveball that has improved over the last year; gets too loopy at times; uses entire arsenal efficiently; keeps hitters off balance with tough sequencing.

    2013 Opening Day Level: High-A

6. Jake Marisnick, OF, Miami Marlins

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    Trade: Marisnick was acquired by the Marlins along with Justin Nicolino, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez, Anthony Descalfini, Yunel Escobar and Jeff Mathis in exchange for Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio.

    Team Ranking: No. 3

    Season in Review: Marisnick batted .263/.349/.451 in 65 games at High-A Dunedin, followed by .233/.286/.399 in 55 games after an aggressive promotion to Double-A New Hampshire. Between both levels, he recorded 100/37 K/BB in 120 games.

    Scouting Report: 6’4”, 200-pound outfielder is a premium athlete still attempting to narrow the gap between natural ability and baseball skills; epitome of a toolsy player with five average-to-plus tools across the board.

    Right-handed hitter possesses a highly projectable frame with present strength; has the natural ability for above-average hit and power tool; streaky hitter; lanky frame results in too much movement during swing; had a good look at him in the AFL and saw the same swing every time, regardless of pitch type, location and count; too much weak contact and whiffs; bat path is long; will collapse backside in an effort to meet the ball and force contact; has struggled against above-average velocity and advanced secondary stuff; plus speed and base-stealing aptitude gives him legitimate 20-20 potential.

    Has the speed and actions to remain in center field; plus range in all directions is aided by natural instincts; glides to cover distance in the outfield; plus arm would play at all three outfield positions and is more than enough for center; his position will ultimately be tied to his production, or lack thereof; athleticism and tools give him a high-ceiling despite previous struggles.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Double-A

5. Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays

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    Trade: Odorizzi was traded along with Wil Myers, Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for right-handers James Shields and Wade Davis.

    Team Ranking: No. 3

    Season in Review: After registering a 3.32 ERA with 47/10 K/BB in 38 innings at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, Odorizzi was promoted to Triple-A Omaha where he posted a 2.93 ERA with 88/40 K/BB in 107.1 innings. The right-hander was called up to the major leagues in late September and registered a 4.91 ERA in two starts. Odorizzi also started the XM Futures Game for the U.S. team.

    Scouting Report: 6’2” right-hander is agile but comfortable on the mound; repeats his mechanics well and understands how to use his lower half; clean, fluid arm action; fastball will range 92 to 95 mph with sink and action to the arm side; occasionally will get under the pitch and pipe up in the zone with minimal movement; needs to throw on a downward plane with more consistency; curveball has an impressive top-to-bottom shape and will freeze right-handed hitters; also throws a slider and changeup, though neither are as advanced as the curveball; he’ll need to refine the command of his four-pitch mix, but he should be able to reach his ceiling as a mid-rotation starter.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Triple-A

4. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York Mets

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    Trade: Syndergaard was acquired by the Mets along with Travis d’Arnaud, John Buck and Wuilmer Becerra in exchange for R.A. Dickey.

    Team Ranking: No. 3

    Season in Review: Making his full-season debut, Syndergaard registered a 2.60 ERA with 122/31 K/BB in 103.2 innings for Low-A Lansing.

    Scouting Report: 6’5” right-hander has a power pitcher’s frame and front-line starter upside; physical presence on the bump who throws everything on a solid downward plane; repeats mechanics well given his size and features a strong core; fastball sits in the mid-90s with late, arm-side life and he’ll even flirt with triple-digits in shorter stints; uses to amass a healthy mix of strikeouts and ground-ball outs.

    Curveball has plus potential as it’s a tight-breaker with late, downward bite; command of the pitch is inconsistent and will be challenged at higher levels; features better command of his changeup, though it’s not as dynamic a pitch; offering is thrown with deceptive arm speed; if breaking ball doesn’t develop as planned, he still has an incredibly high ceiling as a late-inning reliever.

    2013 Opening Day Level: High-A

3. Trevor Bauer, RHP, Cleveland Indians

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    Trade: Bauer was acquired by the Indians as part of a three-team, nine-player deal between the Diamondbacks, Indians and Reds.

    Team Ranking: No. 1

    Season in Review: Bauer opened his full-season debut at Double-A Mobile, where he registered a 1.68 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 48.1 innings. The right-hander’s strong start prompted a promotion to Triple-A Reno, where he posted a 2.82 ERA over eight starts. Bauer was promoted to the major leagues in late June and struggled to the tune of a 6.06 ERA with 13 walks in 16.1 innings.

    Scouting Report: Fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s with some late arm-side action; flattens out when left up in the zone; curveball is an absolute hammer and a second plus pitch; explosive, torque-oriented delivery makes it especially deceptive and difficult to recognize out of his hand; loaded arsenal also features a tumbling splitter, slider and above-average changeup.

    Dominated in the minor leagues, but struggles were overwhelming in big-league stint; tried to nibble at the strike zone rather than trusting his pure stuff; tried to fool hitters with deep arsenal; more concerned about executing perfect pitches; concerns about his makeup and coachability made his time with the Diamondbacks short-lived; now in a much more favorable position with the Indians; should break camp as No. 3 starter for Tribe.

    2013 Opening Day Level: MLB

2. Travis d'Arnaud, C, New York Mets

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    Trade: D’Arnaud was acquired by the Mets along with Noah Syndergaard, John Buck and Wuilmer Becerra in exchange for R.A. Dickey.

    Team Ranking: No. 2

    Season in Review: D’Arnaud batted .333/380/.595 with 39 extra-base hits (16 home runs) and 59/19 K/BB in 67 games for Triple-A Las Vegas in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

    Scouting Report: D'Arnaud would have likely served as a September call-up had he not suffered a season-ending knee injury in June; defense has vastly improved over last two seasons; quiet athleticism allows him to move well laterally behind the plate; has become a more aggressive blocker; receiving skills continue to improve and he gives umpires a good look at pitches; has been lauded for pitchers and managers alike for putting down good fingers; plus arm is strongest defensive asset that, when combined with improved footwork, led to a career-best 30-percent caught-stealing rate prior to injury.

    Solid defensive catcher but true upside comes from offensive prowess; 6’2” right-handed hitter has above-average bat speed and impressive raw power; power frequency has increased over last several years; short, compact swing doesn’t inhibit power; makes loud contact to all fields; has some swing-and-miss in his game and doesn’t walk a lot.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Triple-A

1. Wil Myers, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

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    Trade: Myers was traded along with Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for right-handers James Shields and Wade Davis.

    Team Ranking: No. 1

    Season in Review: Fresh off a monster offensive season in which he batted .314/.387/.600 with 69 extra-base hits (37 home runs), 109 RBI and 140/61 K/BB in 134 games between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha.

    Scouting Report: At 6’3”, 205 pounds, Myers possesses a wiry, projectable frame that should allow him to add strength without getting too bulky; upper body is loaded with quick-twitch muscles that allow him to seemingly flick his wrists at the ball without sacrificing hard contact; setup is upright and slightly open, which helps him tap into his awesome pull-side power; excellent bat-to-ball skills suggest he’ll have at least an above-average hit tool; his 140 strikeouts in 134 games isn’t pretty, but remember he was implementing an entirely new approach; he still has a tendency to drop his back shoulder and get long; will get out on his front foot and cast hands around ball; both are mechanical/timing issues that will be ironed out.

    Developed as a catcher up until the 2011 season, Myers is surprisingly athletic for his size and showcases smooth, natural actions in the outfield; has good instincts that lends to his overall range; possesses plus arm strength that will play at any outfield position; played 87 games in center field last season but will likely handle a corner position in the major leagues.

    2013 Opening Day Level: Triple-A