Top MLB Prospects Most Likely to Be Traded at the Deadline
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While it sure is fun to discuss which top prospects might be changing teams in a deadline deal trade, the reality is that it doesn't happen that often. Blockbuster trades including some of the top prospects in the game are far more common in the offseason—see Trevor Bauer, Travis d'Arnaud, Jake Marisnick, Wil Myers.
Here's a look at the players traded last July who came into the season as a top-10 prospect in their organization, according to Baseball Prospectus (ranking in bold; Top overall ranking in italics).
Jacob Turner, SP No. 1 (No. 15 overall)
Rob Brantly, C No. 10
(Detroit Tigers to Miami Marlins in Anibal Sanchez/Omar Infante trade)
Nathan Eovaldi, SP No. 2
(Miami Marlins to Los Angeles Dodgers in Hanley Ramirez trade)
Jean Segura, SS No. 2 (No. 67 overall)
Johnny Hellweg, SP No. 3
Ariel Peña, SP No. 10
(Los Angeles Angels to Milwaukee Brewers in Zack Greinke trade)
Arodys Vizcaino, SP/RP No. 3 (No. 62 overall)
(Atlanta Braves to Chicago Cubs in Paul Maholm trade)
Tommy Joseph, C No. 4
(San Francisco Giants to Philadelphia Phillies in Hunter Pence trade)
J.C. Sulbaran, SP No. 6
(Cincinnati Reds to KansasCity Royals in Jonathan Broxton trade)
Matt Dominguez, 3B No. 6
Rob Rasmussen, SP No. 9
(Miami Marlins to Houston Astros in Carlos Lee trade)
Robbie Grossman, OF No. 6 (No. 76 overall)
Colton Cain, SP No. 9
(Pittsburgh Pirates to Houston Astros in Wandy Rodriguez trade)
Zack Cox, 3B No. 7
(St. Louis Cardinals to Miami Marlins in Edward Mujica trade)
Eduardo Escobar, IF No. 7
(Chicago White Sox to Minnesota Twins in Francisco Liriano trade)
Christian Villanueva, 3B No. 7
(Texas Rangers to Chicago Cubs in Ryan Dempster trade)
Bobby Borchering, OF No. 8
(Houston Astros to Arizona Diamondbacks in Chris Johnson trade)
Four of the game's top 76 prospects changed teams in July and the top prospect traded, Jacob Turner, had lost some of his value by the time he was dealt to the Marlins. Expect more of the same this July, with some of the top prospect names, including Jurickson Profar and Oscar Taveras, heavily involved in the rumors, but more of the next wave of prospects actually traded.
Here are eight top prospects that I believe are most likely to be traded.
2013 Baseball Prospectus organization ranking after the team name (Top overall ranking in brackets).
Lewis Brinson, OF, Texas Rangers, No. 6 (No. 99 overall)
Unless the Rangers can acquire Giancarlo Stanton, I wouldn't expect Profar to go anywhere. Teams will instead be asking about Brinson, a center fielder with 30/30 (30 HR, 30 SB) and Gold Glove potential.
The 19-year-old is showing just how raw of a player he is with 111 strikeouts in 254 at-bats with Low-A Hickory but he also has 14 homers, 11 doubles and 12 stolen bases.
Kyle Crick, SP, San Francisco Giants, No. 1 (No. 65 overall)
It's no secret that the Giants are in need of a starting pitcher. In order to land one that isn't just a slight upgrade over what they have, they'll have to give up one of their talented starting pitchers down in the low minors.
If they offer up Crick, the best of the bunch, they could possibly land Bud Norris of the Astros or Matt Garza of the Cubs. The 20-year-old, who is pitching with High-A San Jose, had a 2.51 ERA and 10.3 K/9 in Low-A last season.
Avisail Garcia, OF, Detroit Tigers, No. 2
The Tigers have two good minor league trade chips. One, Nick Castellanos, could either land an impact player in return or he could be the team's starting left fielder by the second half. The other, Garcia, doesn't have quite the value, but he could still help them land a reliable closer to fill what might be the team's lone roster need.
Garcia, 22, has hit .279 with two homers and three doubles in 25 games over two separate stints with Detroit this season. He could start on a lot of teams in the majors right now, especially those that will be "sellers" at the deadline.
Brian Goodwin, OF, Washington Nationals, No. 3 (No. 74 overall)
With Denard Span locked into the starting center field job for at least one more season—he has a 2015 club option— Goodwin's path to Washington might not be as clear as he would like.
The Nats have solid depth throughout the minors, with Corey Brown and Eury Perez in Triple-A and Billy Burns and Michael Taylor in High-A, but none have the upside of the 22-year-old Goodwin, who has a .741 OPS with 13 stolen bases in Double-A.
He might be the team's best trade chip, though, and they would have another two seasons to figure out who the "Center Fielder of the Future" will be if he is dealt.
Alen Hanson, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates No. 5
The Bucs have two huge trade chips in Double-A prospects Gregory Polanco (CF) and Jameson Taillon (SP). But they've been patient for too long to trade them away now as both close in on the majors.
Hanson might be the next most valuable prospect, though. The switch-hitting 20-year-old, who has a .788 OPS with 19 stolen bases in High-A, isn't destined to be a big league shortstop but it looks like he'll provide enough offense for whatever position he ends up at.
Chris Owings, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks No. 3 (No. 81 overall)
There may be one huge and alarming hole in Owings' game—a lack of late discipline (9 BB, 62 K)— but there's not much else to complain about. Along with strong defensive skills at shortstop, the 21-year-old is hitting .357 with six homers, 18 doubles and 11 stolen bases for Triple-A Reno.
With Didi Gregorius looking like a strong bet to be the D'backs starting shortstop for the next several seasons, Owings could be expendable and plenty of teams would love to have a talented shortstop prospect who could be in the majors within a year.
Anthony Ranaudo, SP, Boston Red Sox, Unranked
After his prospect stock plummeted after an unimpressive and injury-riddled 2012, it hasn't taken the 23-year-old Ranaudo to regain his value ... and then some.
In 13 Double-A starts, the 6'7" right-hander has a 2.34 ERA in 73 innings pitched with only 47 hits and 23 walks allowed and 82 strikeouts. The Sox might have the most upper-level pitching prospect depth in the game, so it wouldn't be a surprise if one was dealt in July
Cory Spangenberg, 2B, San Diego Padres, No. 10
Between Jedd Gyorko and Logan Forsythe, the Padres appear set at the second base position for the next several years. That's not great news for the 22 year-old Spangenberg, who was recently promoted to Double-A after putting up big numbers with High-A Lake Elsinore (.824 OPS, 17 SB).
The team's first-round pick in 2011, Spangenberg could be the trade chip the Padres use to add the starting pitcher they most desperately need to remain in the playoff race beyond midseason.
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