MLB Trade Speculation: 5 Prospects the Mets Can Receive from Giants for Beltran
At 46-45 and 7.5 games behind the wild card leading Atlanta Braves, the Mets find themselves in a peculiar position. They aren't necessarily out of contention, but they aren't in the thick of the playoff picture either.
How the Mets play in the next few weeks leading up to the July 31st non-waivers trade deadline will help Sandy Alderson to determine whether to retain his slugging right fielder, or trade him while his stock is high for premium young talent.
There is widespread interest in acquiring Beltran throughout Major League Baseball, but perhaps the most consistent trade partner being sputtered around by the ever turning rumor mill is the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants have the need for a power bat in the middle of their lineup after the loss of Buster Posey, and Beltran is more than capable of filling that role.
Alderson has already stated that he'll be looking for top prospect talent in return for Beltran, because as he believes, Carlos is the top outfielder on the market this summer.
Given the Mets' needs, lets take a look at some young talent in the Giants' farm system that may be appealing to Sandy Alderson.
Zack Wheeler, RHP
2011 Statistics: (Class-A+ San Jose)
The sixth overall pick in the 2009 Amateur Draft, Zack Wheeler has skyrocketed up the ranks of the Giants' farm system.
He has a fastball that consistently sits in the mid-90's, and has been known to aggressively attack hitters thus far in his brief professional career.
He also works with a plus-plus 12-6 curveball which serves as his out pitch, and a change up with a consistent 10-12 mph drop off from his fastball.
He's still a raw talent, as he's struggled with his command at times, but given the premium starting pitching the Giants possess at the major league level this could be an arm the Mets could potentially receive in any deal involving Carlos Beltran.
Gary Brown, of
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2011 Statistics: (Class-A+ San Jose)
The San Francisco Giants' first-round pick in the 2010 Amateur Draft, Gary Brown has all the makings of a future star.
Although it'll be difficult for the Mets to pry Brown away from the grips of the Giants given the collective age of the San Francisco outfield (not including Nate Schierholtz), he's none the less an intriguing option for Sandy Alderson to inquire about.
Brown, who is playing in just his first full season of professional ball, was named to the 2011 Futures Game.
The Cal State-Fullerton product possesses plus-plus speed on the base paths, and is a consistent contact hitter. Thus far in his professional career, he's shown off more power than expected, which makes his ceiling that much higher.
Ehire Adrianza, SS
2011 Statistics: (Split Between Class-A Augusta & Class-A+ San Jose)
Given the uncertainty surrounding Jose Reyes' future with the club, it'd be wise for the Mets to find as many potential long-term shortstop candidates as possible.
Ruben Tejada has been a pleasant surprise this season at the big league level, and has filled in adequately at both secondbase and shortstop.
However, the Mets need depth at the position in the event Reyes leaves town, and they won't have to look very far to find that in the Giants' farm system.
Ehire Adrianza is 21 years of age, and has been playing professionally since being signed as a 16-year-old out of Venezuela.
He displays plus speed on the basepaths, and possesses soft hands to go along with his outstanding defensive range. Adrianza has also shown excellent plate discipline at the minor league level, an encouraging sign for a 21-year-old prospect.
The Giants recently promoted 24-year-old Brandon Crawford to San Francisco, and he's taken over the starting shortstop job on the big league level.
That makes Adrianza expendable, and he could wind up being a part of any Beltran to the Giants trade package.
Thomas Neal, of
2011 Statistics (Triple-A Fresno):
The 23-year-old Thomas Neal cracked Baseball America's Top 100 prospects list in 2010.
He's the most major league-ready out of any of the San Francisco Giants' top prospects, as he has nearly six seasons of minor league experience under his belt.
Despite his underwhelming home run total thus far in 2011, Neal's greatest strength is his power; he clubbed 22 home runs with Class-A+ San Jose in 2009.
Neal also possesses great plate discipline, which makes his sudden loss of power easier to work with.
He'd be a serviceable fourth outfielder for the Mets, and he can also come off the bench and work pitchers late in the game, a positive attribute that often goes unnoticed in a team's winning box score.
Eric Surkamp, LHP
2011 Statistics (Double-A Richmond):
As his numbers clearly indicate, Eric Surkamp is absolutely killing it for Double-A Richmond in 2011.
As the San Francisco Giants' 6th-round pick in the 2008 Amateur Draft, the 23-year old Surkamp appears to be one small step away from the big leagues.
It's no secret that the new Mets' administration has an infinity for young, near-major league ready arms, and Surkamp certainly fits that mold.
The second-rated pitching prospect in the Giants' farm system, Surkamp boasts a plus-plus 12-6 curveball, an average change-up, and a fastball that consistently sits in the high-80's.
He's your classic left-handed finesse pitcher, a la Tom Glavine.
With a little more work on his changeup, Surkamp may appear in the big leagues as early as this September.
Whether that's with the Giants or Mets remains to be seen.
Regardless, Surkamp is a player that should be central on the Mets' radar when discussing Beltran-to San Francisco trade scenarios.