Power Ranking the Top 16 MLB Prospects Dealt at the Deadline
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Every year it happens, and for some reason, we're always surprised when it does.
Prospects that teams considered untouchable on Thursday, somehow become very tradeable on Saturday. It happened last year with Justin Smoak, and the year before with Brett Wallace.
This year's unfortunate casualties include four of the top pitching prospects in the game: Jarred Cosart, Zack Wheeler, Alex White and Drew Pomeranz.
But that talented quartet isn't the only talent that was on the move this weekend.
And while the Astros seemingly scored a big-time coup, landing not only Cosart, Brett Oberholtzer and Jonathan Singleton, but also the talented, if inconsistent Henry Sosa, teams like Washington and Kansas City also had great deadline moves.
And let's not forget the major improvements Colorado made to their farm system. They scored possibly the biggest trade in the past decade, acquiring two pitchers who have front-line starter potential.
So, without further ado, and with the trade deadline finally in our rear-view, let's take a look at the top 16 prospects who were dealt during the past few weeks and evaluate what their new futures hold in store for them.
16) P.J. Walters, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
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Walters arrived in Toronto as part of the three-team trade that sent Edwin Jackson to St. Louis and sent Zach Stewart to Chicago.
Walters has been around for quite some time, since 2006 to be exact. That year he was tabbed by St. Louis in the 11th round. He was assigned to the NYPL, where he was brilliant as a reliever, foreshadowing his likely MLB path.
He became a full-time starter the next season and worked his way up to Double-A in just 22 appearances. He split 2008 between Double-A and Triple-A. The next year saw him get his first taste of the big-leagues, although he spent most of the year pitching for Triple-A Springfield.
The following season, 2010, saw him do pretty much the same thing. He began this year with hopes of making the big-league bullpen, where he has seen most of his action in the Majors.
Walters won't blow anyone away with his fastball, which sits in the high 80s-low 90s, but he's learned a few tricks during his six-year career in the minors. He has a great changeup and also offers a slider.
He's never been a big strikeout guy, instead choosing to pitch to contact, hence the high number of hits allowed during his career.
Walters has logged 455 innings (and counting) at Triple-A, including 103.1 this season. This year he's 7-4 with a 4.27 ERA in 17 starts. He's also seen time in five big-league contests with St. Louis.
Walters is headed to Triple-A Las Vegas, but he's staying in the Pacific Coast League, where he's spent the past four years, so at least he'll have some familiarity.
Walters' chance of sticking with a big-league club increases in Toronto, where they've made a habit of turning mid-level starters into effective relievers.
15) Antonio Cruz, RHP, Kansas City Royals
Cruz came to K.C. via an intra-division trade between the Royals and the Tigers, who received big-league veteran Wilson Betemit.
Cruz was signed out of the Dominican Republic back in 2009. Assigned to the Tigers Gulf Coast squad, Cruz shined, posting a 3.03 ERA in 15 outings, although he was plagued with constant control problems (32 walks in 38.2 IP).
Luckily for the Tigers, he got better as he progressed the next season, making pit-stops in the New York-Penn League, where he posted a 2.08 ERA in nine outings, and the Midwest League, where he went 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA in 10 appearances.
Cruz began the 2011 season as one of the Royals lesser known international prospects.
Cruz drew attention during the 2009 international signing period due to his easy low-90s heat. Since signing, he has refined his delivery and mechanics, allowing him to hit 91-94, while touching 95 mph on occasion. His breaking ball has developed nicely, although he's still lacking a third pitch that would allow him to remain in the rotation.
Cruz began the year in the rotation and pitched well, although he looked even better after a shift to the bullpen. He's managed to reign in his wildness a bit and had only 28 walks through 75.1 innings for the organization's Midwest League affiliate.
His first two outings in the MWL post-trade have been brilliant. He's allowed just three hits in five innings, while striking out seven. No runs, earned or unearned.
Cruz is likely a reliever long-term, and with the wealth of starters in the Kansas City system, they're going to need some guys like Cruz. Just 19 years old, he'll likely finish the year in Low-A, before making the jump to High-A in 2012.
14) Henry Sosa, RHP, Houston Astros
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Sosa was acquired by Houston in a deal that sent infielder Jeff Keppinger to San Francisco.
Sosa has been tabbed as a can't-miss guy since 2004, when he was signed by the Giants out of the Dominican Republic. He certainly looked that way early on, pitching brilliantly in the South Atlantic League (6-0, 0.73 ERA, 61 K in 65 IP) during a 13-game stretch in his second season. He went 11-5 with a 2.58 ERA and 139 strikeouts in 125.2 innings that year.
He made 12 starts in High-A in 2008 but appeared to regress a bit. He looked great in 14 starts at Double-A Connecticut in 2009, posting a 2.36 ERA, although his strikeout rate declined dramatically.
He split time between starting and relieving in 2010, reaching Triple-A for the first time. He entered 2011 as a 25-year old who had yet to crack the big-league roster.
Sosa's lively 97-mph fastball is the reason he's still floating around and having his name tossed around in trade talks. When he has control of the pitch, it's as good as anyone's.
The problem for the right-hander has been developing consistency with his other two pitches, a slider and a changeup. His lack of options has forced him into a relief role.
Injuries have also been a concern for Sosa, as he's been sidelined with both back and knee problems.
Sosa bombed his way out of Triple-A after an awful start that saw him post a 10.41 ERA in his first 17 outings in Fresno.
He regained some confidence after a demotion to Double-A, posting a 36-to-8 K:BB ratio and a 2.68 ERA as a starter for Richmond.
In two starts for Double-A Corpus Christi since the trade, Sosa has looked like his old self, striking out 14 batters in the same number of innings, allowing just seven hits and zero runs in two starts.
Sosa still has time to right his ship, although you have to wonder if he'll even refine his breaking stuff enough to warrant a long look as a starter.
He could do well in a relief role, but only if he can continue to sharpen his fastball command. Don't be surprised if he gets a big-league look this September.
13) Francisco Martinez, 3B, Seattle Mariners
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Martinez was packaged with Charlie Furbush and Casper Wells and sent to Seattle in exchange for Doug Fister.
Martinez was the prized signing from the Tigers 2007 international class. After signing, Martinez debuted in the Venezuelan Summer League, hitting a solid .323 while showing great patience and fantastic speed.
He packed on some pounds during his move to stateside and as a result lost some of that speed, swiping just 12 bags the next season. Martinez disappointed in 2009, hitting below .200 in the Florida State League and just .222 in the GCL.
He did show flashes of having a quick bat and decent raw power. He began the 2010 campaign back in the FSL and the results were much better. Martinez hit .271 with 17 doubles and 29 RBI in 89 games. He struck out an awful bit and as a result could only muster a .330 on-base percentage.
He got better as the season wore on, but took a hit when the Tigers used their first draft pick in the 2010 event on Nick Castellanos, a high-school shortstop who profiled at third base long-term.
Martinez is one of those guys that you always hear about, who seemingly "oozes talent." He has great raw power and should hit for a decent average. He has decent speed and in the field he profiles as at least an average defensive third baseman. He has a great arm and soft hands.
The one drawback on Martinez is his proclivity to striking out. He's struck out in more than 20% of his at-bats throughout his career. Still, he just 20 years old and playing well in Double-A, so there's no use giving up on him.
This season has been Martinez's break-out campaign. Playing well over his head (age-wise) in Double-A, he managed to look like one of the league's better hitters, compiling a .286 average, seven home runs and 40 RBI before the All-Star break.
He earned a nomination to the Futures Game and was named an Eastern League All-Star. For the year, he's hitting .282 with 14 doubles, four triples, 49 RBI and seven steals.
As talented as Martinez is, he was demoted to second string when the Tigers shelled out $3.45 million to Nick Castellanos. With Seattle, Martinez has much more opportunity.
12) Tim Federowicz, C, Los Angeles Dodgers
Federowicz was acquired by Los Angeles in the three-team trade that sent Erik Bedard to Boston and Trayvon Robinson to Seattle.
Federowicz was a standout backstop at UNC, where he handled numerous big-league regulars. Boston scooped him up in the seventh round of the 2008 draft, believing him to be the top defensive catcher in the class. He rewarded their faith by signing quickly and getting on the field.
For the most part, his bat has been behind his defense, although he did hit .345 in 55 Low-A contests in 2009. He's shown good pop, hitting 14 home runs that same season.
It all starts with defense. Federowicz was far and away the best defensive catcher in Boston's system and one of the top defenders in all of the minor leagues.
He has amazing pop times despite average arm strength. He calls a great game and if he continues to improve his hitting, there's a chance that he could be an average big-league regular.
Double-A has certainly agreed with Federowicz so far as he's shown decent hitting ability (.277), solid power (eight HR and 52 RBI) and decent plate discipline (32:63 BB:K) in 90 games for Double-A Portland. His defense has been far superior to that of his in-house rival Ryan Lavarnway.
Federowicz will report to Double-A Chattanooga, where he'll take over everyday catching duties. Catcher is by far the weakest position in L.A.'s system, so he could be taking over everyday duties in the big-leagues by mid-2012.
11) Chih-Hsien Chiang, OF, Seattle Mariners
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Chiang comes to Seattle as a part of the trade that sent Erik Bedard to Boston and Tim Federowicz to Los Angeles.
Chiang slowly worked his way up the ranks in Boston's system after signing out of Taiwan back in 2005. He showed good hitting ability (.303 in 2008), solid power (11 HR in 2010) and impressive defensive skills. He also grew into an extra-base hit machine, swatting a combined 72 doubles the past two seasons.
Chiang didn't make Baseball America's Top 30 rankings for the organization and wasn't even mentioned in the depth chart. That hasn't prevented him from having a breakout season.
Chiang more than earned his spot in the Futures Game, by swatting 14 home runs before the All-Star break. He now has 18 to go along with 78 RBI and a .340 average.
He's already rapped 37 doubles, setting a new career-high. At 23-years old, Chiang is a tad old for the Double-A Southern League, but there's still hope that he can develop into a solid regular.
Becoming a solid regular wasn't going to happen in Boston, however, which has to make Chiang happy. In Seattle, he has a much better chance of breaking onto the big-league roster.
10) Brett Oberholtzer, LHP, Houston Astros
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Oberholtzer was the centerpiece of the deal that sent Michael Bourn to Atlanta.
It took the portly left-hander three years to break out of short-season ball, but when he finally did make it to Low-A Rome, it only took him four starts to earn his way to High-A, where he finished the 2010 campaign in fine form.
He racked up one the top K:BB ratio in Atlanta's system at 126-to-23, better than the numbers posted by top pitching prospects Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado or Arodys Vizcaino.
Oberholtzer isn't a guy who's going to blow hitters away, instead sitting in the low 90s while occasionally touching 94-95 mph.
Luckily, he has great command of his fastball and two other pitches, a changeup and a curveball, both of which are fringe above-average offerings. For a guy his size (6-2, 220 lbs) he has pretty good mobility.
Receiving a stiffer challenge in Double-A, Oberholtzer has struggled with his command for the first time in his career. He's already issued more walks (43) in 21 starts this season than he did in his previous 48 appearances (39).
Still, he's been incredibly stingy with the long-ball (six homers allowed) and has put together a solid campaign, posting a 3.74 ERA while racking up 127.2 innings.
Oberholtzer profiles as a middle-to-back of the rotation starter, although in Atlanta, he would have been lucky to find his way into the bullpen. Pitching for Houston should really allow him to earn a chance as a starter.
9) Trayvon Robinson, OF, Seattle Mariners
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Robinson was dealt from L.A. to Seattle as part of a three-team deal that sent Erik Bedard to Boston and Tim Federowicz to L.A.
Robinson's path to Seattle was a well-traveled one. He joined the Dodgers as a 10th-round pick all the way back in 2005. He worked his way through the minors, advancing a level each season. Along the way, he's shown flashes of power (17 HR in 2009) and blinding speed (47 SB in 2009).
Unfortunately, he's also been a strikeout fiend, accumulating at least 104 every season since 2007. His rise culminated with back-to-back impressive campaigns in 2009 and 2010.
He hit .300 in each season and hit a combined 52 doubles, 16 triples and 26 home runs. He also drove in 121 runs and swiped 85 bases.
Robinson is the all-around package, oozing tools out of his ears. He has great speed, amazing power and impressive defensive ability. He switch-hits, improving his prospect status, and while he strikes out so much, he's so dangerous, both at the plate and on the basepaths.
It's hard to believe this is Robinson's first year at Triple-A. He's simply dominated Pacific Coast League pitching, slugging 26 home runs and driving in 71 runs.
He hasn't been as big of a threat on the basepaths, swiping just eight bases and aside from home runs he has just 15 extra-base hits, but he's still manage to hold down a .293 average.
Many wondered where Robinson would fit into the Dodgers outfield. Luckily, the Mariners have plenty of holes. Expect Robinson to fill one at the big-league level before long.
8) Joe Wieland, RHP, San Diego Padres
Wieland comes to the Padres along with Robbie Erlin in exchange for reliever Mike Adams.
Wieland wasn't a highly touted fourth-round pick back in 2008, but he sure has opened some eyes since signing with the Rangers. Wieland is an excellent control pitcher and that's been proven true time and time again throughout his four years in the minors.
His path began in the Arizona League, where he went 5-1, posted a 1.44 ERA and a 41-to-8 K:BB ratio. He struggled a bit the next year in his transition to full-season ball (5.31 ERA) but still showed excellent control (73:24).
He proved very adept at adjusting to Low-A hitters and dominated during his second time around, in 2010, posting a 71-to-15 K:BB ratio for Low-A Hickory before earning a promotion to High-A, where he took a bit of a beating, but stayed true to his roots (62:10).
Wieland entered the 2011 season as a sleeper prospect in the Rangers system.
Like Erlin, Wieland has built his game around excellent control of his fastball, which he needs to have because at 88-93 mph, he isn't going to blow anyone away. He also has a very good curveball, which has looked like a plus-plus pitch at times this season. He has better size than his trade-mate Erlin and is a more likely bet to stick in the rotation.
Fresh off of the first nine-inning no-hitter in team history, Wieland is one of the hottest pitchers in the minor leagues, and a solid bet to lock down Pitcher of the Year honors.
Once again, proving his skill at mastering his competition the second time around, Wieland issued just four walks in 85.2 innings before an inevitable promotion to Double-A. Four walks in 85.2 innings!
To put that in perspective, he gave up three more home runs than walks.
The scary part is, he got even better after his promotion. Through seven starts for Frisco, he's allowed just six earned runs (1.23 ERA).
He tossed six scoreless innings in his second-to-last start as a Ranger and followed that up with a complete-game no-hitter, in which his only blemish was his 15th walk of the season. For the year, his stat-line looks like this: 10-3, 1.80 ERA, 132-to-15 K:BB ratio in 129.2 innings.
In Wieland and Erlin, the Padres picked up two of the finest control pitchers in the minor leagues. Look for both to get a shot sometime next year.
7) Robbie Erlin, LHP, San Diego Padres
Erlin was packaged with fellow control specialist Joe Wieland and sent to San Diego in exchange for Mike Adams.
Like Wieland, Erlin flew under the radar as the team's third-rounder back in 2009. He signed relatively quickly and got three appearances in, foreshadowing the kind of pitcher he would become. He struck out nine, walked one and gave up just one run in four innings.
Last year, he really exploded. He began the year pitching out of Low-A Hickory's bullpen, but after showing supreme control of all of his pitches, the team moved him into the rotation where he finished out the season.
Erlin ended the year with a 2.12 ERA, a .213 average against and an astonishing 123-to-17 K:BB ratio in 114.2 innings. He entered the year as a top-10 prospect in the Rangers system.
Erlin doesn't have the best velocity (89-92 mph) but he does feature some of the best control in the minor leagues. Like scary Cliff Lee control. The 20-year old has issued just 30 career walks in 240 innings.
His fastball command makes the rest of his pitches look even better, including a solid curveball that is his go-to second pitch. At 6-foot, 175 pounds, Erlin doesn't have prototypical size, but like Tim Lincecum and Trevor Bauer, he makes the most of what he's got.
This season Erlin has been just as good, if not better. He began the year in High-A ball, but needed only nine starts (2.14 ERA, 62-to-5 K:BB) to earn his way to Double-A, where he joined fellow trade-mate Joe Wieland.
During his 54.2 innings in High-A, batters hit just .132 off of the lefty and like Wieland, he served up more home runs (seven) than walks (five).
He's been hit a bit harder (4.32 ERA) since his promotion to Frisco, but he's kept his cool, issuing just seven walks in 66.2 innings. For the season, he's 8-4 with a 3.34 ERA and a 123-to-12 K:BB ratio over 121.1 innings.
If Wieland isn't the best control specialist in the minor leagues, then the honor goes to Erlin. He should finish out the season in Double-A and fight for a promotion sometime during 2012.
6) Zach Stewart, RHP, Chicago White Sox
Stewart was acquired from the Blue Jays in the three-way deal that sent Colby Rasmus to Toronto and Edwin Jackson to St. Louis.
This is the second trade of Stewart's career. The first came back in 2009, when he was shipped from Cincinnati to Toronto for Scott Rolen. Stewart was drafted in the third-round back in 2008 out of Texas Tech, where he emerged as one of the top relievers on the Red Raiders squad.
After signing with the Reds, Stewart finished out the 2008 season pitching out of the bullpen, to great reviews. The next season, Stewart began in the rotation of the High-A Florida State League.
Starting for the first time, he looked brilliant, posting a 4-1 record, a 63-to-18 K:BB ratio and an ERA under 2.00 in 14 starts, the final seven of which came in Double-A.
For the second half of the season, Cincinnati shifted Stewart back to the bullpen to keep his innings down. As a reliever, he earned a promotion to Triple-A, where he looked great.
Then came the trade to Toronto. The Blue Jays let him finish out the season in the bullpen, before switching him to starting full-time in 2010. He looked great in Double-A, posting an 8-3 record and a 3.63 ERA in 26 starts.
The two biggest reasons Stewart thrived as a reliever at Tech were his fastball, which sat 95-97 mph, and a devastating slider. Once he became a professional, Stewart dialed back his fastball to the low 90s.
He now pitches 91-93 as a starter, although he can still reach back for some mid 90s heat on occasion. He's brought along his changeup over the past few years and it's now a serviceable pitch. Stewart has also become an innings eater.
The Jays surprised many by starting Stewart back in Double-A to start the 2011 season. Stewart fought off some ugly starts in May to finish the first half strong, posting a 3.65 ERA and a 25-to-6 K:BB ratio in 24.2 July innings.
That brought his season ERA down to 4.20, improved his win-loss record to an even 5-5 and earned him a spot in the Eastern League All-Star Game.
Stewart was called up to the big-league club during a stretch in June and made three starts for the Jays. His Major League debut couldn't have gone any better, as he pitched seven-innings of two-run ball, striking out four.
He got hit really hard in his second start and then rebounded with another strong effort in his third and final outing.
Since the trade, Stewart has been reassigned to the White Sox Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte. He'll likely get a look in September if the Sox are out of it, and might even play a major role in the Sox bullpen if they are still challenging for a playoff spot.
Expect him to resume his starting duties in 2012, with an eye on earning a rotation spot out of spring training.
5) Jonathan Singleton, 1B/OF, Philadelphia Phillies
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Singleton came to Houston along with Jarred Cosart and another prospect, in exchange for Hunter Pence.
After a solid showing on the showcase tour in 2008, the Phillies kept tabs on Singleton, and were happy to snatch him up in the eighth-round.
They signed him for $200,000 and assigned him to the Gulf Coast League, where his bat and batting eye both looked advanced. That resulted in a promotion to full-season ball the next year.
Singleton again looked advanced for his age, hitting .290 with 14 homers and 77 RBI. He also posted one of the strongest BB:K ratios (62:74) in the South Atlantic League.
That season catapulted Singleton up the prospect charts, landing him second on Baseball America's Phillies Top Ten, and 30th on MLB.com's pre-season Top 50 heading into the 2011 campaign.
In addition to his incredible eye at the plate, Singleton is a top-notch hitter. He's not a guy who is going to focus on hitting home runs, but rather employs a line-drive approach. He has a very compact swing and great raw power.
In the field, Singleton is athletic enough to handle an outfield corner or first base. Obviously with Ryan Howard on board in Philly, first base was out of the question. Singleton spent most of his off-season trying to learn the nuances of the outfield.
Despite going back and forth from first to the outfield, Singleton has had another great year at the plate, hitting .284 in 93 games for High-A Clearwater. His power numbers have dipped (just 14 doubles and nine HR), but he's still driving in runs (47) and showing a great eye at the plate (56-to-83 BB:K).
Better yet, Singleton has gotten hotter as the season has worn on, improving his power numbers each month since April.
With first base also blocked in Houston, it's likely Singleton is headed back to the outfield, where the team just so happens to have a hole (see Hunter Pence). Like his teammate, Cosart, Singleton will also finish out the season at High-A Lancaster.
4) Jarred Cosart, RHP, Houston Astros
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Cosart was acquired by the Astros along with two other prospects in exchange for outfielder Hunter Pence.
Part of the Phillies terrific threesome, that also includes Trevor May and Brody Colvin, Cosart has arguably more talent than the other two members. He's certainly done more than any of the other players drafted in the 38th-round back in 2008.
Since signing, Cosart has worked his way through the system, strictly as a starter. He dominated hitters in the Gulf Coast League and convinced the organization that he was ready for full-season ball.
He started along that path in 2010, making 14 starts for Low-A Lakewood. He pitched incredibly well, posting a 3.79 ERA, and showed excellent control, walking just 16 batters in 71.1 innings.
Cosart's velocity has improved since signing back in 2008. He's now capable of touching 97-98 mph but sits more comfortably in the 93-96 mph range. He got an opportunity to show off his talents during the MLB Futures Game and was easily one of the top performers.
He also showcased a strong curveball and an ever-improving changeup. He has had some injury issues, including shoulder and elbow troubles in 2010.
This season Cosart has taken his game to another level, building on his breakout campaign. He has already posted career-highs in wins (nine), innings (108.1) and strikeouts (79).
His control has taken a step back (43 BB), but he's still proved to be incredibly stingy with the long-ball (seven HRA). Opposing batters are hitting just .243 against him.
Cosart will join the Astros High-A affiliate in Lancaster. Pitching in the Cal League should put a hurting on his ERA, and he'll likely surrender as many home runs during the final two months as he did during the first four, but none of that should keep him from ranking as the team's top prospect come 2012.
3) Zack Wheeler, RHP, New York Mets
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Wheeler was acquired from the Giants in exchange for Carlos Beltran.
Wheeler was selected by San Francisco with the sixth overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft. Hailing from the same high-school draft class as Shelby Miller, Jacob Turner, Tyler Matzek, and Matt Purke, Wheeler was actually the second prep arm taken in '09, following Matt Hobgood, who was tabbed by the Orioles one pick earlier.
Wheeler throws in the low-to-mid 90s, and he complements his fastball with two potential plus pitches, a curveball and a changeup.
He has a solid pitching frame (6-3, 180 pounds). He still is plagued by some of the same issues with control that he had coming out of high school, which has led to some pretty high walk counts in the minors.
After spending a successful year in the South Atlantic League, in which he was one of the top, yet unheralded, arms in the circuit, Wheeler was promoted to High-A ball for 2011.
He's already doubled his win total from last year in five fewer appearances. His ERA of 3.99 is identical to the number he posted in 2010 and his batting average against is similar as well.
Whereas the Giants limited Wheeler's workload down the stretch last year (only 58.2 IP), the Mets will likely let him continue to pitch deep into the season, building his stamina. His 2-to-1 K:BB ratio isn't the most impressive, but it should get better as he gains better control of his fastball.
Wheeler has all the tools to be a front-line starter, giving the Mets another guy of that caliber to add to the stable that includes Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia and Matt Harvey.
2) Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Colorado Rockies
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Pomeranz has been included as the "player to be named later" in a deal with the Rockies that sent him, Alex White and two other prospects to Colorado in exchange for Ubaldo Jimenez.
Pomeranz jumped onto the draft radar with a strong sophomore season for Ole Miss. His junior campaign put him over the top and made him a projected top-ten pick. The Indians pulled the trigger on him at pick No. 5 and shelled out $2.65 million to sign him.
Pomeranz shouldn't be long for the minors, with a considerable amount of poise and excellent stuff. He confounded hitters in college with a low 90s fastball and an impressive knuckle-curve, and has used the same combination to fool his minor league competition so far.
He has excellent control of his body, and therefore, excellent control of his pitches, especially his fastball. He also throws a changeup. He has the perfect pitcher's frame (6-5, 230 lbs) and should be an inning-eater at the big-league level.
His pedestrian win-loss total (3-3) doesn't begin to describe how fantastic a season Pomeranz has had. He started out in High-A ball, dominated to the tune of a 1.87 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 77 innings, and earned a quick promotion to Double-A, where he's looked equally sharp in three starts (17 K in 14 IP, 2.57 ERA).
For the season, he has an incredible 112-to-38 K:BB ratio in just 91 innings and has held hitters to a combined .202 average.
He's also only surrendered three home runs all season. Like a few other guys on this list he was named to his league's mid-season All-Star team and earned a spot on the Team USA roster at the Futures Game.
Because it's hasn't been a whole year since Pomeranz signed and players can't officially be traded until that one-year mark, he's stuck in limbo until Aug. 15.
When he joins the Rockies, most likely at their Double-A affiliate, he should have an immediate impact and could be in line for a late-season callup.
1) Alex White, RHP, Colorado Rockies
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White and Pomeranz were the centerpieces of the deal that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland.
Like Pomeranz, White was a dominant college pitcher. He carried over his success at UNC to professional ball after the Indians tabbed him as their first-round pick (15th-overall) in the 2009 draft.
White signed too late to make his pro debut in '09, but made up for lost time by pitching his way to Double-A, needing only eight starts to do so. He finished the 2010 campaign with ten victories, a 2.45 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 150.2 innings.
Like Pomeranz, White has all the makings of a front-line starter, including great velocity. He sits comfortably in the low 90s, but can reach back for 95-96 mph on occasion.
He has a great slider and has made great strides with his curveball and changeup. He's a durable work-horse (6-3, 215 lbs) who should be at least a No. 3 starter in a big-league rotation.
White began the year with hopes of making the Indians starting five. He settled for being the ace of the Triple-A affiliate and opened the year on a tear, allowing a combined five earned runs in his first four starts, spanning 23.2 innings. He posted a 28-to-5 K:BB ratio and a 1.90 ERA.
That was enough to earn him a shot against big-league hitters. In three starts in Cleveland, White posted a 3.60 ERA and struck out 13 batters in 15 innings, before suffering an injury to his finger which kept him out until just recently.
White is still finishing up his rehab assignments, but if all goes well he could jump straight into the Rockies rotation, filling the gaping hole left by Jimenez. If he doesn't he'll likely head to Colorado Springs, where he'll wait for rosters to expand in September.