MLB Prospect Report: Trade Deadline Analysis
Published: Sep 02, 2020
The Trade Deadline was a frenzy this year as the abbreviated season and the expanded playoffs really made teams want to go for it, even teams we weren’t expecting to make moves were buyers at the deadline. First we’ll talk about a couple of key prospects that were called up this week and then break down the significant moves that were made on Monday and over the weekend. At the bottom you’ll see my updated Team Rankings for how the systems rank (when looking at the Top-300 prospects). The Top-300 has also been updated to account for prospects that have graduated prospect status and to account for the players that changed teams during the trade deadline. Just as a side note, there were a lot of deals made for players to be named later (PTBNL) and so it’s hard to tell exactly who those players will be as teams have a few months to hammer out those details to finalize the trade. If the PTBNL is known, they are possibly included in the write-up below.
Ke'Bryan Hayes 3B PIT - Hayes made his long-awaited debut for the Pirates earlier this week for the Pirates who are desperately looking for help on offense and at the hot corner. The former first-round pick has five at least above-average skills with the only one that’s not quite to that level consistently is the power. The 60-grade hit tool stands out at his position and that combined with his Gold Glove-caliber defense skills will allow him to continue to work on the burgeoning power in game situations. His approach needs a bit more patience to it as his walk rate dropped in 2019 but he should have no trouble making the adjustments necessary and he’ll also throw in 10-12 steals a year at third too.
Jazz Chisholm SS MIA - Chisholm was swapped from Arizona to Miami at last year’s trade deadline in the deal for Zac Gallen so it’s fitting that he gets his call-up following the trade deadline the following year as Miami moved Jonathan Villar to Toronto. Chisholm has a very interesting blend of power and speed in the middle infield while playing a good enough defense to stay at either Short or Second. The biggest issue he has is the hit tool is a struggle at times. Last year between the two organizations he posted 21 homers, 16 steals, and 17 other XBH but the average was down to .220. Chisholm has swing-and-miss in his game that might be tough to fully get out of his approach long enough to raise the average above .265 consistently. The best you can hope for from him is what he did in 2018 in the minors which was a .272/.329/.513 line with 25 homers, 23 doubles, 79 runs, 70 RBI, 17 steals, and a .272 average.
Deivi García RHP NYY - The diminutive right-hander made a lot of waves in 2018 when he struck out 105 in 74 innings with a 2.55 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. He had a bit of an issue making the jump to Triple-A last year as the ERA jumped to 4.28 with a WHIP of 1.35 as the juiced ball and better hitters led him to giving up nearly double the hits and double the homers as the previous year despite his innings going from 74 to 111. The strikeouts were still though and that’s really what he’s known for at this point, that and his devastating curveball. The curve is considered perhaps the best breaking pitch in the minors as the high-spin rate makes the break so big it can get a bit uncontrollable at times. The fastball carries the high-spin rate as well which gives it riding life while he changes speeds between 91-97. There’s a slider and changeup that both made strides in 2019 and give him four formidable pitches in the arsenal. The only thing holding him back from being a high strikeout starter in the top half of a rotation is the control (45-grade) and his size. He’s just not built for going deep into games (going six innings just four times in 21 starts in 2019). So if he can prove he can lengthen his outings he’s a number three starter but otherwise he’s a backend rotation arm with high strikeout upside or a high-leverage bullpen piece. Garcia was very solid in his debut though and hopefully that’s a sign of things to come and he sticks in the rotation, upping his fantasy value.
The Mitch Moreland Trade
(Hudson Potts 3B and Jeisson Rosario OF)
The Padres get a DH and the Red Sox get one intriguing prospect and another that fits their unofficial motto of getting corner infielders until the cows come home.
Rosario is an above-average speed guy with very little power and an average hit tool. The most impressive thing aside from his speed, which should make him a 20-plus steal threat a season, is his approach at the plate. In the 289 minor league games he’s played, Rosario is hitting .264 with a .376 OBP and 186 walks to 258 Ks. He profiles as a center fielder and a guy who could hit likely in the leadoff spot or the number nine spot if hoping for a circular lineup.
Hudson Potts meanwhile was a surprise first-round pick in the 2016 draft and is a power-over-hit type of infielder. The bat speed is there to generate an above-average amount of pop but the approach at the plate and the contact skills leave plenty to be desired. Potts also doesn’t walk much either and his defense is fringy or average at the hot corner. He likely moves to first base or at DH but there’s not much to like here.
The Austin Nola Trade
(Taylor Trammell OF, Andres Muñoz RHP, and Luis Torrens C)
So the Mariners traded basically their entire bullpen and a catcher to San Diego for a couple of interesting prospects.
Taylor Trammell is probably the biggest name prospect in the deal and he’s got a nice hit-speed combo with still developing power but nothing better than average when all is said and done. The left-swinging outfielder does have a pull-happy approach and is still working on getting the ball in the air more consistently but his approach is solid with a .363 career OBP in four years in the minors. He’s also stolen 75-percent of the bags he’s attempted to swipe (110-of-147).
Andres Muñoz on the other hand should be the Mariners’ future closer when he’s fully rehabbed from injury. Munoz is a fastball-slider combo guy and the fastball is elite with the slider being at least a plus-offering. There was an uptick in BB-rate this year but double-digit K/9 upside galore out of this righty and he should be closing out games for the Mariners fairly shortly after he’s back from rehabbing, likely next year.
Torrens is a serviceable backstop but isn’t anything spectacular.
The Mike Clevinger Trade
(Owen Miller SS/2B, Gabriel Arias SS, Joey Cantillo LHP)
This is what we call burying the lede. Clevinger was the biggest name moved on deadline day but he didn’t exactly command a great haul. Austin Hedges and Josh Naylor and Cal Quantrill were also in this deal but all of them are no longer prospects.
Gabriel Arias is the most intriguing guy in this group and was the seventh rated prospect in the deep Padres system prior to the deal. He is a shortstop who is raw but has some promising tools, if he figures it all, but mostly shines on defense right now. The swing can get too long and there are approach issues but he should be at least an average hitter in the majors with some pop for 20-homer upside. Arias should be an average speedster leading to 10-15 bags stolen. There is a long way to go but a solid everyday shortstop is what he pans out as.
Cantillo is a lefty who uses three pitches to attack hitters and the changeup is probably his best pitch. The fastball sits 89-92 with some deceptive movement and the curveball is at least MLB average as a standard downer curveball. He is just 20 years old but already physically matured at 6’4” and 220 pounds which makes him a nice innings-eater type back end of the rotation arm when all is said and done.
Edward Olivares OF SD to KC - Olivares was the return for Trevor Rosenthal and he’s got an interesting power-speed combo that was on full display at Amarillo last year as he hit 18 homers and stole 35 bags while hitting .283. That batting average is likely to dip from there though as he’s a career .274 hitter in the minors and was typically around the .270 mark three of the last four years. He’s already 24 years old as a late bloomer having been signed in 2014 in the international signing class but now that he’s starting to put it together, he should be the fill in for Alex Gordon in left field starting next year or perhaps plays some centerfield.
Griffin Conine OF TOR to MIA - Connine was the return in the Villar deal and it’s fitting given that Jeff Conine is known as Mr. Marlin for how long he was tenured there. The younger Conine though is more of a prospect and less well-rounded player than his dad as Griffin has a lot of raw power but that’s about it. In A-ball last year, Conine hit .283 in 80 games with 22 home runs but a 35.9-percent K-rate. There is a ton of swing-and-miss in his game and in Low-A in 2018 he posted a .238 average in 55 games and struck out 27.4-percent of the time. He has the makings of a platoon left fielder or a DH or a late-inning pitcher hitter.
Luis Alexander Basabe OF CWS to SF - Speed and his defense are the main skills Basabe brings with him to the Bay area. The hit tool and power are below-average with a career .248 average in nearly 600 minor league games and just 44 homers in nearly 2,200 at-bats with 27 of those coming in two seasons. Basabe is likely a fourth outfielder type who’s defense and speed fit anywhere in the outfield but the bat doesn’t play as a major league regular.
Lucius Fox 2B/SS TB to KC - Fox is a name that has been around in the minors for a while as he was originally signed to a $6 million bonus by the Giants before being traded less than a year later to Tampa Bay and now he’s on his way to Kansas City in a deal for Brett Phillips . The switch-hitter has a line drive swing from both sides of the plate but has yet to really hit for any sort of pop as he’s posted just 11 total home runs and 58 doubles in 417 games in the minors but he has swiped 123 bags in that same span. Defensively he’s solid but not flashy at short and has started moving around to second and third and centerfield the last year or so which could make him a speedy utility guy in the majors but not much of an offensive upside aside from stealing bags.
These rankings were adjusted after the trade deadline moves and the rankings are based on the prospects in my Top-300 rankings. The reason I rank based on the Top-300 and not just Top-100 is because the Top-300 is a better judge of depth of a system rather than who has the most top-heavy systems. While Top-100 prospects are generally considered the next studs of their teams, the guys found from 101-300 are all quality players and some could still go on to be major contributors for their respective organization's major league club.
(The rankings are based off of a points system with the number one prospect getting 300 points and the 300th getting one point. The total for each team is added up and ranked from most to least)
Check out the full Top-300 prospects list here.