ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 28: Michael Bourn #21 of the Houston Astros steals second base against Nick Punto #8 of the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on July 28, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Astros beat the Cardinals 5-3. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
It was just reported a little while ago that the Braves got the outfielder they needed by dealing for Astros centerfielder Michael Bourn. With Nate McLouth on the DL, along with Brian McCann, the Braves had to go out and get a bat to add to their lineup, but I thought they should have gone out and traded for a power hitter.
In return for dealing Bourn to the Braves, the Astros got Jordan Schafer and 3 minor leaguers, AA starter Brett Oberholtzer, AA starter Paul Clemens and AAA reliever Juan Abreu. Schafer will take over center field for the Astros, I presume, and the 3 minor leaguers are part of the Astros effort to rebuild their farm system.
More on the minor leaguers after the jump:
Starter Brett Oberholtzer was drafted in the 8th round of the 2008 draft, and is currently pitching at AA Mississippi where he is 9-9 with a 3.74 ERA, 1.264 WHIP and a 93-42 K/BB rate in 21 starts covering 127.2 innings pitched. Here is what Minor League Ball's John Sickels had to say about him in his pre-season Top 20 Braves prospects:
21) Brett Oberholtzer, LHP, Grade C+: Love the K/BB ratios.
Baseball America ranked him as their 9th best Braves prospect in the pre-season, and here is an excerpt from their scouting report:
Scouting Report: Oberholtzer has plus command of three pitches. His fastball sits at 88-92 mph and touches 94 with good, late tailing life. He uses his solid average changeup to his advantage by mixing it in at any time in the count. His curveball is also a fringy above-average pitch.
The Future: Oberholtzer has impressed Atlanta with the progress he has made in the last two seasons. A potential third or fourth starter in the big leagues, he's slated to spend 2011 in the Mississippi rotation.
Paul Clemens was drafted in the 7th round of the 2008 draft, one round ahead of Oberholtzer, and is currently pitching for AA Mississippi, where he is 6-5 with a 3.73 ERA, a 1.353 WHIP, and a 93-44 K/BB rate in 20 starts, covering 108.2 innings of work. Minor League Ball's John Sickels ranked him as his 23rd best Braves prospect in his pre-season Top 20 Braves prospects, and here is what he said about him:
23) Paul Clemens, RHP, Grade C+: Numbers don't stand out on the surface, but I think he could be a sleeper.
Juan Abreu is currently pitching for AAA Gwinnett as a reliever, where he is 4-2 with a 2.25 ERA, a 1.271 WHIP, and a 68-27 K/BB rate in 48 inning pitched. He looks like he could be a future closer, and he has closed in High A and AA over the past few years.
Schafer was once a top prospect in the Braves system, but has yet to prove he can hit at the major league level.
I think the Braves should have traded for Hunter Pence or a Carlos Quentin, as they need another power bat in their lineup, but Bourn gives the Braves a leadoff hitter and gold glove center fielder. Bourn's value may improve slightly as he could score a few more runs on his new team, and continue to steal bases for fantasy owners. The Braves have a plethora of arms in their farm system including Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, J.J. Hoover and Randall Delgado, so one would think they could have traded one of these guys for a power bat, but that was not the case.
Maybe Braves fans will get a power bat in the offseason, but that doesn't help them in October.
Should the Braves have traded one of their top prospects for a power bat?
Yes (141 votes)
No (304 votes)
445 total votes