DETROIT - SEPTEMBER 01: Jacob Turner #50 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the first inning during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park on September 1, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
In lieu of my standard Waiting in the Wings column that runs on Thursdays, I will be taking a look at all of the prospects (or in some cases very young major leaguers) that have been relocated due to trades thus far. Many of these guys won't ever matter in fantasy (I'm looking at you Farquhar), but it's nice to be familiar with those who lack promise as well as those who have it, so you can stop worrying about if you should pay more attention. I am going as far back as the June 30 trade of Jim Thome. After the jump I would suggest skipping to Jacob Turner with a brief pitstop at Wojciechowski/Perez/Musgrove. It gets pretty rough in the middle. Let's get to it, shall we?
Gabriel Lino - C - Phillies - Moved as part of a package for Jim Thome, Lino is a bit of an interesting prospect as a guy with a plus arm behind the plate and plus power at it. He has little in the way of an approach or a hit tool however and while he might be a future big leaguer, he likely won't make a big fantasy impact. He does have some pitch recognition skills, but comes up lacking an approach beyond that. All that said, he's 19 years old and at Lo-A. At 6'3 and 200+ lbs he is already strong and could add to it. For a more in depth look, please check out Mike Newman of Frangraphs' report on Lino. He's not a nobody, but he can be ignored in all but the deepest of dynasty leagues as a guy who is early in his development and has significant holes in his game at the moment.
Kyle Simon - P - Phillies - Simon was the second piece in the Jim Thome deal and is a tall sinker-baller with solid control, but no out pitch. He's likely a reliever in the long run but showed 5th starter potential. He sits in the upper-80s/low-90s with his sinker. Since the trade Philadelphia shifted him to the bullpen and it's paid off in a miniscule sample size (10 IP) with a K/9 in the 8 range versus 6 when he was starting. He also has yet to walk someone in those 10 innings at Clearwater.
More after the jump...
Matt Dominguez - 3B - Astros - I know I covered Dominguez somewhere along the way, so this is going to be brief. He's a glove first, potentially glove only third baseman. It might be gold glove level defense, but he can't seem to identify the breaking ball. While he makes contact at a solid rate, it's not been hard contact. He'll need to show more power to be a viable big-leaguer, and my guess is the light never comes on.
Rob Rasmussen - P - Astros - Rasmussen is a little like Simon in that he profiles best at the back end of a rotation or in middle relief. He's got a 4 pitch mix that includes a low-90s heater and a mid-80s slider. He does a solid job of striking out hitters, but walks too many batters as well. He benefited from playing in a pitchers park in a pitchers league before the trade, so view his numbers in context. Rasmussen is another name that you can ignore for now.
Todd Redmond - P - Reds - Redmond was the compensation received by the Reds for Paul Janish. He has been posting good numbers for a year and a half now at the Triple-A level. He's got three pitches, none exceeding average and seems to get by more on smoke and mirrors than anything else. At 27 years old, he's likely nothing more than an emergency starter at the big league level.
Asher Wojciechowski - P - Astros - The biggest and most-difficult-to-spell name involved in the 10 player swap between Toronto and Houston, Wojciechowski was a supplemental first round pick by the Jays in 2010. He's seen his stuff regress since entering pro ball, perhaps due to having to pitch every 5 days. His fastball will range from 89-93 MPH, and he complements it with a mid 80s slider that lost it's consistency and shape. His long term future is likely in the bullpen where his stuff could plus up in bursts and he won't need to develop a change up. He still has promise though and is the name with the most value this far in this piece. He acquitted himself well in his first start in the Houston system.
Carlos Perez - C - Astros - Perez is an intriguing prospect at a position that is constantly scarce. He had a rough introduction to full season ball in 2011, and was stuck back at Lo-A in 2012. While repeating the league this year as a 21-year old, Perez produced an 805 OPS, certainly above average for a catcher. He's not a great hitter, but he does have impressive plate discipline and below average pop. I like his odds to reach the big leagues and be of value at some point, but how much depends on whether he can develop enough power. If he can, he's a valuable starter, if not, he's more of a back up.
Joe Musgrove - P - Astros - Probably my favorite player in this deal, Musgrove was a supplemental first rounder in the 2011 draft. He's a sizeable pitcher at 6'5/230 lbs and he can reach 98 MPH on the gun. He generally sits in the low 90s with serious sink. He's only pitched twice in 2012, though in those outings, he's compiled a 9/0 K/BB ratio in 8 innings. I really like Musgrove, though I'm a bit concerned as to why he's pitched so infrequently this year. He must have passed a physical for the trade however, and I think he's worth remembering/grabbing if you're in deep dynasty leagues at the end of a minors draft.
David Rollins - P - Astros - Rollins is three pitch lefty who sports an average fastball and complements it with a slider and a change. He's walking over 4/9 IP thus far this year and while he has 75 strikeouts in 77.2 IP, he is a 22 year old in Lo-A. That's not exactly ancient for the level, but you'd like to see more control from someone his age. He's a nice depth piece for the Astros but unless he makes major strides, you're unlikely to need to know about him.
Matt Heidenreich - P - Astros - Heidenreich was part of the package Houston received for Brett Myers. Coming from the White Sox system you can't get too excited about pretty much anyone, but Heidenreich has a little promise in him. He's a sinker-baller with a decent change who can't miss any bats but doesn't walk anyone either. He was promoted from Hi-A following the minor league all star break and struggled in his time in Double-A, sporting an ERA higher than his strikeouts per nine. Another back end starter candidate, Heidenreich will see if he can adjust to Double-A which is often a make or break level for pitchers who can't miss bats.
Blair Walters - P Astros - The other piece the Astros received from the Myers trade, Walters numbers speak louder than his tools. Another sinker type, Walters took home pitcher of the year for the Pioneer league in 2011, but doesn't project as much more than middle relief, as he has an ERA over 7 as a 23-year old in Hi-A.
DJ Mitchell - P - Mariners - The first piece received from the Yankees in the favor-trade that sent Ichiro to the Bronx, Mitchell is yet another sinkerballer who throws in the upper-80s/low-90s. His best secondary is a curve and his value comes from being a guy who can step into a bullpen immediately. He might be able to survive as a 5th starter in Safeco but would likely get beat up his second time through the league. You can roundly ignore him.
Danny Farquhar - P - Mariners - The most you need to know about Farquhar is that he was waived twice already this season (Blue Jays, Athletics). He can reach 94 MPH and can be tough on right handers, but he's a marginal talent. Clearly not desired and somewhat desired at the same time, as he has been claimed both time he was waived and now traded. Won't matter in fantasy at all.
Jacob Turner - SP - Marlins- FINALLY WE'RE GETTING SOMEWHERE. Turner was the 9th overall pick in the 2009 draft and widely thought of as the best prep pitcher in that draft. Marlins fans, if there are any left, have to be hoping this isn't an Andrew Miller redux situation, but they should feel fairly confident that it's not. While Miller was a power pitcher with little command or control, Turner has power stuff but controls it well. In his brief time in the majors Turner has walked too many batters (over 5/9 IP) but his track record indicates this is likely a fluke as he has never walked over 3/9 IP in the minor leagues, though he's on pace to do so this year. Already on the verge of being a major league regular at 21, Turner throws a low-90s fastball with sink, and supplements it with a curve and a change, but of which could be plus pitches in the future. He threw harder when he was drafted, but like many prep prospects, has lost some velocity while transitioning to the professional pitching schedule. He's unlikely to be a top of the rotation pitcher that it appeared he could be when drafted, but he's got a lot of probability and the ceiling of a good #3 starter. He's worth paying attention to as soon as next year if he earns a spot in the rotation and can pitch in Miami's spacious and empty ballpark. There remains a possibility Miami tries to undue what Detroit did in terms of making Turner a groundball pitcher, and if that comes to fruition, Turner could be a #2 pitcher in the long run.
Rob Brantly - C - Marlins - Brantly introduced himself to many of us with his impressive showing in the Futures Game where he went 1-3 with a 2B and gunned down Oscar Taveras trying to steal. Highly impressive at Double-A, Brantly produced an 810 OPS. He didn't walk or strikeout much at Double-A (17/12 K/BB) but Triple-A pitchers seem to have him flummoxed as he's struck out 25 times compared to only 7 walks in fewer at-bats. Brantly doesn't have much pop at present and his swing doesn't indicate a bump in home runs as he matures. He is more of a contact hitter with a line drive stroke that will produce an above-average batting average for a catcher. He was stuck behind the combination of Alex Avila (rumored to be getting an extension) and Victor Martinez (not really a catcher but still) in Detroit, so it made sense to move him for a win-now upgrade. Brantly will be on fantasy radar screens, but is probably more of a Salvador Perez-lite than anything else. He might actually what the real Salvador Perez looks like if he ever stops being on a hot streak (implausible, I know).
Brian Flynn - P - Marlins - Flynn was the third piece in the deal that began the Marlins firesale. Selected in the 7th round of the 2011 draft, he is most notable for standing 6'8. He gets great extension (surprise!) so his low 90s fastball gets on hitters faster than you would think. He throws a cutter in the low-80s that is his best secondary pitch, and doesn't have a third pitch to speak of. He's pitched as a starter thus far in his career, but profiles more as a reliever. I wouldn't put it past a lefty with a low 90s fastball to make it as a back end starter though.
Robbie Grossman - OF - Astros - Did you think we were done with Astros prospects? HA! A foolish thought indeed. Grossman is the top prospect received from Pittsburgh in the Wandy Rodriguez deal that moved GM Jeff Luhnow one step closer to "Ninja" status. Not only did he dump some salary from a 33-year old starting pitcher, he also acquired Keith Law's #86 prospect coming into 2012. Grossman generates a lot of conversation because he doesn't have the power to profile in a corner but is unlikely to be able to stay in center. What he can do though is get on base, and while he had a horrific start to the 2012 season after coming back from a broken hamate bone, Grossman has had an OPS over 900 in both June and July. He's a switch hitter who has the potential for four average tools. He won't wow anyone but in OPS or OBP leagues he'd be a legitimate asset as he can also steal a base here and there.
Rudy Owens - P - Astros - Owens is another "now" pitcher who could function in place of Dallas Kuechel or Lucas Harrell if the Astros so choose. He's a lefty who throws in the upper 80s/low 90s with fringy secondaries. He has pinpoint control though, walking only 25 in 117 innings pitched and has a career BB/9 of 1.8. Probably worth a streaming start if he is facing a bad team or pitching in a cavernous park.
Colton Cain - P - Astros - Cain received a seven figure bonus as an 8th rounder in the 2009 draft, but hasn't lived up to expectations thus far in his career. He is another three pitch mix guy who has to hit you with quantity more than quality. The lefty doesn't break 90 MPH with his fastball but has a crossfire delivery that gives him some deception. His secondary pitches have flashed average but aren't consistent in the least. He's a name to ignore.
Tyler Bortnick - 2B - Diamondbacks - If it means anything I advised a friend in a deep AL league not to waste a roster spot on Bortnick as he had Ryan Roberts going the other way and had first dibs. If you are so inclined as to want to know about him, his defining characteristic is impressive plate discipline and a solid stolen base ability, stealing 22 bases this year and getting caught only three times. He lacks a plus tool however and posted a meager .253/.352/.385 slash line thus far in 2012. I wouldn't be surprised if he lights up Reno for a bit, but he's not an everyday player and I wouldn't concern yourself with him. If he does receive consistent playing time at any point, he might be worth a grab as an injury fill-in who can steal, but that's his upside in fantasy.
Nate Eovaldi - P - Marlins - Involved in the deal for the biggest name moved thus far, Eovaldi is not a prospect any more, throwing 56 major league innings this year alone. But for people in shallower leagues, they may not know much about him and he's still developing, albeit at the major league level, so I will discuss him a bit here. Eovaldi is a two pitch guy right now, sporting an above average fastball (up to 98 MPH this year, and sits in the mid 90s) and a hard slider. Eovaldi has struggled mightily versus lefties, where a third pitch (a change up) might work well. As is, he's a back of the rotation starter with the potential to be a #3 pitcher. If he can develop an effective change up and iron out his inconsistencies with his slider, you're looking at a potential #2.
Scott McGough - RP - Marlins - Always coveting power arms, the Marlins received one in McGough who reach 97 MPH in relief. He's small for a pitcher at 6 ft/170 lbs, but he has a quick arm and a good slider. He received positive reviews when drafted in the 5th round of the 2011 draft, but had struggled prior to the trade, compiling a 3.99 ERA in 47 innings. He struck out an impressive 48 batters in that time, but walked 26. I never think it's worth it talking about minor league relievers that aren't going to be called up imminently, but if he can figure out his control, he might see the back end of the bullpen down the line.
Just under 2800 words later, we've come to our conclusion. I know the capsules aren't as in depth as they could be, but this was mainly a primer on all the guys who've moved teams. Unfortunately we haven't seen a huge amount of talent on the move so far, and Cole Hamels extension did nothing to help that. Hopefully a Zack Greinke or Josh Johnson trade can change that for us. If there are enough guys moved after the deadline, I'll do a second one of these. Let me know if I missed anyone or if there are any additional questions. I'd also be happy to answer questions on guys who may be moved in the comments.
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PS - I know I didn't discuss Barry Enright, but come ON. He stinks.