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Adam Jones For Erik Bedard Trade: Prospects Analysis

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Update [2008-2-6 9:35:57 by Eric Hz]: Welcome to all the MLB Trade Rumors readers who chose to visit. Feel free to visit the home page of Fake Teams for more fantasy baseball and baseball analysis.

With just the physicals to come-up clean, the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners are about to consumate the second-biggest trade of the off-season - LHP Erik Bedard for CF Adam Jones, LP George Sherrill and three minor league pitchers - RHP Chris Tillman, RHP Kam "The Almighty" Mickolio and LHP Tony Butler.  I expect Adam Jones to be a valuable fantasy contributor as the O's CF, and George Sherrill to enter Spring Training as the orioles' new closer.

What I admit to knowing very little about are the three pitching prospects the Orioles received.  What better way is there to segue into John Sickel's The Baseball Prospect Book 2008 than with a review of each player using Mr. Sickels' assessments along with their highest 2008 minor league level.

RHP Chris Tillman (High A):

He has a 90-93 MPH fastball and a very good curve, and, late in the year, his command was quite good.  As long as that remains true, he has to rate as one of the better pitching prospects in the game.  I am very impressed with the way he handled the hardship of his first Cal League outingss.

RHP Kam "The Almighty" Mickolio (AAA):

Intimidating on the mound at 6'9, he gets his fastball into the lower 90s....his stuff is good enough he reached Triple-A in his first full season....If his command sharpens, he could reach the Mariner Orioles pen sometime in '08.

LHP Tony Butler (Low A):

...pitched brilliantly at times down the stretch, with a 3.29 ERA and 44/16 K/BB in his last 52 innings....He's a very intelligent and well-spoken young man....Grade B- right now, but I expect that to rise if he stays healthy.

After reading John's assessments, I am impressed with the ability of the Orioles to sell high on a 29-year-old lefty starter who has yet to throw 200 innings in a season.  In return, the O's got the can't-miss CF prospect the Twins had hoped to get for Johan Santana, a quality lefty reliever who will close, and three top pitching prospects, one of which is likely to become an immediate future closing prospect in Kam Mickolio!