The Padres traded three of their top ten prospects in the trade that netted them outfielder Justin Upton: Max Fried, Jace Peterson and Dustin Peterson, along with outfield prospect Mallex Smith.
I wrote about the fantasy impact of the Justin Upton trade yesterday, so let's take a look at what our prospect team had to say about the prospects involved in the trade. The prospect team, Jason Hunt, Brian Creah and David Spracale, ranked the Padres top ten fantasy prospects back on October 29th, so here are some excerpts, written by Brian Creagh, from their San Diego's 2015 Top Fantasy Prospects.
Max Fried, # 3 fantasy prospect
Fried headlined the package of prospects the Braves received in the Upton deal, but he is coming off Tommy John surgery, so he is several years away from contributing to the Braves rotation.
In what amounted to a lost year for Max Fried, the left-handed pitcher managed only 10 innings before ultimately being shut down and opting for Tommy John surgery. Heading into the season, Fried was a high-upside pitching prospect and the surgery doesn't change that, but it does make what was likely to be a long developmental path even longer. Fried was taken 7th overall in the 2012 draft out of high school and due to spotty fastball command, he seemed destined for a slow ascent through the minors.
Fried is a big kid at 6'4", but he controls his body well and has a smooth, repeatable delivery. He doesn't have the explosive fastball you typically see in the elite prep arms - his fastball sits in the low 90's and he doesn't have much command on it. What sets Fried apart is the monster potential of both his curveball and changeup. Both are legit out pitches and advanced beyond his years for a 20 year old.
With the success we have been seeing out of Tommy John patients, I'm finding it difficult to knock Fried too far down the rankings. His ETA is anyone's guess, but for those in established dynasty leagues, this could be your chance to buy low on this guy. It's a long-term investment to be sure, but 6'4" lefties with two plus-plus off-speed offerings don't come around very often. The ceiling hasn't dropped at all, but the floor is non-existent at this point.
Jace Peterson, #7 fantasy prospect
Peterson has played shortstop, second base and third base in the minors and majors, so he will probably serve as a backup utility player at each position with the Braves. The Braves are set with Andrelton Simmons locked down at shortstop, Chris Johnson at third base and Alberto Callaspo holding down second base until second base prospect Jose Peraza is ready for the big leagues.
Jace Peterson is intriguing prospect, and his value will be tightly tied to the position he ultimately ends up playing for San Diego. A shortstop coming up through the minors, Peterson moved around a bit last year and saw time at SS, 3B, and 2B between the majors and minor leagues. Where he settles in for San Diego long term is still up in the air as Jedd Gyorko, Yangervis Solarte, and Everth Cabrera are all under contract next year and are the incumbents at the infield positions. Peterson will likely end up playing a utility role until an injury or trade opens up an opportunity.
The power projection for Peterson is lackluster, but he still profiles as a top-of-the-order guy thanks to excellent on-base skills and a plus hit tool. The profile looks great at a middle infield position, but he's probably just a fringe starter in standard formats if he plays strictly 3B. While he has the ability to play SS making the Padres more likely to keep him there, Solarte, in my opinion, is the weakest of the three options and will probably be the first guy removed to make room for Peterson. There is also some speed in his game, but his success rate dropped considerably once hitting AA, so I'd temper the expectations a bit after his 132 SBs in 3 seasons in the lower minors.
Dustin Peterson, #8 fantasy prospect
Peterson was drafted in the second round of the 2013 draft, and he struggled in his first full season of minor league ball in 2014, hitting just .233-.274-.361 with 10 home runs, 64 runs scored and 79 RBI in 126 games in Low A ball.
He is about three years from seeing time in Atlanta, so he has time to work on his eye at the plate and develop more power to make an impact at the major league level.
Dustin Peterson is my "guy" in this system. I was high on him last year, putting him at #4 in the system and despite putting up rough numbers in Low-A this year, my faith in him as a future fantasy weapon has only grown. The younger brother of Seattle Mariners first round pick D.J. Peterson, Dustin is an offensive-minded player without a definitive position. 3B looks to be the short-term answer, but some think a shift to 1B is likely and that will certainly put a lot of pressure on the bat. Personally, I think Peterson can stick at 3B as I've seen enough reports from scouts this season that think he has just enough arm and agility to make it work.
Peterson's offensive game isn't as polished as many thought when coming out of high school but that doesn't mean his upside has changed much. He has shown a propensity for squaring up pitches but he is having some strike zone issues as evidenced by the 137 K's in 126 games. He is willing to use the whole field, and his short, compact swing doesn't sell out for power. What intrigues me most about Peterson is the power potential his frame hints at. At 6'2" 185 lbs, he should fill out his frame and add some muscle and when combined with his solid hit tool, there's potential for a dynamic offensive weapon. I wouldn't be surprised if Peterson repeats Low-A due to his age, but hopefully we can see some big adjustments from him.
Mallex Smith, not ranked
Smith was not ranked in our Padres top 10 fantasy prospects, but he had a solid 2014 season split between Low A and High A. He hit .295-.393-.394 with 48 stolen bases in 65 games in Low A last season. After his promotion to High A, Smith continued to hit well, hitting .327-.414-.475 with 5 home runs and 40 stolen bases in 55 games. He obviously has serious speed and knows how to get on base, so it will be interesting to watch how he performs over the next few seasons in the Atlanta system.