Trade: Brandon Moss to the St. Louis Cardinals; Rob Kaminsky to the Cleveland Indians
Rob Kaminsky – LHP – The Indians got Moss from the Oakland Athletics in the offseason for light hitting infielder Joey Wendle and now flip him for one of the better left handed starting prospects in baseball. His best pitch is by far his curveball, which may be among the best in the minor leagues. His fastball sits in the low 90s but can touch 95 with relative ease, and even has a change that is above average. He has also shown the ability to throw all his pitches for strikes and has posted a pro ERA just over 2. This might be one of the biggest steals of the deadline season to sneak under the radar.
Trade: David Price to the Toronto Blue Jays; Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd, and Jairo Labourt to the Detroit Tigers
Daniel Norris – LHP – Norris instantly slides in as the best prospect in the Tigers organization. He has seen ten games in the big leagues with limited success, but he still has plenty of potential. His ERA has never been great, but he has struck out nearly ten batters per nine in his minor league career and three of his four pitches grade out as plus. His fastball works into the mid-90s with run. Both his slider and change regularly are given 60 grades and his curve is average or better. He could certainly develop into a number two starter in time, and that time could be as early as late this season.
Matt Boyd – LHP – Another lefty with a four pitch mix, Boyd’s stock has really risen this year. He has an ERA of 1.68 between Double-A and Triple-A this year after really struggling in ten starts at Double-A in 2014. He has a career K/BB ratio better than 4.5 and a WHIP under one. He gave up five home runs in two big league starts this year, but that shouldn’t detract from his value. He does a great job of changing speeds, even his fastball can rev up or slow down depending on what he needs. His best secondary pitch is his changeup, but also throws an average slider and curve.
Jairo Labourt – LHP – Labourt has real trouble with control, with a walk rate nearing five, but his stuff is excellent. His fastball works as high as 95 with good armside run that helps it play up. His slider is probably his best pitch as it works between cutter and slider shape and movement depending on the velocity. He also has a change with good potential, but is still raw. Given his control issues and the ability for his fastball and slider to play up, he may be best suited to work out of the bullpen in the future, but for now the Tigers will allow him to develop as a starter.
Trade: Alex Wood, Mat Latos, Michael Morse, Jim Johnson, Luis Avilan, Bronson Arroyo, and Jose Peraza to the Los Angeles Dodgers; Hector Olivera, Paco Rodriguez, Zachary Bird, and a Competitive Balance Pick to the Atlanta Braves; Kevin Guzman, Jeff Brigham, and Victor Araujo to the Miami Marlins
Jose Peraza – 2B – Peraza was in the mix to be the opening day second baseman in Atlanta but was beat out by Jace Peterson. Peraza remained one of, if not the best prospects the Braves had and showed well in Triple-A. He hit .294 before the trade, just a bit below his career .303 average, and stole 26 bags while getting caught just 7 times. This comes after back-to-back 60 steal seasons for Peraza and has him listed as the second best second base prospect in all of baseball according to MLB.com. There is some talk he may move back to short now that he is not blocked by Andrelton Simmons, a position where he has spent more time than second in his minor league career. With both Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick free agents after this year, Peraza is slated to be a middle infielder of the future for the Dodgers, which side will surely be determined after free agency this offseason and whether or not Corey Seager sticks at short.
Hector Olivera – INF – The 30 year old Cuban defector is not your typical prospect given his pro experience and age. He has seen time at both second and third base, but his defense is still suspect. He also has a long injury history to go with a visa issue that has limited him to just 19 games in the states before the trade. In Cuba, he walked more than he struck out, and he has shown a good eye at the plate in limited time in the Dodgers organization. The Braves hope he can be a 20+ home run hitter and flirt with a .300 average, but there just isn’t enough of a track record to know thus far. He should make his big league debut this season, so we just may be able to make a better judgment then.
Zachary Bird – RHP – One of the rare starters who works exclusively from the stretch, Bird threatens triple digits regularly with his fastball. His minor league numbers don’t look good, 1.456 WHIP with a 4.74 ERA and a 16-35 record, he still has dynamic stuff. That fastball that flirts with triple digits also has some run in it, and he has a hard slider with good late life and a changeup that projects as average. Bird will probably fit best as a power reliever in the big leagues; he still has plenty of time and work to do before he gets there. In the end, he is yet another quality arm the Braves are stock piling in their system quickly making it one of the best in all of baseball.
Kevin Guzman – RHP – Likely a future bullpen guy, Guzman is in his first full season of pro ball. He sits in the low-to-mid 90s with his fastball with some dip in the pitch. His slider shows potential of playing up to average if not a bit better and his change needs a lot of work. He lacks command despite what his walk rate may show. In the end he has the ceiling of an eighth inning reliever, with a realistic big league role of a middle reliever, but he has a lot of work to do before he reaches that point.
Jeff Brigham – RHP – Brigham has a fastball that can hit 97 while dipping and running to his arm side. His slider plays well when he throws it with velocity, but when it fall back to the low 80s and turns slurvy it becomes more hittable. His changeup is not a pitch that will likely become a pitch he can throw with consistent success. He has only thrown a little over 107 pro innings and had elbow reconstruction while at the University of Washington. If the changeup makes great strides, he could become a number five starter, but it is more likely he becomes a quality reliever that could handle late innings.
Victor Araujo – RHP – Araujo is under six foot tall, weighs just 170 lbs., and has transitioned into a full time reliever over the past two seasons. He has had a strikeout rate near ten since the move and dropped his walk rate at the same time. His fastball sits up to 94 with plenty of movement and has a two plane slider. He scratched his other offerings after moving to the bullpen and his stock has risen due to the move. He probably will only be a middle reliever, but he has the ability to get both right and left handed batters out, so he should be a solid middle reliever in a couple years.
Trade: Dustin Ackley to the New York Yankees; Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez to the Seattle Mariners
Ramon Flores – OF – Flores earned himself a big league call-up with the Yankees this season and appeared in 12 games, but has just seven hits and only one went for extra bases. The bat is not his calling card though, while he has hit for a .272 average, he has just 43 home runs in seven seasons. His real value comes in the ability to take a walk, has a .360 OBP, and play very good defense in left field. He can play all three outfield spots reasonably well and has even seen time at first base. He projects to be a fourth outfielder/utility type who can steal the occasional bag and be a defensive replacement option late in games.
Jose Ramirez – RHP – Another player who got a cup of coffee with the Yankees this season, Ramirez put in ten innings in 2014. With a fastball that has put triple digits on many a radar gun and a very good changeup that has late drop, he could be a weapon late in ballgames. He has a slider that serves as just another pitch for batters to have to pay attention to, but his bread is buttered with the fastball-change combo.
Trade: Joakim Soria to the Pittsburgh Pirates; JaCoby Jones to the Detroit Tigers
JaCoby Jones – SS – The supremely athletic Jones has seen time at center field and short, but he has focused on his defense at short since turning pro and has made great strides in that part of his game. He is a bit of a free swinger, having struck out 259 times in 228 games, but he does have raw power that is still transitioning into game power. He also has plus speed which should lead to more stolen bases in the future, but his reads on the bases are still a tick slow. There may not have been a more athletic player moved this deadline season than Jones, but there also might not be anyone with a bigger gap between their ceiling and floor.
Trade: Carlos Gomez, Mike Fiers, and international bonus money to the Houston Astros; Brett Phillips, Domingo Santana, Josh Hader, and Adrian Houser to the Milwaukee Brewers
Brett Phillips – OF – Phillips has five tools that grade out as above-average and is one of the best outfield prospects in baseball. His arm would be an excellent fit in right field but his speed leaves him with a shot to stick in center. He already has 16 home runs and 15 steals in 2015, showing he has a quality power/speed mix, but he is also hitting .320 this year. His career slash line is .298/.371/.491 and has hit at every stop. If he sticks in center, he will be a great return for the Brewers, and even if he has to move to right he will still be a very good piece regardless of the rest of the deal.
Domingo Santana – OF – Santana is a power first right fielder that has gotten a brief taste of big league ball in 2014 and again this year. He went hitless in 18 trips to the plate last year, but fared better this year. The 6’5”, 225 lbs. outfielder has a big arm and has three times hit more than 20 home runs in a minor league season despite being young for every level he has been at. His minor league batting average is a respectable .278, but that is not his strength, and should be more of a .250 hitter in the big leagues. He also has surprising speed given his size, stealing 12 bags in 2013. Santana definitely has the ability to become a solid regular in the Brewers outfield in the next year or so.
Josh Hader – LHP – A lefty with a low ¾ arm slot and a fastball that can get up to 96 MPH has carried Hader thus far. Due to the fact he is 6’3” and just 160 lbs. and has the low arm slot, there have been many a Chris Sale comp put on him, but he is the very poor man’s version of Sale. The fastball plays very well, but his secondary stuff lacks significantly. His change could be average and his curve needs a lot of work to get there. He has seen much of his time as a starter, but has also been used as a closer at nearly every level as well. His near 10 K/9 would only get better if he moves to the bullpen, where he will probably end up when all is said and done.
Adrian Houser – RHP – Houser has a big frame, 6’3” and 230 lbs., and has the fastball to go with it. He sites in the mid-90s with good late action on the pitch that makes it play up. His curve is his best secondary pitch but his changeup is improving. He is not a big strikeout pitcher, but he does get hitters to roll over ground balls regularly. He is able to pound the strike zone, but it is more control than command at this point. He repeats his delivery well and with ease, combined with the solid three-pitch mix should allow him to stick as a starter, but his ceiling is that of a number four.
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