The San Diego Padres added another exciting piece to their farm system on Tuesday, acquiring Cincinnati Reds top prospect Taylor Trammell in a three-team trade that sent Franmil Reyes, Logan Allen, and prospect Victor Nova to the Cleveland Indians. Yasiel Puig went to the Indians, while Trevor Bauer went to the Reds in the deal.
While the Padres did give up two solid players in Reyes and Allen, along with third base prospect Victor Nova, they’re getting a very toolsy player in Taylor Trammell. A first-round pick in 2016, the 21-year old is already in Double-A, averaging around three years younger than his counterparts. He struggled in the Reds system this year though, hitting just .236 with six home runs and 33 RBIs through 94 games, but he has dealt with a fair share of injuries.
On a positive note, Trammell has swiped 17 bags this year, using one of his best tools: speed. Last year in High-A Daytona, he hit .277 with 25 stolen bases, eight home runs, and 41 RBIs. Although this season has been a bit of a down year for the now third-best prospect in the Padres system, Trammell’s ceiling is extremely high considering the number of loud tools he has. There’s absolutely no doubt that he will be a key piece to the Padres’ big-league plans in the next couple of years.
Makings of a Star
Trammell won the Futures Game Most Valuable Player Award last year, after going 2-2 with a home run and a triple against some of the best arms in the minors. Despite his struggles this season, he’s still a career .273 hitter across four levels. His makeup and tools are off the charts, showing the ability to hit for average and power, get after it in the outfield, and steal bases at a high rate, thanks to his lightning-quick speed.
The most home runs Trammell has hit in one season is 13, but with more growth and maturity, he could definitely hit 20 at the big-league level in the future. He has a smooth stroke from the left side, consistently driving the ball from gap-to-gap and using his speed to leg out a lot of extra-base hits. This is the type of player who can turn doubles into triples with ease. He has shown great plate discipline this year as well, drawing 54 walks. Trammell has struck out 86 times this year though, so he’ll have to work at cutting that number down.
However, the fact that he gets on base via the walk is extremely important because he’s a serious threat to swipe bags. He’s a great baserunner, and as he did in this year’s Futures Game, Trammell even has enough speed to steal home. The 21-year old, who is the 30th ranked prospect in Major League Baseball, stole a career-high 41 bases in 129 games in 2017 with the Single-A Dayton Dragons. He’s definitely a player who can be a 20-20 big leaguer in the future because his power at the plate is going to improve as he matures, while his speed is off the charts thanks to a natural instinct to run the basepaths.
Potential Gold Glove Center Fielder
Trammell is also a wonderful defender, having played all three outfield positions throughout his professional career. However, he’ll probably end up in center field at the major-league level. Despite having a below-average arm, his ability to run down balls in the gaps is second to none, while not being afraid to put his body on the line. If he does beef up and become more of a power threat, he could end up at one of the corner outfield positions.
This acquisition is going to be huge for the Padres’ future. Trammell is the type of hitter that can take a pitcher deep, but also hit a groundball in the hole and beat it out because of his tremendous speed. He will continually put pressure on opposing defenses and make pitchers very uncomfortable because of his quickness on the basepaths. He excels in almost every aspect of the game and could very well be San Diego’s leadoff hitter and center fielder of the future.
The combination of solid tools, great makeup, and a willingness to get better every day will allow Trammell to succeed at the highest level.
The Padres may have had to give up several pieces of their organization in return for Trammell, but it will definitely be worth it once he becomes a star in the major leagues.