Brewers-Indians Swap: The Lesser Names

Last week I wrote about the log jam in Milwaukee regarding prospects Mat Gamel and Matt LaPorta. Well, Milwaukee solved part of that issue now that the organization has sent LaPorta to the Indians as part of the trade for C.C. Sabathia. Since we have already taken a look at the big-named prospect, let’s have a look-see at the other prospects in the deal.

Zach Jackson, LHP, Triple-A
Jackson was originally drafted 32nd overall by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2004 out of Texas A&M. At the time, he was considered an advanced college arm with a limited ceiling. Unfortunately, the latter part was true but the former was not, as Jackson has yet to solidify a big league role in five pro seasons. The 25-year-old southpaw has terrible Triple-A numbers this season, including a 7.85 ERA and 81 hits allowed in 57.1 innings split between the starting rotation and the bullpen. In his MLB career, Jackson has allowed 53 hits in 42 innings and has posted a strikeout rate of just 4.93 K/9.

Rob Bryson, RHP, A-ball
Bryson was a 31st round selection in the 2006 draft out of a Delaware high school. He has bounced back and forth between the starting rotation and the bullpen during his two seasons in the minors and has good numbers this year. He currently has allowed 43 hits in 55 innings and has struck out 77 batters. He is an extreme fly ball pitcher with a ground out to air out ratio of 0.87. He has a low-90s fastball, breaking ball and change-up.

Taylor Green, 3B, High-A (Rumored to be the Player to be Named Later)
Green, 21, was a find in the 25th round of the 2005 draft out of a community college. The left-handed hitting Canadian struggled in his debut as a 19-year-old second baseman in Rookie ball and hit .231/.328/.308 in 221 at-bats. He was moved up to A-ball in 2007 (and over to the hot corner) and thrived with a line of .327/.406/.516 with 14 homers and 86 RBI in 397 at-bats. So far this season, Green is performing well at High-A ball and currently has a line of .295/.380/.444 with 10 homers in 302 at-bats. He also has a BB-K rate of 1.00. His strikeout rate has dropped from 16.4 percent in 2007 to 13.8 in 2008.

At first glance it does not appear that Cleveland received a ton of value in this trade, with the majority of the talent locked up in one player: Matt LaPorta. But one must consider that the Brewers may have Sabathia’s services for just three months, if he elects to leave via free agency this winter. LaPorta is also a very talented player and has Travis Hafner-in-his-prime upside and can now be moved back to first base or spend time as a designated hitter.

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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospect analysis. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

4 Responses to “Brewers-Indians Swap: The Lesser Names”

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  1. Steve says:

    Hey Marc,

    What are your thoughts on the other possible guys for the PTBNL, Lorenzo Cain and Michael Brantley? I would probably rank them in order of Green, Brantly, then Cain. Green’s offense at 2B (where the Tribe likes him) seems to give him the edge.


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  2. Marc Hulet says:

    I am a Brantley fan and if you look back I wrote about him last week – although he could very well end up being a fourth outfielder. Cain is too raw for me… but he is definitely skilled. I am not sure Green has the power for third or the defensive/athletic ability to play second every day.

    If I were choosing I would go: Brantley, Green, Cain.

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    The rule is not to talk about money with people who have much more or much less than you.

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    Real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love.

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