Trade Deadline Prospects Ranked, Part 1

At the expiration of the Major League Baseball trading deadline, 35 prospects had changed hands (beginning July 19 with Milwaukee’s acquisition of Felipe Lopez). Over the next week, FanGraphs will take a look at each prospect, while also ranking them individually in value from 35 down to one. Players such as Justin Masterson, Clayton Richard, Kevin Hart, and Jeff Clement were not considered in this list because they have expired their rookie eligibility. However, they can still technically be considered “prospects” because they are young and have yet to establish themselves at the MLB level.

As a teaser for the final rankings, the Top 5 winning organizations in terms of prospect value are: 1. Cleveland, 2. Oakland, 3. Toronto, 4. Pittsburgh, 5. Baltimore.

  • 35. Vinny Rottino, IF/C
    Milwaukee to Los Angeles NL

    A 29-year-old rookie, Rottino is your basic triple-A vet and emergency MLB fill-in. The right-handed hitter has some value because he has gap power and can serve as a third-string catcher.

  • 34. Chase Weems, IF/C
    From New York AL to Cincinnati

    A raw, left-handed-hitting catcher, Weems was expendable in New York because of Jesus Montero and Austin Romine. It’s a nice low-risk, high-reward trade that saw vet Jerry Hairston Jr. move to The Big Apple. Weems, 20, strikes out a lot (31.8 K% in 2009).

  • 33. Roque Mercedes, RHP
    From Milwaukee to Arizona

    Mercedes, 22, was acquired in the Felipe Lopez deal. The right-hander is in his first season in the bullpen. He’s allowed just 26 hits in 41.2 innings, but he’s been helped by a .264 BABIP. Mercedes has a nice fastball/slider combo and is slowly adding ticks to the heater.

  • 32. Josh Harrison, 2B
    From Chicago NL to Pittsburgh

    A minor-league utility player who plays mainly second base, third base and left field, Harrison had a .337 average in low-A but was old-ish for the league at 21. He has some speed and doesn’t strike out much, but he also has no power and doesn’t walk.

  • 31. Tyler Ladendorf, SS
    From Minnesota to Oakland

    Ladendorf entered pro ball from junior college with the reputation of being an offensive-minded shortstop. With the exception of a 17-game stretch in rookie ball earlier this year, though, he has yet to hit much. He does have time on his side at just 21 years of age.

  • 30. Lucas French, LHP
    From Detroit to Seattle

    From one spacious park to another, French has the ceiling of a No. 4 or 5 starter but he could end up being a long-term middle reliever. The 23-year-old southpaw has been an extreme fly-ball pitcher in his brief MLB career to date (29.1 innings).

  • 29. Adam Russell, RHP
    From Chicago AL to San Diego

    A former starter, Russell has responded well to the move to the pen. He has a mid-90s fastball and a good slider but lacks control. At the age of 26, time is not the side of this 6’8” 255 lbs hurler. Right-handers are hitting just .178 and he has a very good ground-ball rate.

    Check back tomorrow for prospects 28-22.




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

    31 Responses to “Trade Deadline Prospects Ranked, Part 1”

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    1. Dave Davidson fan says:

      Does Alderson get top billing, or Wallace?

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      • Mike says:

        Keith Law had Alderson #9.

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        • Dave Davidson fan says:

          He likes the former Reds bullpen arms better. I still can’t get too excited about relief prospects, but if Alderson’s stuff doesn’t recover by next year then we could have a problem.

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    2. MPAUL says:

      gotta be wallace

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    3. Nick says:

      Prediction:

      5. Knapp
      4. Masterson
      3. Hagadone
      2. Alderson
      1. Wallace

      maybe flip 2/3 if they wanna be bold.

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      • jfish26101 says:

        They said Masterson isn’t eligible.

        I’d probably go with Wallace, Alderson, Knapp, Stewart, Carter but after a few days to look at all the prospects that changed hands, I don’t think any of these guys are going to be huge impact guys at the major league level and every single one of them has considerable question marks at the moment.

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    4. Dave Davidson fan says:

      How would Toronto have more prospect value than Pittsburgh? What else did they do besides the Scott Rolen deal?

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      • jfish26101 says:

        I’m sort of curious about this as well. Do they really like Stewart/Roenicke that much? I don’t see how they are ranked that high.

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    5. Marc says:

      You’ll just have to check back on Friday… :)

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    6. Jamie says:

      this is a pretty cool article/series.

      while people crap on the indians side of the cliff lee deal, they really did get good players.

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    7. Matthew says:

      how OVERRATED is wallace.. This guy is a singles hitter. I dont get why everyone thinks hes is so great. The only more overrated prospect is now in the major is Clay buchholz.

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      • Matthew says:

        Also forgot to mention he has no defensive position. So you got a singles hitter with no defense

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      • MJ says:

        Just curious why you consider Clay Buchholz overrated. Given his MiLB numbers and his raw stuff, you seem to be in a hurry to write him off after only 118 MLB innings.

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        • Matthew says:

          he gets all the Hype as being the next great thing.. a ACE that will never be traded, He gets a 10 run lead and cant hold it to get the lead. he walks people and gets hit hard. He is overrated

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        • Fresh Hops says:

          Classic case of a big market team prospect getting a lot of attention that because his team has a ton of fans. Basically, people are using the availability heuristic. There’s no way he’s as good as (for example) Tommy Hanson, but he gets tons of hype. He’s maybe a No. 3 SP, but you’d think he was a future ace from the way people talk about him. To get an idea of what a future ace looks like, see Josh Beckett’s MiLB stats. Buchholz throws like a girl by comparison.

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    8. de la F. says:

      Nice idea. This list would be much more helpful with a bit of context — what level is this player at now, what’s his ETA. Some of the listings refer to this vaguely but it’d be much more helpful broken out in some way. Thanks.

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    9. Marc says:

      I can understand that… but you can also click on each player’s name and see exactly which level he’s at.

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      • de la F. says:

        Thanks, but it’s like providing references on a resume. A great way to not make people go that extra step for you is to say “references on request.” The whole point is to make it easier on people to enjoy your material, hire you, whatever.

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    10. aaron says:

      so ladendorf has time on his side as a 21 year old struggling in a ball, but harrison has been doing well for longer at the same level and same age and he is oldish?

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    11. Shush says:

      I love how only one prospect on this list actually has had success at the MLB level against real MLB players, and he’s at #30. The rest of these dudes must be studs.

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    12. Justin says:

      Alderson’s recent dip in stuff has caused many scouts to re-rank him lower on their list(s).

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    13. scott says:

      Ya I keep seeing that alderson is topping out in the mid 80′s lately whereas not long ago he was a low 90′s pitcher. Which was why he was considered a more valuable commodity just a little while ago, and partially explains why the giants gave him away for absolutely nothing (although you’d think they’d want to try and figure his velocity problems out but what do I know).

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      • thatotherguy says:

        Actually, the explanation for why the Giants gave him away for practically nothing can be given in two words. Brian Sabean.

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    14. Nick says:

      “Classic case of a big market team prospect getting a lot of attention that because his team has a ton of fans. Basically, people are using the availability heuristic. There’s no way he’s as good as (for example) Tommy Hanson, but he gets tons of hype. He’s maybe a No. 3 SP, but you’d think he was a future ace from the way people talk about him. To get an idea of what a future ace looks like, see Josh Beckett’s MiLB stats. Buchholz throws like a girl by comparison.”

      You might wanna look at Buchholz’s numbers in 2007. You are espousing a complete myth based on his poor performance so far in the majors.

      Hanson in 389 minor league innings:
      463 K, 136 BB, 32 HR, 1.04 WHIP

      Buchholz in 443.1
      506 K, 125 BB, 31 HR, 1.00 WHIP

      and just for fun

      Josh Beckett in 216 innings
      295 K, 51 BB, 13 HR, .89 WHIP

      And by the way, Tommy Hanson got plenty of hype. The fact that Buchholz threw a no-hitter in his SECOND start and got a ton of hype has nothing to do with pitching for the Red Sox.

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