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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.