MINORS: Traded prospects, Class of 2012, Pt. 1

A primer on prospects (those who have not appeared in MLB) traded during the 2012 season.

July 29

Bobby Borchering, OF/3B
Traded from ARI to HOU in Chris Johnson deal
2012 stats: .247/.310/.469 with 20 HR and 23 doubles in 384 AB
Current age/level: 21, Double-A Mobile
Summary: Borchering is known for his raw power—and massive strikeout totals (123 in 102 games in 2012). Drafted as a third baseman with the Diamondbacks’ first-round pick in 2009, he had been passed on the ARI depth chart by Matt Davidson and converted to the outfield in 2012. He spent most of 2012 repeating High-A, and has struggled since his mid-season promotion to Double-A (.391 OPS). He ranked #12 in our preseason Arizona Organizational Report.
Immediate future: He’ll head to Double-A Corpus Christi, where the Astros intend to return him to third base.

Marc Krauss, OF
Traded from ARI to HOU in Chris Johnson deal
2012 stats: .280/.413/.506 with 15 HR and 29 doubles in 346 AB
Current age/level: 24, Double-A Mobile
Summary: Krauss looked like he was on the fast track until he stalled in 2011 at Double-A (.779 OPS). He’s rebounded in 2012, reclaiming the power-and-patience profile of his previous seasons. The problem is he’s already 24 years old, and his average arm limits him to LF. Kraus is a major-leaguer, but a platoon outfielder seems like his upside. He ranked #13 in our preseason Arizona Organizational Report.
Immediate future: He’ll report to Double-A Corpus Christi, where the Astros will soon be able to field a entire team of traded prospects. The club indicated that he’ll likely end the year in Triple-A.

 

July 27

Johnny Hellweg, RHP
Traded from LAA to MIL in Greinke deal
2012 stats: 3.38 ERA, 4.5 Ctl, 6.6 Dom, 1.5 Cmd in 119.2 IP (21 GS)
Current age/level: 23, Double-A Arkansas
Summary: Hellweg’s size (6-9, 210) is usually the first thing one notices about him, and it’s both a strength and a detriment. At his best, he creates a huge downward plane to the plate and has the leverage to pump consistent mid-90s fastballs and a good breaking ball at the hitter. At his worst, his long limbs get out of sync and he has trouble throwing strikes. His huge drop in Dom this season is worth watching (it was 11.3 in 2011); he only converted to a starter in mid-season 2011. He ranked #9 on our preseason Anaheim Organizational Report.
Immediate future: He’ll join the Double-A Huntsville rotation.

Ariel Pena, RHP
Traded from LAA to MIL in Greinke deal
2012 stats: 2.99 ERA, 3.3 Ctl, 8.7 Dom, 2.6 Cmd in 114.1 IP (19 GS)
Current age/level: 23, Double-A Arkansas
Summary: Pena has improved his status in 2012 by throwing more strikes. He features lively two- and four-seam fastballs, a hard slider, and is working on his change-up. If the change continues to develop and he sustains his control, he has #3 starter potential. He has excellent size (6-3, 190); some also see him as a two-pitch relief reliever.
Immediate future: He’ll join the Double-A Huntsville rotation.

 

July 25

Robbie Grossman, OF
Traded from PIT to HOU in Wandy Rodriguez deal
2012 stats: .266/.378/.406 with 7 HR and 20 doubles in 350 AB
Current age/level: 22, Double-A Altoona
Summary: Grossman vaulted up prospect lists this past offseason after a .294/.418/.451 year in Hi-A in 2011. He was repeating a level, though, and he’s struggled to maintain that pace a Double-A. Certainly has a great eye at the plate (career OBP of .379), but can be too passive, and scouts doubt whether he’ll hit with enough power at the MLB level to be a regular. He does have a bit of speed, though he’s been caught (10) more times than he’s been successful (9) in 2012. He ranked #7 in our pre-season Pittsburgh Organizational Reports.
Immediate future: He will report to Double-A Corpus Christi.

Colton Cain, LHP
Traded from PIT to HOU in Wandy Rodriguez deal
2012 stats: 4.20 ERA, 3.0 Ctl, 6.2 Dom, 2.0 Cmd in 75 IP (16 GS)
Current age/level: 21, High-A Bradenton
Summary: As the youngest player in this deal, Cain probably provides the most upside. But his stagnation at High-A has to be at least a bit troubling. With a low-90s fastball with movement, a bit of a deceptive delivery and a curve and change-up with potential, the Pirates probably expected a bit more, especially in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. However, at his age and with his good size (6-3, 225), he’s worth a flyer in a deal like this. He ranked #11 in our pre-season Pittsburgh Organizational Reports.
Immediate future: Cain will pitch in the High-A Lancaster rotation.

Rudy Owens, LHP
Traded from PIT to HOU in Wandy Rodriguez deal
2012 stats: 3.14  ERA, 1.9 Ctl, 6.5 Dom, 3.4 Cmd in 117.1 IP (19 GS)
Current age/level: 24, Triple-A Indianapolis
Summary: Owens, profiled in our WatchList column in early May, has improved in his second season at Triple-A Indianapolis after a tough 2011 (5.05 ERA). His low-90s fastball has returned, and though his secondary pitches aren’t flashy, he commands them all. He’s a big-league starter at the back of a rotation.
Immediate future: He’s been added to the 40-man roster and assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, but it will be a surprise if he doesn’t get the call for at least a cup of coffee with Houston in the next two months.

Scott McGough, RHP
Traded from LA to MIA in Hanley Ramirez deal
2012 stats: 3.99 ERA, 4.9 Ctl, 9.1 Dom, 1.8 Cmd in 47.1 IP (35 G)
Current age/level: 22, Hi-A Rancho Cucamonga
Summary: McGough was a fifth-round selection in 2011 and has spent his pro career exclusively in relief.  Impressive in just 20 IP in Low-A Midwest League after being drafted (11.0 Dom, 4.2 Cmd), he’s had trouble with walks in 2012 in High-A. Has a 92-94 mph fastball, but command of his slider comes and goes. Prospect status is fringy at best.
Immediate future: Will report to High-A Jupiter.

 

July 23

Rob Brantly, C
Traded from DET to MIA in Sanchez/Infante deal
2012 stats: .287/.332/.387 with 3 HR and 20 doubles in 334 AB
Current age/level: 22, Triple-A Toledo
Summary: Brantly (shown above) was a college catcher taken in the third round in 2010, and after mostly uninspiring stops in the low minors, blossomed early this season at Double-A Erie. Brantly consistently squares up balls with a short, left-handed swing that currently produces gap-to-gap power. He’s adequate defensively, though he’s struggled at the plate a bit since his promotion to Triple-A in June.
Immediate future: If he continues to improve at Triple-A New Orleans, Brantly could get a cup of coffee in September and would be in line for at least a bench job next spring.

Brian Flynn, LHP
Traded from DET to MIA in Sanchez/Infante deal
2012 stats: 3.95 ERA, 2.9 Ctl, 7.3 Dom, 2.6 Cmd in 107 IP (19 GS)
Current age/level: 22, Double-A Erie
Summary: Flynn is a big southpaw (6-8, 239) who doesn’t get as many strikeouts as his stuff (low-90s FB with movement) would indicate. Still working on his secondaries, Flynn was a 2011 draft pick and has spent most of this season in high-A. He gets good angle on his pitches, and though he could turn out as a back-end starter, he could also be useful out of the bullpen.
Immediate future: Flynn will report to Double-A Jackson.

Danny Farquhar, RHP
Traded from NYY to SEA in Ichiro Suzuki deal
2012 stats: 3.33 ERA, 2.8 Ctl, 9.5 Dom, 3.4 Cmd in 51.1 IP (32 G)
Current age/level: 25, Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre
Summary: Farquhar is a small (5-9, 180) reliever who collects strikeouts mainly from deception and altering his arm angle. His control has been a problem until this season and it remains to be seen whether he can get big-league hitters out. The fact that SEA will be his fourth organization already this season seems to mean clubs have doubts.
Immediate future: Farquhar will report to Triple-A Tacoma, with an outside shot of seeing action with SEA later this season.

 

July 21

Matt Heidenreich, RHP
Traded from CHW to HOU in Brett Myers deal
2012 stats: 3.95 ERA, 1.5 Ctl, 5.7 Dom, 3.9 Cmd in 111.2 IP (18 GS)
Current age/level: 21, Double-A Birmingham
Summary: Heidenreich is a lanky starter with good control. He possesses a low-90s fastball and average change-up, but his breaking ball, a slider, needs work. With his age and size (6-5, 185), there's still some hope for physical development, but he's not been a power pitcher to this point. Spent 15 starts in high-A, then three in Double-A.
Immediate future: Heidenreich will become a part of the Double-A Corpus Christi rotation.

Blair Walters, LHP
Traded from CHW to HOU in Brett Myers deal
2012 stats: 3.96 ERA, 2.0 Ctl, 8.6 Dom, 4.2 Cmd in 97.2 IP (18 GS)
Current age/level: 22, HIgh-A Winston Salem
Summary: Walters was an 11th round pick in 2011 out of the University of Hawaii, and went 9-0 with a 4.2 Cmd in rookie ball after he signed last year. In 2012, he spent 13 starts in Low-A (2.88 ERA) and then was was moved up to High-A in June. At 6-0, 200, Walters features a low-90s sinking fastball, a slider and change-up, and throws strikes. He'll need to prove himself at every level, but has handled each new challenge so far.
Immediate future: Walters will get his next test in the high-octane California League and report to High-A Lancaster.

 

July 20

Asher Wojciechowski, RHP
Traded from TOR to HOU in J.A. Happ deal
2012 stats: 3.57 ERA, 2.1 Ctl, 7.3 Dom, 3.4 Cmd in 93.1 IP (18 GS)
Current age/level: 23, High-A Dunedin
Summary: Wojciechowski was a first round supplemental pick in the 2010 draft. A big-bodied (6-4, 235) starter, he has improved his numbers in his second tour of the FSL. Already with a plus fastball and slider, his change-up has developed in 2012 and his future role will depend on the development of that third pitch. Could be either a mid-rotation starter or a very good two-pitch reliever.
Immediate future: Given that Wojciechowski seemed to be on the verge of a promotion with TOR; it wouldn't surprise to see him assigned to Double-A Corpus Christi.

Joe Musgrove, RHP
Traded from TOR to HOU in J.A. Happ deal
2012 stats: 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 9 K, 0 BB in 2 appearances
Current age/level: 19, rookie-level Bluefield
Summary: Musgrove was a first round supplemental pick in 2011, and has only thrown 32.2 IP as a pro. From a large 6-5, 230 lb. frame, he sports a heavy sinking fastball, a loose slurve and a split-change. Held back in extended spring training in 2012, has projection due to his size and youth. Musgrove was the #12 prospect in BHQ's 2012 TOR Organization Report.
Immediate future: He's a long way from from the majors, and will likely report to Houston's GCL rookie squad.

In addition, David Rollins (LHP) and Carlos Perez (C) moved from TOR to HOU. Rollins, 22, is a sinker/slider pitcher with a 8.7 Dom in the Low-A Midwest League. Though he has a 2.78 ERA in 18 starts, he's likely to end up as a reliever. Perez is a 21-year-old catcher who had some success in rookie and short-season ball several years ago who struggled with the bat at Low-A in 2011. This season, he repeated the level, and while he has improved (.797 OPS), he remains mainly a defense-first player—though due to organizational depth, his road to the majors in HOU will be smoother than in TOR.

 

July 5

Matt Dominguez, 3B
Traded from MIA to HOU in Carlos Lee deal
2012 stats: .234/.291/.357 with 7 HR in 286 AB
Current age/level: 22, Triple-A New Orleans
Summary: A whiz with the glove, Dominguez still has to prove he can hit enough to hold down a full-time MLB job (.252 career BA in the minors). Has not shown much progress with the bat, and was blocked by Hanley Ramirez in MIA.
Immediate future: Was placed on Houston's MLB roster and will get the chance to unseat Chris Johnson (3B, HOU). Defense-first profile results in little current fantasy value.

Rob Rasmussen, LHP
Traded from MIA to HOU in Carlos Lee deal
2012 stats: 3.90 ERA, 3.7 Ctl, 7.7 Dom, 2.1 Cmd in 87.2 IP (16 GS)
Current age/level: 23, High-A Jupiter
Summary: Rasmussen was a 2nd round pick from UCLA in the 2010 draft who has shown some promise and improved his control in 2012. Though not overpowering, has a four-pitch mix highlighted by a plus slider.
Immediate future: Rasmussen will become a part of the Double-A Corpus Christi rotation.

 

June 30

Gabriel Lino, C
Traded from BAL to PHI in the Jim Thome deal
2012 stats: .224/.288/.348 with 4 HR in 201 AB
Current age/level: 19, Low-A Delmarva
Summary: Raw teenager whose defense is ahead of his bat right now--he struck out 61 times in 55 games. Did hit .339 in April, and showed a good approach in the GCL in 2011, but has struggled to adjust to full-season ball.
Immediate future: Lino will report to low-A Lakewood and become the everyday catcher there. He's a project at this point.

Kyle Simon, RHP
Traded from BAL to PHI in the Jim Thome deal
2012 stats: 3.47 ERA, 2.6 Ctl, 6.1 Dom, 2.3 Cmd in 72.2 IP (14 GS)
Current age/level: 21, High-A Frederick
Summary: Fourth round pick in 2011 from University of Arizona, Simon is 6-5, 225 but not overpowering. Assets include deception and movement on his pitches. Seen more as a back-of-the-rotation guy than a difference-maker.
Immediate future: The Phillies assigned him to Double-A Reading; a test for pitcher who rose from short-season ball exactly one year ago.


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.