Prospect Talk

Prospects Traded at the Deadline! (American League Teams edition)

What a flurry of deals last week at the trade deadline! TDG team is here to introduce you to some of the prospects moved, and in some cases talk a bit about how their value is affected. A supporting post of prospects dealt to National League teams should get published later this week – Enjoy!

Beck Way, RHP RoyalsKen Balderston – A part of the Andrew Benintendi deal, Way offers a big fastball and middling secondaries. Combined with suspect command and some below-average home run rates, we may see Way find his ‘way’ to the pen. This is probably not a player worth adding except in the deepest of leagues.

T.J. Sikkema, LHP Royals Ryan Felix Fernandes –  Also, part of the Benintendi deal Sikkema, a former first-round draft pick from 2019 is the wildcard of the package sent to the Royals. After the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season, Sikkema missed all of the 2021 minor league season as well because of shoulder and lat issues that didn’t require surgery. After missing the beginning of the 2022 season because of those same issues he finally debuted in A Ball. In this small sample size he flashed why the Yankees drafted him in the first round with 10 starts under his belt he compiled 54 strikeouts with 9 walks in 36.1 innings garnering an ERA of 2.48 and a 0.83 WHIP. By performing that well he established just enough value to pretty much set himself up to be traded. Couple that with being Rule 5 eligible (a year early for some reason) after this season. The Yankees would have been forced to put Sikkema on the 40-man roster who only pitched 31 innings in A ball. A team that is looking to win now couldn’t take a chance in having a player with that limited experience take up a spot on the 40-man, but the Royals sure can. He was promoted to Double-A right after the trade and will have an opportunity to make the Royal’s roster next spring training. He is worth keeping an eye on your watchlist next year because he has a real shot at making the Royals roster and is projected to be a mid-tier starting pitcher from what both Royal and Yankee scouts have seen this season. 

Chandler Champlain, RHP Royals – Ryan Felix Fernandes – The last piece of the Benintendi package is Champlain who was drafted last year in the 9th round out of USC and has been pitching in Low-A ball this season before being part of the package for Benintendi. With a four-pitch mix of a fastball that tops at 97mph, curve, cutter-slider, and an above-average changeup. He throws strikes with 94 strikeouts and only 19 walks in 73 ⅓ innings this season and has thrown 70% strikes so he can fill up the zone. He will continue to pitch in A ball with the Royals and will continue to be a starting pitcher. A guy who can throw pretty hard, throw for strikes, keep walks low, and has gotten better from each start he should be an intriguing guy to watch the next couple of seasons. 

Cade Povich, LHP OriolesKen Balderston – A 6’3” lefty out of Nebraska in the 2021 FYPD, Povich offers a middling fastball but a curve and change with the potential to be above average to plus, while also potentially having plus command. He’s struck out almost 32% of hitters at High A adding intrigue to what the Orioles (yes… the Orioles) can get out of his abilities.

Juan Rojas, LHP Orioles Ken Balderston – Rojas has been awfully difficult to hit in the CPX league, with 41 strikeouts in under 32 innings, only 7 walks, and a 0.98 WHIP. He’s already seeing half his appearances in the pen, at least he was pre-trade with the Twins, so there’s ample bullpen risk. 

Yennier Cano, RHP Orioles Ken Balderston – Having already thrown 17 ⅔ big league innings for the Twins pre-trade, and only starting one game in his professional career, it’s safe to label Cano a bullpen arm. He’s been effective, but not dominant through the minors, so while he could see plenty of innings for the Orioles, they might well be in low leverage situations.

Juan Nunez, RHP OriolesKen Balderston –  Nunez has been playing in the complex league but is a bit older at 21. He’s starting most appearances but allowing a few runs, 4.41 ERA, but also impressive strikeout rates, with 52 in 33 innings. His BABIP was .362 pre-trade, with a LOB% of 55%, so he’s either been incredibly unlucky when allowing contact… or when hitters make contact it’s hard contact. It really doesn’t matter because except in the deepest of deep leagues, Nunez is a scout team watch at best.

Kris Anglin, LHP TigersKen Balderston – The Tigers were not likely to get much value for Robbie Grossman, but at least they got something. Anglin’s primary pitch is a high 80’s fastball that must have good spin rates as he manages to get swing and misses with it. Kris also offers a slider, curve, and change, the ladder he only uses sparingly. There are command concerns, and after walking 19 batters in 30 innings at A ball, Anglin was demoted back to the FCL prior to the trade. But at least the Tigers got something for Robbie Grossman.  

Mark Mathias, INF RangersKen Balderston – Listed as an infielder on at the age of 28, Mathias was hitting .318/.422./512 prior to the trade, all of which far exceed his career marks. There’s really not much to see here as Mathias screams utility player at the highest level.

Antoine Kelly, LHP RangersChris Knock – Thoracic Outlet surgery slowed down Antoine Kelly’s ascent into being the next Brewers pitching development win. Moving to Arlington will likely give him a quicker timeline to the Show but will likely also hamper reaching his ceiling of mid-rotation. 30.7% K-rate in High-A means a likely fireman reliever if he can get the free passes in check. All in all, this trade drops his dynasty value a bit I think.

Enmanuel Valdez, UTL Red SoxKen Balderston – Despite not having a defensive home, Valdez was really raking at AA & AAA prior to being dealt. At 23 he’s combined to hit 23 home runs through 86 games, 78K and 49 walks, and a triple slash of .324/.410/.611. This was nearly all done in friendly hitting environments of the Astros system, but if we’re just looking for proximity and production, Valdez checks a lot of boxes.

Wilyer Abreu, OF Red SoxKen Balderston – Abreu is an intriguing under-the-radar talent with some power and in-game speed. His swing and miss is offset by a willingness to take walks logging him a .398 OPB in 333 plate appearances this season, with 15 home runs and 23 RBI. If you’re adding players based on proximity and roto stats alone, you could do far worse than Wilyer Abreu.

Ken Waldichuk, LHP Athletics – Ryan Felix Fernandes – Traded to Oakland in the Frankie Montas deal, Waldichuk is the best pitching prospect traded this year during the deadline.  He has a deceptive delivery with a ¾ slot that has made it difficult for hitters to really square up on. He is not going to overpower with his pitches, but he has had an uptick with his velocity this year going up to a 94-96 mph range on his fastball. He did ditch his two-seamer this season for a four-seamer and has credited taking care of his body along with a new program on his off days to the increase in velocity. He is probably already rostered in your league being a top 100 prospect and being a part of the future’s game so I’m pretty sure I am not going to tell you anything new. He is projected to be a mid-tier starting pitcher and isn’t that far off from joining the major league roster. Oakland might manipulate his service time to keep him for an extra year (MLB players union really needs to do something about that rule) under his rookie contract. But, if Oakland stays in the Oakland Coliseum for a couple of more years the A’s can just trade him back to the Yankees for more prospects before he becomes a free agent and I can write about those guys. Waldichuk is worth adding to your fantasy team if he is a free agent. If you are out of the playoffs and need to rebuild he is someone you should target if you have a mid-tier aging veteran player who won’t be part of your rebuild. 

Luis Medina, RHP AthleticsKen Balderston – Medina has been an intriguing name for several years thanks to his plus stuff. His fastball and curve are both ranked as 70 pitch potentials on Fangraphs and he’s consistently struck out over 10 batters per nine in the minors. The downside is the command, consistently walking over 5 per 9 in the pandemic era. The spotty command has also limited how deep he can get into games, sitting under 4 ⅓ per start on the season. Medina has the stuff to be a great major league regular, but as he works his way through the upper minors, it’s fair to wonder if he better profiles as a very good bullpen piece.

JP Sears, LHP AthleticsRyan Felix Fernandes –  Known for his satirical YouTube videos. He is pretty damn funny… you should watch the video he does about recession. Oh wait, there is another dude named JP Sears? Damn Google! I wondered why he didn’t at least throw a baseball in one of those videos to gauge his velocity. Sorry but seriously this YouTube guy can be the Bizarro Carrot Top who only jokes about politics is pretty funny so I will do this really quickly so I can go back to watching Bizarro Carrot Top guy’s videos. Ok! I’m back and now after watching the baseball player JP Sears tape on YouTube it makes a lot more sense to me now that the A’s wanted him in the Montes package. He has had pretty good numbers in the minors and when called up to the majors before the trade he has a 3-0 record with a 2.05 ERA and 0.86 WHIP to show. He has been primarily used as a starter, but when brought up to Yankees he was used for spot starts and relief. His stuff projects as a middle reliever since his pitch mix is nothing overpowering or way above average. Every pitch he throws the ball looks like it rises (to me) even though it doesn’t seem like his slot or release point looks low or even side arm so he has a pretty deceptive delivery. While his stuff will not overpower hitters and there is always the possibility of hitters figuring out his delivery with more tape on him when he progresses through his major league career. It looks like he will be a good spot starter and middle innings guy which is an essential position to any rotation. Just not a real asset to a fantasy team unless he becomes elite. He was sent down to Triple-A when he joined the A’s after the trade. 

Cooper Bowman 2B AthleticsRyan Felix Fernandes –  I don’t know… I just picture Jonah Hill making that face while he balls his hand to make a fist from that Moneyball scene when they were making the Montes trade and told Brian Cashman to add Bowman to the package as a sweetener. Everything I read and saw on YouTube makes me a fan of his. A really pretty and compact swing, rarely makes errors in the field, and a very capable table setter. His minor league numbers aren’t anything special except for his stolen bases going 36/41 this season. He has a Mark Ellis comp which is pretty damn good! I think Bowman has more speed and will be more of a factor on the bases. He should be a good major league player who will be a key contributor to a winning team when the A’s get there. *cough* when the move to Vegas *cough* I really like him as a player, but he won’t be a fantasy guy unless he hits like he did back in college and he won’t be on anyone’s radar for another year or two if he does. He will probably be a guy in the free agent pool of your league a couple of years from now who you will pick up to plug in your lineup when your team has a couple of injuries and he will get you points. 

Jayden Murray, RHP AstrosChris Knock – I’m always nervous when Tampa trades away prospects. Murray has been on my radar as a control/weak contact artist but lacks the strikeouts so far in his development. Houston knows a thing or two about fastball/slider pitchers so he could really pop at a moment’s notice. This trade could be a good move for him. 

Seth Johnson RHP OriolesKen Balderston – Seth Johnson has premium stuff, striking out 13.66/9 in 7 starts this year at A+, and over 11 per 9 last year in A ball. The problem is he’s scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery and is already 23 years old. If you like to sprinkle in some risk with your prospect medley, in hopes of reaping big rewards, Johnson will appeal to you.

Chayce McDermott, RHP OriolesKen Balderston – Pros: 114 strikeouts in 72 innings at A+. A mid 90’s fastball topping out at 98, and two promising secondaries, a low 80’s slider and a mid 70’s curve. A cool first name. Cons: Command, walking 5.38 per 9 this year despite being old for the level at 23. He also had some trouble staying on the field in college. If you believe major league starters are developed, not born, keep an eye on McDermott. He has the stuff and is athletic enough to put it all together one day.

Jeremy Walker, RHP RaysRyan Felix FernandesAn addition by subtraction move that was made to free up a spot on the 40-man roster for the Rays by sending IF Ford Proctor to the Giants. Walker will not take a spot on the 40-man roster and be sent to Triple-A. Walker hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2019 and probably won’t in 2022 with the numbers he had this season with a 6.88 ERA in 28 appearances with the Giants Triple-A team. He has a funky low slot delivery who got rocked in Triple-A who no team probably would want so I am sure the Rays found their next stud arm for their bullpen at some point, but not this year.

Sawyer Gipson-Long, RHP TigersRyan Felix Fernandes –  When I saw this name on the list I thought maybe this guy from the 1880s and Tigers’ GM Al Avila got Syd Thrifted. But, to my surprise, Gipson-Long is only 24 and doesn’t rock a handlebar mustache (He did have a mustache a couple of years ago so bring it back!). At 24 and pitching in A ball can’t be a good sign. From what I read he is losing velocity since he was drafted so he relies on his only plus offering which is his slider. The Tigers seem to be throwing darts at pitchers now. With Tark Skubal going on the injured list for a fatigued arm (which can’t be good) and with how badly it has gone in the majors for Matt Manning and Casey Mize (along with his injury). They really got to hope the next wave of arms in Jackson Jobe, Ty Madden, and Dylan Smith can right the ship in 2024 or 2025 when they are called up. In the meantime, guys like Gipson-Long will be the bridge till the next wave of pitching talent comes up in two to three years. Don’t expect anything from Gipson-Long unless he grows one of those mustaches from the 1880s then anything can happen! Look at Dylan Cease.. Coincidence I think not! 

Tucker Davidson, LHP AngelsChris Knock – The young lefty looks to be getting an opportunity in the 6-man rotation in Anaheim.  I think the lockdown really hampered his development. Since the 2020 season, he’s issued 25 walks in 37 MLB innings pitched. Before this he was more successful in limiting them, although the problem was noticeable then too. We’ll see what happens with the Angels but I’m not overly hopeful he corrects this in 2022. 

Alex De Jesus, 3B Blue JaysKen Balderston – Far more than a toss-in for the Jays, De Jesus offers well above average raw power but is known to have some swing and miss and hit tool concerns. He’s managed to keep both moderately in check so far at A+ in 2021, but at the expense of providing in-game power (.140 ISO). The trade might put him on people’s radars, but unless you’re in a seriously deep league there are plenty of players with this profile, so he shouldn’t be considered a must-add. 

Samad Taylor, 2B RoyalsKen Balderston – An old-school top-of-the-order bat, offering above average speed, good approach but with a hint of explosiveness. Taylor would be an ideal leadoff hitter on a team that loves to steal bases in KC. He’s slender at 5’10” and 160lbs but is wiry strong and able to power balls out when making good contact. Given he’s already at AAA, he’s a sneaky add if still available on waivers in your league.

Max Castillo, RHP RoyalsKen Balderston – Still considered a rookie despite pitching 20 innings including two starts for the Jays prior to being traded. Castillo had success in two upper minor stops this season, producing a 1.92 ERA and 64 strikeouts across 56 ⅓ innings at AA and AAA, but his low ¾ delivery, limited velocity, and minor league FIP numbers suggest a back-of-the-rotation starter, or maybe more likely a long reliever. 

Jadiel Sanchez, OF AngelsChris Knock – Sanchez is a player I profiled here as someone whose early May numbers looked as if they were about to pop. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to maintain the criteria we use for the article series, but he was still relatively successful producing a 101 wRC+ thus far. He’s 21 in Low A, so I have some hesitation fully buying in but a 17% K rate does support that he can hopefully move up the developmental ladder.  I still feel his future is still cloudy, but 6 home runs and a pair of stolen bases though still let me dream of that potential. 

Ian Hamilton, RHP Guardians Ryan Felix Fernandes In all likelihood will be used as depth for the Guardian’s bullpen. Hamilton was once a prospect the White Sox were going to count on when drafted with a four-seamer that touched triple digits and a nasty slider. He injured his shoulder in a car accident and later broke his jaw from a line drive in 2019 with the White Sox organization. The dude is definitely tough! His fastball still reaches 97 mph, a power slider, and a changeup for a decent three-pitch mix. He put up good numbers in Triple-A this season with a 1.88 ERA and 0.84 WHIP with 36 Ks in 28 innings that led to a call-up to the Twins in June, but was sent right back down to Triple-A after one appearance. The Guardians tend to find a way to maximize a guy like Hamilton and can be a good addition, but nothing in regards to fantasy value, but don’t tell him I said that because I’m sure he could beat the hell out of me taking line drives to the jaw. 

Logan O’Hoppe, C AngelsChris Knock – Not a premier catching prospect entering the 2022 season, O’Hoppe sure has made a name for himself while repeating Double A this season. He’s hit 15 home runs while walking at a 13% clip and striking out 16.5% of his plate appearances this year. He’s very pull-centric in his spray, but that shift is going away. His receiving skills will keep him behind the plate and the Angels only have org depth above him after sending him to their Double A affiliate after the trade. I don’t like rostering many catcher prospects, but proximity and solid floor make him a strong consideration pending your league’s depth. 

Clayton Beeter, YankeesRyan Felix Fernandes – The Yankees were able to parlay Joey Gallo into a prospect like Beeter who was a 2nd round pick just two years ago. So my first question to myself is what is wrong with Beeter? I’m a sucker for pitchers who throw with an overhand slot and can tunnel all of their pitches which he does. Every report I found about him said his fastball is his best pitch that ranges between 93-96 mph and maxes out at 98 mph. When I saw his tape I became a fan of his 12-6 curve that he throws in the low 80s with a high spin rate. He really baffles hitters with it and it just drops in the strike zone. I dare say Zito-like but from the right side. So again I ask myself what is wrong with him? He has been groomed to be a starter from what the Dodgers have been doing with him since they drafted him in 2020. I figure the Yankees will do the same, but if it doesn’t pan out for some reason. He will be a really good weapon to come out of the bullpen which seems to be an even more important role in the Bronx nowadays. His minor league numbers don’t jump out of the page and he still hasn’t won a game in his professional career so maybe that is what is wrong with him? I’ll have him on my watch list for my fantasy teams to see how he progresses and whether the Yankees will continue him as a starter or move him into a relief role. But, more importantly I’m going to watch him to find out what is wrong with him….

Max Ferguson, 2B Red SoxRyan Felix Fernandes –  I am in no means an expert or claiming I know more than anyone else, especially Brian O’Halloran who is the Red Sox GM, but what is he doing? The Red Sox made a couple of moves (ie Vazquez, Diekman trades) earlier before the deadline that made it look like they were sellers. You can’t blame him for an injury-riddled team with a lot of underperforming players with pretty high salaries, and they are in last place in maybe the best division in the AL East. But, then the Red Sox add Tommy Pham and Eric Hosmer while still holding onto JD Martinez? I don’t know…. There could be a power struggle in the front office or maybe they are going to have Pham walk around the clubhouse to slap the hell out of the underperforming players and make them give the Red Sox back some of their money? The Red Sox also got a couple of prospects in the Hosmer Deal. First, is Max Ferguson who was one of the best hitters to come out of the University of Tennessee since Nick Senzel. (don’t get me started on him.. I still believe Senzel will be a good hitter, but c’mon Nick!) Something happened in Ferguson’s junior year and he lost his ability to hit. The Padres drafted him because maybe they hoped his junior year was just an aberration or maybe they thought they could fix his approach and swing. Unfortunately, neither happened so now the Red Sox are going to give it a try. He still can get on base, play a number of positions pretty well, and can steal bases. So unless the Red Sox can help him regain his hitting ability Ferguson will max out as a super utility guy who can steal bases and won’t be much value on a fantasy team. 

Corey Rosier, OF Red SoxRyan Felix Fernandes –  Rosier can be Tommy Pham’s stunt double. Hopefully, he can rocket up to the Red Sox major league roster ASAP to play with Pham, and hopefully when the Red Sox play the Giants they can scare the sh*t out of Joc Pederson. Rosier is with his third organization since being drafted just a year ago. So either teams really want him or really don’t want him?  He makes good contact and has a good eye for the strike zone. He doesn’t hit for power with the way he swings the bat. He has really good speed, has good range in the field, and a good arm. His numbers in the minors aren’t great so far, but he is still only 22 so he has time to grow. As of now, his projections are to be another super utility guy which I guess the Red Sox want to corner the market in. 

The Author

Ken Balderston

Ken Balderston

20+ years of fantasy baseball experience & currently only playing in dynasty leagues. Christian, proud father of 3, husband to the strongest woman in the world, accountant, golfer, cook.

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Prospects Traded at the Deadline (National League Teams Edition)