Trade Report – Brusdar Graterol – RHP – Traded to Boston Red Sox

Trade Report – Brusdar Graterol – RHP – Traded to Boston Red Sox

The baseball work was set ablaze late Tuesday night as the biggest blockbuster in recent years hit Twitter. Mookie Betts and David Price (and his contract) are heading to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kenta Maeda is headed to the Minnesota Twins, while Alex Verdugo and Brusdar Graterol are headed to the Boston Red Sox. In a corresponding move, Joc Peterson is heading down the 405 to the Los Angeles Angels and Luis Rengifo is headed up to the Dodgers.  Other pieces are involved in this deal and a post will go up breaking down Andy Pages and any other prospects once the physicals are done and the trade is final.

Every one of the players in the deal has seen MLB time, and only Graterol still has rookie eligibility, so he is the lone player that fits for this site. He saw just 9.2 innings over 10m games, all in relief, where his power sinker was his go to offering. If the Red Sox decide to keep him in the bullpen, he has the makings of a dominant reliever, but I am not ready to write off his starting career just yet. He has that sinking fastball along with a more traditional four-seamer give him the power offering, while he has a slider that sits just under 90 MPH and a two-plan curve to keep hitters even further off balance. I don’t have much faith in the change, but it is not an offering without upside.

His delivery has some late effort and short arm that leaves some concern, but the body suggests he can hold up to the innings and there is plenty of athleticism in his delivery too. When he is working as a starter there is less violence in the end of the process and there is very little concern from me on that. Overall he is immediately the best prospect in the Red Sox system and good enough to open the season in the rotation.

 

Miami Marlins 2020 Preseason Top 10

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1)

Player: Sixto Sanchez
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 21 2019 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’ Weight: 185 lbs.
Quick Report: Cream of the crop of an impressive recent influx of talent over the past year plus. He has a thick lower half that should allow him to handle a big innings number. He varies his arm slot slightly between traditional 3/4 slot and just lower with mild effort late in the delivery. He shows both a two and four seam fastball that are plus-plus offerings to go with advanced feel for a change and a breaking ball he manages to command even when altering speeds. He is a front line starter and could knock down the door to Miami this season.

 

2)

Player: JJ Bleday
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 22 2019 Highest Level: A Adv.
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 205 lbs.
Quick Report: Selected fourth overall, Bleday was a star for perennial powerhouse Vanderbilt and should be that for Miami as well. He lacks any real speed, so the value comes completely form the bat and arm, two things he has plenty of. He shows good instincts to make up for his lack of speed in right and has a plus arm. At the plate he has natural lift in his bat plane that allows him to drive the ball while making plenty of contact. He should become a 30+ home run guy and hit .275.

3)

Player: Jazz Chisholm
Position(s): SS Opening Day Age: 22 2019 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 5’11” Weight: 165 lbs.
Quick Report: The big question on Chisholm is whether or not he sticks at short. If he does, his value is obviously increased, if not a move to center is likely in the cards. There are holes in the bat that lead to more swing and miss than you want from a guy with above average speed. The bat gets long and will lead to slumps, but he has much more pop than you expect from a guy his size. Ultimately, I think he sticks at short and is an average defender who only hits .250 but can put up 20+ home runs.

4)

Player: Jesus Sanchez
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 22 2019 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 230 lbs.
Quick Report: Another guy with a big bat and strong arm, Sanchez has all the tools needed to be a quality right fielder and an above-average defender there. At the plate the raw power is legitimately plus, although he has not shown massive power numbers in games yet. He needs to improve his eye at the plate as he swings wildly and chases too often and doesn’t walk enough. When he stays within himself, he has very good bat control, he just doesn’t stay controlled often enough. There is real boom or bust in the tools, but if all comes together he could become a borderline All Star.

5)

Player: Edward Cabrera
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 21 2019 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’4” Weight: 175 lbs.
Quick Report: There is a ton of risk in Cabrera despite making it to AA in 2019. He has still has plenty of room to fill out and there is plenty of athleticism in the delivery leading to a good 3/4 arm slot. The command is still a big question meaning he may be best suited for a bullpen role where his fastball flirting with triple digits will play well and the breaking ball is a bit slurvy but plays well. If the change and command improve, he can be a quality number three starter, but chances are the bullpen will be his long term role.

6)

Player: Monte Harrison
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 24 2019 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 220 lbs.
Quick Report: Harrison has all the tools, and the Marlins are hoping 2020 is the season they all come together. He will never be a guy who makes a ton of contact, but the ball absolutely flies off the bat, and he can fly down the line. He is a quality defensive centerfielder with an arm that would be borderline plus even in right. There is little question Harrison is one of the 25 best players employed by the Marlins today, but I would anticipate he has to start in AAA before being an early season call up.

7)

Player: Kameron Misner
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 22 2019 Highest Level: A
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’4” Weight: 220 lbs.
Quick Report: I am incredibly high on Misner, but I do want to see more success as a pro before I go all in on him. I believe he has enough athleticism to hold down a job in center but could be an elite defender in right. He has a ton of swing and miss which led to him falling to 35 rather than being a top ten pick but the bat is an impact bat when at his best. He has a very good tournament a season ago and I expect him to sky rocket up lists this season as a guy who could hit 25+ home runs and hit .265.

8)

Player: Lewin Diaz
Position(s): 1B Opening Day Age: 23 2019 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’4” Weight: 225 lbs.
Quick Report: This is where the system somewhat fall off a cliff as Harrison is likely to be the final impact player on this list and there was plenty of internal debate on who to place at seven, and the upside of Diaz won out. The power in the bat is the best potential carrying tool of any of the final three players on the Marlins list. There are plenty of long levers in the swing, but those also allow for the ball to really jump and carry although the hands stay low and can be beat with elevated velocity. Defensively Diaz is purely a first baseman, but he could be a quality defender at the position.

9)

Player: Braxton Garrett
Position(s): LHP Opening Day Age: 22 2019 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’3” Weight: 190 lbs.
Quick Report: Garrett is proof a smooth delivery does not ensure longevity, as he has already had to undergo TJ in 2018. The delivery has almost no effort leading to a good extension out of a high arm slot. The fastball is average at best, but he has a curve that is already above-average and cold develop into plus, and a change that is a likely average offering as well. Add to that solid command and you have a guy who is pretty safe to earn a role in the back of a rotation, but lacks any real impact pitch.

10)

Player: Trevor Rogers
Position(s): LHP Opening Day Age: 22 2019 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’6” Weight: 185 lbs.
Quick Report: The big question on Rogers is whether or not he will ever develop a reliable breaking ball. He has shown attempts at a slider, curve, and cutter, but none have ever given any real confidence in being better than average if it even gets there. He can sit in the mid-90s with his fastball but it plays harder given the good extension off a long body. His best pitch might be the change which he commands really well. He may be able to find his way into a rotation with just two quality pitches, but it is more likely he is a two pitch reliever.

Others of Note:
Jose Devers – SS – 20 – A Ad.
Connor Scott – OF – 20 – A Adv.
Jorge Guzman – RHP – 24 – AA
Nick Neidert – RHP – 23 – AAA
Nasim Nunez – SS – 19 – Short A

Boston Red Sox 2020 Preseason Top 10

Boston Red Sox 2020 Preseason Top 10

1)

Player: Triston Casas
Position(s): 1B/3B Opening Day Age: 20 2019 Highest Level: A Adv.
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’4” Weight: 238 lbs.
Quick Report: Hands down the class of the Red Sox system, Casas provides a legit power bat with a defensive profile that allows for some flexibility. He is painfully slow making third base a true secondary position, but he has good hands and a strong arm. The defensive profile really lends itself to be a plus defender at first. He makes plenty of contact despite striking out 118 times in 120 games a season ago, but he did put up 20 home runs in his first full season. The body and lofty swing will allow for plenty more power to show up and he can become a 25-30 HR bat in the middle of the Red Sox order, but is probably two full seasons away from debuting in Boston.

2)

Player: Bobby Dalbec
Position(s): 3B/1B Opening Day Age: 24 2019 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’4” Weight: 225 lbs.
Quick Report: Dalbec looked good in Mexico at the Premier12, but the lack of ability to hit for average will always limit his potential impact. The bat head gets down on the ball with ease, but he will chase out of the zone frequently and is pop up prone. When he does make solid contact, the ball flies, so there is definitely plenty of potential to impact a game with the bat. He is a solid defender at third with good hands and a cannon of an arm, but his range is quite limited due to his lack of foot speed. He, like the guy ahead of him, is best suited for first, but has a much better chance to earn regular time at third as he has a bit more range and an even stronger arm than Casas.

3)

Player: Jarren Duran
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 23 2019 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’2” Weight: 200 lbs.
Quick Report: Easy plus speed and good enough reads to hold down center, Duran has a chance to make an impact in the field and on the bases. The bat is nothing special as the bat speed is nothing special and there is rare effort in the swing for a left-handed hitter. The shoulders are stiff and the bat feels as though it has to fight against his body. Despite that, he has hit well over .300 in his season and a half of pro ball and found his way to AA a season ago. He does not draw enough walks, something that could definitely benefit him given the wheels, but there is plenty of potential there. He showed better patience in the AFL and he looked to drive the ball a little more, but he is best suited to shorten the swing, go the other way, and make an impact by stretching singles into doubles and playing a solid center field.

4)

Player: Bryan Mata
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 20 2019 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 175 lbs.
Quick Report: I have Mata listed at 175 lbs. as it is the heaviest I have seen him listed, but he is easily 200 lbs., and that is weight works for him. He has a fastball that will get up to 99 while sitting up to 97 to go with a power slider and an above average change. The curve was once a quality pitch but he has struggled with it the past couple seasons. He created plenty of depth with an upright low 3/4 slot delivery that creates some run on the fastball. There is some late effort and stiffness in the delivery that leaves some concern, but Mata is the only pitcher in the Red Sox system with a better chance than not to make it as a starter.

5)

Player: Jay Groome
Position(s): LHP Opening Day Age: 21 2019 Highest Level: A Short
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’5” Weight: 220 lbs.
Quick Report: No player had as much hype as Groome heading into the 2016 MLB draft, but real makeup concerns contributed to him slipping to pick 12 and into the Red Sox lap. Since arriving it has been a mixed bag, as he has flashed the plus fastball and curve at times, but the change has lagged behind and command has been a real concern. Add to that there have been weight concerns, and Tommy John surgery in 2018 means he has pitched just four innings the past two seasons and just 44.1 in full season ball thus far in his career. If he can come back healthy and in shape, Groome could skyrocket back into a top 100 type prospect in baseball, but he could also tank and land outside the Red Sox top 10 a year from now.

6)

Player: Gilberto Jimenez
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 19 2019 Highest Level: A Short
Bats: Switch Throws: Right Height: 5’11” Weight: 160 lbs.
Quick Report: Jimenez was signed for just $10k in 2017 but has quickly rocketed up the Red Sox prospect ranks. He has a first off the bus body that screams power, but that doesn’t really translate to the box. Instead he is a plus speed switch hitting center fielder that has homered just three times in his two pro seasons. He also lacks discipline at the plate, striking out well more than twice per walk, but he does a good job making contact from both sides of the plate. He should get the opportunity to make his full season debut out of camp this Spring, and has a future as a leadoff man patrolling center, there is just a lot of time and growth between now and reaching that potential.

7)

Player: Noah Song
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 22 2019 Highest Level: A Short
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’4” Weight: 200 lbs.
Quick Report: If not for the Naval commitment, Song would come in fifth for me. I voted Song ahead of Adley Rutschman in the Dick Howser Award voting a season ago. He has four average to better pitches and commands the zone well. He comes out of a 3/4 slot with limited effort and plenty of extension allowing his fastball to play even harder than his mid-90s velo. His fastball runs as does his change, while his slider dives out of the zone late and a hammer curve. He doesn’t have front end upside, but landing as a number three starter is a real possibility and I would not be shocked at all to see him reach that potential.

8)

Player: Tanner Houck
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 23 2019 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’4” Weight: 210 lbs.
Quick Report: Where Houck will ultimately end up is a real question. He has seen time as a starter and as a reliever, and it seems nobody con come to a consensus which role fits him best. I am pretty well done with him as a starter and I think he could be a high quality reliever. He has a low 3/4 cross body delivery with a slider that sprints away from righties and a fastball that will get up to 96 while bearing in on their hands. His curve is good enough but the change still has a lot of work to go. Given there is effort in the delivery, I see him as a mid-relief guy early in 2020 with a shot at becoming a quality late inning arm before too long.

9)

Player: Thad Ward
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 23 2019 Highest Level: A Adv.
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 180 lbs.
Quick Report: Ward is long and lean with four pitches that flash average to better but very inconsistent. He creates some deception with multiple speeds in his leg kick that allows his fastball play faster than the 91-93 he typically sits. The change does not have enough velo gap off the fastball and the curve spins too often. His slider is easily his best secondary offering, bordering on plus potential, and will likely be the carrying pitch. My guess is he will shed the change and/or curve before too long and transition more into relief where the fastball should tick up and the slider could really play well.

10)

Player: Matthew Lugo
Position(s): SS Opening Day Age: 18 2019 Highest Level: A Short
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’1” Weight: 185 lbs.
Quick Report: Lugo and Song were my favorite selections for the Red Sox in the 2019 draft. Lugo has a big load in his swing that he times quite well and keeps his hands back well even when he mistimes the kick. The hands clear well and there is some natural loft to the bat plane. There is little doubt he can stick as a shortstop long term, showing plenty of arm and quickness to go with natural instincts at the position. I am hopeful he starts the season in Greenville where I expect him to show well enough to land in the top five in next year’s Red Sox list.

Just Missed:

C.J. Chatham – SS – 25 – AAA
Cameron Cannon – INF – 22 – A Short
Nick Decker – OF – 20 – A Short
Brandon Howlett – 3B – 20 – A
Antoni Flores – SS – 19 – A Short

 

Trade Report: Steele Walker – OF – Texas Rangers

Trade Report: Steele Walker – OF – Texas Rangers

There are plenty of big signing going down at the Winter Meetings in San Diego, but plenty of quality trades taking place as well. The latest, Nomar Mazara headed to the South Side to play for the Chicago White Sox in exchange for outfield prospect Steele Walker.

In the 2018 draft Oklahoma had two highly touted outfield prospects and there was some debate on who would be the better pro. I was on the Steele Walker side of the argument as I felt he was a more polished baseball player, and there was a guarantee he would stick with baseball. That other outfielder no longer plays baseball because he is busy on Sunday’s quarterbacking the Arizona Cardinals, Kyler Murray.

The best tool for Walker is one that is tough to teach, and that is pitch recognition. He demonstrates a plus aye at the plate that has allowed for an OBP better than 70 points higher than his batting average. He has a low stride that allows him to keep his balance well and adjust to off-speed. The hands are quick allowing the bat speed to translate to at least average power.

He is a quality athlete but is no burner, however he has quality instincts that allow him to play a serviceable center field, although left is a better fit. Don’t give up on the idea of him staying in center though, as plenty within the organization are confident he will be able to stick there long term.

In the end, I see him as a fringe-average everyday outfielder or a high-quality number four that can hold his own at all three spots, although the arm is really his lone below average tool. He has the upside of a .275 hitter with 15-20 home run power that provides quality ABs near the bottom of a lineup.