The Next Wave series takes a slight detour given the flurry of prospect movement at the deadline. Seemingly, all roads led through the San Diego Padres this trade deadline. The Padres were easily the most active, shipping notable prospects for MLB roster upgrades. But many other clubs did well in the prospect game too. This article will dive into the notable names for dynasty leagues that were traded and how movement between organizations affected their future outlook.
Perhaps the highest profile prospect traded this deadline, Taylor Trammell was not with the Padres for very long. He came over from the Cincinnati Reds as part of last year’s three-team deadline deal involving Trevor Bauer and Yasiel Puig. Now in Seattle, the Mariners have a deep crop of young outfielders: current breakout Kyle Lewis, along with super prospects Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez.
The future looks more uncertain for Trammell with playing time and cracking the lineup among that group. The DH in the American League is a slight help. It would be unusual for such a great athlete to occupy the DH slot, but Trammell projects as a LF only player. Perhaps the Mariners will rotate through these outfielders and use the DH between them.
Trammell is a gifted player who provides intrigue with power and speed. In particular, Trammell has good on-base ability despite hit tool questions. He put up a nice .340 OBP at Double-A, though the .349 SLG was modest.
Trammell’s ultimate future may be as a second division starter in the big leagues if his hit tool peaks, but he simply has too much pedigree and athleticism to overlook him maximizing his true potential as a dynamic fantasy outfielder.
Depending on your league’s eligibility criteria for rookies, Andrés Muñoz is a fireballing righty reliever who also came to the Mariners. Muñoz went under the knife with Tommy John surgery earlier this calendar year, so it’s possible he is back at some point in 2021.
Just 20 years old, Muñoz has logged 23 IP at the major league level with 30 K and a sub 4 ERA. He is one of the premier relief prospects in dynasty leagues, and his value takes a significant turn upwards leaving San Diego.
I was not convinced he was the closer of the future in San Diego given their immense depth, but he has a much higher chance of locking down saves in Seattle now when he returns to the mound.
A deep league special for the Mariners came in the Taijuan Walker trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Mariners acquired 19 year old outfield prospect Alberto Rodriguez.
The left handed hitting Rodriguez has good contact ability and has shown he can lift the ball at a young age. Rodriguez hit lefties (.309/.371/.455) at a stronger clip than righties (.297/.361/.407) in 2019, and stole 13/15 bases in the Gulf Coast League. Of note, Rodriguez grew up with Mariners ultra-talented prospect Noelvi Marte and the two remain close friends. Now, they get to develop together in the same organization.
Gabriel Arias, Joey Cantillo, and Owen Miller headed the prospect return for the Indians in the Mike Clevinger blockbuster with the San Diego Padres. Cleveland also netted other young talents that are non-prospect eligibles such as Josh Naylor (23) and Cal Quantrill (25).
Gabriel Arias is a slick-fielding shortstop with a nice offensive foundation. Arias first landed on prospect radars as a 17 year old when he played in Australian Winter Ball back in 2017. The previous season, it was Ronald Acuña Jr. who first made waives from down under, so naturally many were pegging Arias as the next über talent.
While Arias has a significantly lower ceiling than Acuña Jr., he projects as a starting big league shortstop. Arias socked 17 HR with 8 SB at High-A in 2019, though his BB rate nearly halved and dropped below 5%. I like Arias as a SS who can hold down the position defensively and be a steady fantasy contributor.
Arias is only 20 and may have some bumps in the road, but he’s one worth being patient on even if the early career output isn’t super loud.
Joey Cantillo is a lefty pitcher who broke out this past season primarily in full season Low-A. Cantillo brings pitchability and two really good secondaries with a changeup and slow curveball.
Cantillo reminds me of now teammate Logan Allen, also formerly of the Padres as well. Cantillo enters a favorable development environment for pitchers in Cleveland which improves his chances to max out and learn a 4th offering.
Only 20 years old, Cantillo has just a little more physical projection and could be a nice number 4 starter with the chance for more.
Owen Miller is a high floor infielder who is on the brink of contributing in Cleveland. Miller does just about everything well: he has a knack for contact and can work a walk, and chip in pull-side power and speed.
Like many contact-oriented hitting prospects, Miller could be bound for a rise in today’s game and capitalize on in-game power. Miller rounds out a trio of relatively safe prospects acquired by Cleveland that all have a chance to be big league regulars.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox were busy sellers, as they shipped Mitch Moreland to San Diego and Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to Philadelphia. The Red Sox also sent veterans Kevin Pillar to Colorado and Josh Osich to the Chicago Cubs, with PTBNL pending names to add to the deadline prospect haul down the road.
Jeisson Rosario and Hudson Potts were the duo of prospects from the Moreland return from the Padres. Jeisson Rosario is the prize in my view, as he’s a quality defender in centerfield with both hit and on-base ability.
He is physically gifted and provides speed intrigue, and could grow into more power. Rosario is almost 21 years old and his defense provides relative safety in his chances of being a big league regular.
Hudson Potts is a pedigree slugger, as the former 2016 first rounder has now reached Double-A. The 6’3″ infielder looks like a future fixture at 3B, but he also has the current mobility to play 2B.
The sub .300 OBP at Double-A was low, but his pull-side power hitting profile is intriguing at Fenway Park. The Red Sox did well in acquiring these two players who could be average to above average starters in the future.
From the Phillies, Connor Seabold is a righty pitcher with the potential to stick at the middle to back of the rotation. Seabold is a strike thrower who impressed in the AFL at the end of last season.
He has repeatable mechanics that are low effort and suggest a starter future. Seabold features both a slider and changeup as secondaries, which gives him enough to work multiple innings. Seabold was revealed a favorite of scouts after the trade, and was one that stood out to me during my research when I wrote up the Phillies prospect list earlier this summer.
Seabold adds much needed high minors depth for the pitching-starved Red Sox.
The Orioles had a successful trade deadline as they dealt Mychal Givens (Colorado) and Miguel Castro (New York Mets). The Orioles traded these two high leverage relievers for Tyler Nevin, Terrin Vavra, and Kevin Smith. The overall outline was similar to Boston’s returns noted above.
Tyler Nevin, son of former big leaguer Phil Nevin, is a former 1st rounder (2015) who’s calling card is plate approach. He’s a right/right hitter with decent power and a hint of speed. He also has some defensive versatility playing both infield corners and potentially both outfield corners as well.
Nevin has a modest ceiling but joins an organization that can get the most out of his profile, though opportunities may be hard to come by in the short term.
Terrin Vavra represents the higher ceiling of the two. Vavra, also son of a former big leaguer (Joe Vavra), is on the Orioles active roster despite not playing above Single-A. The middle infielder pairs a great hit tool with strike zone awareness, walking at an equal clip to his strikeout rate last season.
Vavra racked up 43 extra base hits and was among the Sally League leaders in many offensive categories. Vavra provides a needed up-the-middle infusion in the organization and profiles as a nice middle infield target in dynasty who could surpass a utility floor.
Kevin Smith, a left handed pitcher, has been a quick riser in the Mets system. He was their Minor League Pitcher of the Year in his first full professional season, making it to Double-A.
Smith isn’t an overpowering pitcher but has three average pitches that play up with mechanical deception. Smith can provide multi-inning help in 2020 and can profile as a back of the rotation starter in the tough AL East.
The Arizona Diamondbacks came into the year with playoff aspirations, but became sellers after a slow start to the shortened season. In addition to a pair of notable prospects, they also acquired big league talent from both the Cincinnati Reds and Miami Marlins.
Stuart Fairchild nearly cracked the top 5 of the Reds system for me earlier this summer, as the outfielder had a successful season at Double-A. The athletic outfielder paired a double digit BB rate (10.6%) with an impressively low K rate (12.8%).
If he’s able to improve on his 6/12 SB rate and show that his hit tool can unlock his power in-game, he has a good bet to be a productive fantasy outfielder.
Humberto Mejía, who made his big league debut last month in Miami, was covered in more detail in a previous Next Wave article. Mejía may have more opportunity to stick in the rotation for Arizona, but pitching in the dangerous NL West doesn’t present a boost to his fantasy potential.
Kansas City Royals
Edward Olivares was also covered previously in the first Next Wave article as he debuted for the San Diego Padres earlier this season. After being dealt for reliever Trevor Rosenthal,
Olivares has an incrementally clearer opportunity to break through at the major league level, though the outfield is veteran-heavy and the Royals will have to make a conscious effort to emphasize the skillset of Olivares.
Olivares earned the promotion and first start in centerfield for the Royals already who could see some more opportunities in September.
With the Royals trading Brett Phillips, and acquiring Lucius Fox from the Tampa Bay Rays, they acquire a very good fielding shortstop with game-changing speed. It is rather curious that they targeted Fox, who has many similar strengths to incumbent shortstop Adalberto Mondesi.
Fox has shown a much stronger ability to earn walks though (12.3% in Double-A and Triple-A in 2019) versus Mondesi (4.3% in MLB in 2019). Fox may provide injury insurance as a player ready to step up in the short term, and could supplant Mondesi should he continue to struggle.
Los Angeles Dodgers
No contender quite operates like the Dodgers. They have such immense depth, they’re able to retool their farm system without sacrificing the major league product. They impressively were able to add a high upside pitching prospect in Kendall Williams from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Ross Stripling.
Williams is a 6’6″ righty and last year’s 2nd round pick out of the notable baseball school IMG Academy in Florida. Williams has the foundation of a four pitch mix and possible number 2 ceiling. For the Blue Jays sake, they hope this is not a repeat of the R.A. Dickey trade that saw Noah Syndergaard flourish into an ace.
Williams moves from one great organization to another, and the arrow is firmly pointing up for a potentially bright future.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels landed a pair of pitchers in Packy Naughton and Gerardo Reyes.
Packy Naughton arrives from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for outfielder Brian Goodwin. The lefty has a high energy delivery with lots of movement.
Naughton gets good deception on his curveball and changeup and looks like a backend starter or multi-inning reliever.
Gerardo Reyes is a Statcast darling and has been on the radar since the preseason due to a high correlation to Justin Verlander in player similarity. While Reyes is far from that kind of impact, he has a big fastball and strikeout ability out of the bullpen.
The Mexican born right hander has as good a chance as any to work his way up the bullpen pecking order, and has a much better chance of doing so than with his former club in San Diego. Both Naughton and Reyes are deep league names for now.
Other Deep Dynasty Notable Prospects
Griffin Conine (MIA), Riley O’Brien (CIN), Marcus Smith (TEX), Zack Short (DET), Travis Bergen (ARI), Mark Payton (CIN), Addison Russ (NYY).