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Eye On The Minors: Trade Deadline & MLB Prospects On The Move (Part 2)


This is the second installment of my Prospects On The Move, detailing a few of the minor leaguers and MLB prospects who recently changed teams at the trade deadline. You can see part 1 of the series here.

 

Chicago Cubs Trade Deadline Prospects

The Chicago Cubs received Victor Caratini from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Emilio Bonifacio, James Russell and cash.

Victor-Caratini-MLB-fantasy-baseball-prospectsVictor Caratini is a 20-year old switch-hitting catcher/third baseman who was drafted in the second round of the 2013 draft. He was ranked as the Braves’ #8 prospect prior to this season. In his pro debut in 2013, he impressed in the rookie-level Appalachian League, posting a.290/.415/.430 triple-slash line, smacking 23 doubles in 200 at bats.

Caratini was a third baseman in college, but the Braves transitioned him to catcher full-time this season where he threw out 30% of attempted base stealers at Single-A Rome while batting .279/.352/.406. He may never hit a lot of home runs at any level, and it will take a few years for him to develop at a new position, but his move to catcher vastly improves his prospect status. He is currently assigned to the Cubs’ Single-A Kane County affiliate.

 

Tampa Rays Trade Deadline Prospects

The Tampa Bay Rays received Willy Adames and Drew Smyly from the Detroit Tigers and Nick Franklin from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for David Price.

Willy Adames is an 18-year old shortstop/third baseman, who ranked as the #30 prospect in the Tigers’ system prior to this season. He was a 2012 international signee by Tigers out of the Dominican Republic. He began his career in the Dominican Summer League last July and showed a good approach at the plate, drawing 56 walks to only 44 strikeouts.

He debuted in the States in the Class A Midwest League, and again showed the ability to get on base with a .346 OBP. According to scouting reports, his swing is a work-in-progress, but he should realize more power as he builds muscle. As he gets stronger, however, his size and decreased agility may result in a move to third base if he doesn’t show the range to stick at short. That said, the kid is only 18 and at least three or four years away from the Major Leagues.

 

Cleveland Indians Trade Deadline Prospects

The Cleveland Indians received Zach Walters from the Washington Nationals in exchange for Asdrubel Cabrera.

Zach Walters is a 24-year old switch-hitter who was rated as the #14 prospect with the Washington Nationals prior to this season. Walters has already seen Major League action, getting an eight at bat cup-of-coffee in 2013 and a 39 at bat stint earlier this season. Walters saw time at 2B, SS, 3B and OF with the Nats, suggesting a career as a utilityman may be his calling.

Walters has done most of his work at Triple-A for the past year, leading the International League with 29 home runs in 2013. He has followed that up this season, batting .305/.361/.606 with 15 home runs in the minors, adding three long balls in his time with the Nationals. He is not a patient hitter and could probably benefit from being more selective, but the power is real, especially from the left side. If the Indians find a place on the diamond, he could be an adequate regular at any of four positions, but he’s most likely a bench bat or occasional starter who can provide defensive versatility.

 

The Cleveland Indians received James Ramsey from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Justin Masterson.

James Ramsey is a 24-year old left-handed hitting outfielder who ranked as the #8 prospect with the St. Louis Cardinals before this season. He was a 2012 first round pick out of Florida State. Ramsey’s path to the Major Leagues just got easier, as he has spent his pro career behind fellow prospects Oscar Taveras and Stephen Piscotty on the organizational depth chart.

Ramsey is the classic “intangibles” guy. Scouts grade his makeup as elite. He was the captain of his team at Florida State and a Rhodes Scholarship recipient. On the field, he is more solid than spectacular. He shows good speed and enough range to stick in centerfield. His power is more of the gap variety, though he managed 13 long balls in 243 at bats in Double-A this season, an improvement over the 15 he hit in 347 at bats last season at the same level. He still needs to make some adjustments to cut down on strikeouts, but the Indians assigned him to Triple-A Columbus, meaning that he’s knocking on the door of the big leagues.

 

Houston Astros Trade Deadline Prospects

The Houston Astros received Jake Marisnick, Colin Moran and Francis Martes from the Miami Marlins in exchange for Jarred Cosart, Enrique Hernandez and Austin Wates.

Colin Moran is a 21-year old left-handed hitting third baseman who was the Marlins’ number one pick (6th overall) in last year’s rookie draft. He was ranked as the #2 prospect in the Marlins’ system prior to this season, behind only Andrew Heaney. Moran was a Golden Spikes Finalist at UNC and one of the more advanced draftees last season. The Marlins assigned him to Low-A Greensboro where he hit .299/.354/.442 in his pro debut. He jumped to Advanced A-ball this season and put up similar numbers with a .294/.342/.393 line.

The Astros have assigned Moran to Double-A following the trade. He is a pure hitter who knows how to make contact and control the strike zone. He is more of a gap hitter than a power hitter, but if he can develop into a 20-homer guy he could have a great future in the big leagues, as he is expected to be a .300 hitter. He is okay, not great, defensively at third base - but lacks the quickness to handle a move to the outfield. With the Astros’ promotion of Moran to Double-A, we should see him in Houston at some point next season, maybe as a regular or on the strong side of a platoon with Matt Dominguez at third.

 




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