The dust has settled from the flurry of Trade Deadline activity. Over the next two months, the buyers will find out exactly how their big league investments panned out.
How the trades worked out for the sellers, the teams that stockpiled future Major League talent, will be determined in the coming years. Among the many Minor Leaguers involved in Deadline deals, four were on MLB.com's Top 50 Prospects list, 11 were on organizational Top 10s and two more were added to their new teams' Top 10s following the Deadline.
All of this, of course, is based on potential, and there is a history of prospects involved in trades not living up to expectations. But just looking at last year's top traded prospects list and you'll see four players who have spent considerable time in the big leagues, one on the current Top 50 overall prospects list and four on individual organizational Top 10s. With that in mind, here's a ranking of the top 10 Minor Leaguers who recently changed organizations via trade.
True, he hasn't officially been dealt yet. But it's the worst-kept secret in baseball that the 2010 first-round Draft pick is the player to be named in the Ubaldo Jimenez-to-the-Indians deal. Already in Double-A in his first full season, he shouldn't take much longer to be big league ready.
He's young, has a ton of arm strength and is ahead of the curve pitching in the Class A Advanced Florida State League at age 21. His breaking ball is very good and his changeup has developed nicely this year. Wheeler still needs to refine his command, but he has the chance to be a top-of-the-rotation type in the future.
3. Jarred Cosart, RHP, Astros
No. 36 on Top 50
No. 1 on Astros Top 10
The Astros immediately promoted the hard-throwing right-hander to Double-A, and he made his Texas League and Astros organization debut on Tuesday. He's got a great fastball and a very good breaking ball. The changeup is coming. All he needs is a little better command to put it all together.
The Phillies had moved him to the outfield for a while to avoid the Ryan Howard roadblock, then put him back at his natural position, first base. That's where he's playing for the Astros in the California League. He should hit for average and power as he develops.
5. Alex White, RHP, Rockies
No. 4 on Rockies Top 10
The second highly ranked pitcher the Rockies received in the Jimenez trade, White reached the big leagues before going down with a right middle finger injury. When he returns, his ability to keep the ball down and induce ground balls should serve him well in Colorado.
6. Robbie Erlin, LHP, Padres
No. 3 on Padres Top 10
He's not the biggest guy in the world and his pure stuff doesn't wow scouts, but he's also 20 years old and pitching in Double-A. He doesn't hurt himself with walks (29 in 236 innings over the past two seasons). He made his Padres debut against Cosart on Tuesday. They each pitched six shutout innings.
7. Trayvon Robinson, OF, Mariners
No. 4 on Mariners Top 10
A funny thing happened on the way to Robinson developing into a speedy, leadoff type: he found power. Granted, it was in the hitting haven that is Triple-A Albuquerque, but his 26 homers before being dealt in the three-team Erik Bedard trade are by far a career high (17 in 2009). When he gets to Safeco Field, he may want to rediscover his wheels and not worry about the long ball.
8. Francisco Martinez, 3B, Mariners
No. 6 on Mariners Top 10
This 2011 Futures Gamer, at age 20, is extremely young for his level, now the Double-A Southern League. He runs well, especially for a third baseman, and should eventually tap into the considerable raw power he has.
9. Joe Wieland, RHP, Padres
No. 9 on Padres Top 10
In his last start in the Rangers organization, Wieland tossed a no-hitter. He doesn't typically have that kind of stuff, but like Erlin, he throws a ton of strikes, walking just 1.6 per nine innings so far in his career. He's pitched better since his promotion to Double-A, always a good sign.
10. Paul Clemens, RHP, Astros
No. 6 on Astros Top 10
Clemens has been both a reliever and a starter over the course of his Minor League career, but looked to be really settling in as a starter over the last year and a half. He's got good power stuff and with his breaking ball and changeup, and he's got the weapons he needs to start. After a very strong first half, he was scuffling a little (though his final start as a Brave was solid) before being included in the Michael Bourn deal with the Phillies.
Others of note: Brett Oberholtzer, LHP, Astros (No. 10 on Astros Top 10); Thomas Neal, OF, Indians (No. 4 on Indians Top 10); Joe Gardner, RHP, Rockies (No. 10 on Rockies Top 10)