Al's Ramblings

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

(9/20/2016 10:58:00 AM) - Al

Now that the PTBNL has been announced, how would you value the package that Texas gave up as opposed to what Cleveland had in place for Jonathan Lucroy? – Jonathan R.

With outfielder/infielder Ryan Cordell going to the Brewers, he bolsters a package that already included outfielder Lewis Brinson and right-hander Luis Ortiz. All three were considered top-ten prospects on a solid Texas farm, with Brinson and Ortiz also carrying consensus top-100 leaguewide billing. Remember, though, that this group of players also landed the Rangers right-hander Jeremy Jeffress, who was a quality asset in his own right.

By comparison, reports pegged the prospective deal with the Indians as involving a four-player package: catcher Francisco Mejia, shortstop Yu-Cheng Chang, outfielder Greg Allen, and righty Shawn Armstrong. By the prospect rankings, this group isn’t quite as impressive: only Mejia has been placed in the top-100 among all the game’s pre-MLB talents (in his case, only by Baseball Prospectus).
There are a couple of things to bear in mind here, though. First and foremost, prospect valuation is always-changing and is highly dependent upon any given team’s assessment. Both Brinson and Ortiz had their share of difficulties adapting to the upper minors; though they have had better results since the deal, the former doesn’t walk much and the latter hasn’t yet produced a lot of swings and misses. There’s a ton of upside there, but also some risk, even if Brinson’s glove props up his floor. Meanwhile, Cordell is already 24 and still seems to have some development ahead of him.

The other bunch represents a different mix of assets. Meanwhile, Mejia has had a breakout offensive year. Chang’s name came up in the Aroldis Chapman talks, and he has displayed emerging power this year. Allen delivers outstanding plate discipline, while Armstrong has a promising K rate and could step right into a big league pen.

Ultimately, the inclusion of Jeffress makes it hard to make a direct comparison. Certainly, the Indians package wouldn’t have delivered a headliner on the order of Brinson. But it’s not difficult to see why Milwaukee was intrigued by the return it had lined up — which included some rising prospects who seemingly fit well with the organization’s needs and philosophies. And it’s always wise to remind oneself of just how much you don’t know when it comes to prospects (generally and specifically!).

I had forgotten about who CLE had included except for Mejia. That said, the Rangers seem to have given up far more, but they should have, as they also received Jeffress. 

9/20/2016 10:58:00 AM

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