As it gets closer to the trade deadline, Atlanta Braves pitcher, Julio Teheran, is gaining more and more attention. Through five starts in June, Teheran has been absolutely dominant throwing 37.2 innings, with a 1.91 ERA, 17 hits against, 37 strikeouts, and only four walks. The Braves will bring in quite the haul if they decide to deal the right-hander to a competing team at the trade deadline.
So far in 2016, Teheran owns a 3-7 record, with a 2.46 ERA, 70 hits against, 99 strikeouts, and 24 walks in 106 innings pitched. Pay no attention to the record since he is currently playing for the worst team in baseball, but this might not be for long. Many teams have expressed interest in Teheran, including the Boston Red Sox, Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Detroit Tigers, and other teams competing for a spot in the playoffs.
Teheran would help a competing team, but he may not be worth the price the Atlanta Braves are asking for. Not only is the price high, but there are some concerning factors that might show that Teheran’s success in 2016 could be a fluke.
To read more about how Teheran’s 2016 season could be a fluke, click the link below:
Friday July 29, 2011
MLB reports: The past week in Houston has seen Hunter Pence rumors flying fast and furious. Analysts pegged Pence to be headed to many destinations, ranging from Boston, Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. As early as this morning it appeared that there was maybe a 30% chance of the Astros getting a deal done. The Phillies were seen as the favorites, having offered a package of prospects to the Astros including Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart. With the Phillies offer being rejected, word had Philadelphia out of the Pence sweepstakes. With Domonic Brown apparently sought by the Astros, it was unclear if a fit existed between the teams to get a deal done. With the Braves apparently unwilling to trade any of their top pitching prospects, including Mike Minor and Julio Teheran, there appeared to be a good chance that Hunter Pence would stay in Houston as the face of the franchise. That all changed this evening and as the news continued to spread quickly, Hunter Pence as of this evening is officially a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. The cost? Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid and a player to be named later. The Phillies also get $1 million from the Astros to cover salary.
What the Phillies Receive:
Along with the $1 million as mentioned, the Phillies get Hunter Pence, one of the brightest young outfielders in the game. The 28-year old Pence was a 2nd round pick of the Astros in 2004. Pence made his MLB debut in 2007 and has been a consistent performer for the Astros ever since, with exactly 25 home runs per year from 2008-2010. The right-handed outfielder finished third in NL ROY voting in 2007 and was an All-Star in 2009 and this past season. Although his home run totals are down this year, Pence has displayed some of his strongest numbers this season. Along with his .309 AVG, Pence has a .828 OPS. The Phillies in need of a right-handed bat in their lineup jumped on Pence when given the chance.
The Phillies at 66-39 currently have the best record in baseball. With the Braves 5.0 GB, the Phillies could not afford to let a division crown slip through their fingers. With one of the deepest and best rotations in baseball history, Philadelphia is in win-now mode and anything less than a World Series championship will be considered a failure. With Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt starting for the team, the Phillies definitely look and feel like a strong contender. From there, the team has its offense paced by Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. With Hunter Pence on board, the Phillies all of a sudden have a more balanced offense and become that much more dangerous. The outfield with Pence has become a little crowded, with Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, Domonic Brown, Ben Francisco, Ross Gload and John Mayberry. But too much talent can be a good problem to have and the Phillies have made themselves into a stronger contender by acquiring Hunter Pence. In the Phillies lineup and ballpark, the sky is the limit as far as the numbers Pence can reach. He is also under team control for two more seasons as an added bonus for a team that is trying to maintain continuity in contending for years to come in the NL East.
What the Astros Receive:
I was calling Jonathan Singleton “Ryan Howard Jr.” during his time in the Phillies organization. Watching him play, Singleton has one of the sweetest strokes in the minors and has the potential to be a big time masher when finally getting the call to play in the bigs. The 19-year old Singleton was an 8th round pick of the Phillies back in the 2009 draft. That is what you call great scouting. Considered one of the best, if not the best prospect bat in the Phillies organization, Singleton was drafted as a first baseman but later moved to the outfield with Howard standing in his way. With the Astros playing Brett Wallace at first, its likely Singleton’s stay in the outfield is a permanent one. Playing in high A ball this season, Singleton was showing that his game was taking time to develop. Singleton at the time of the trade was hitting .282 with an outstanding .386 OPS. While the power numbers are down, with 11 home runs and .411 SLG, it is key to remember that Singleton is young and will take time to develop as a hitter. The Phillies were very happy with him in their system and the Astros had to work diligently to get the Phillies to part with him. The Astros farm system instantly shot up with the acquisition of Singleton. Combined with Wallace he should pace the Astros offense for years once he gets the call one day.
Jarred Cosart is a 21-year old pitcher who is also playing high A-ball in the Phillies organization. Another draft steal, Cosart was drafted all the way in the 38th round in 2008. Cosart so far in his career has pitched fairly well, with a lifetime 3.67 ERA and 1.159 WHIP. Standing 6’3″, the right-handed Cosart was highly considered as well in the Phillies organization. With the Astros sitting at 35-71, by far the worst record in baseball and new ownership coming in, the Astros had no choice but to continue to tear down their team and start over. With Hunter Pence far and away their most desired and sought after bargaining chip, the Astros had no choice but to move him and continue to stock their farm.
In addition to a player to be named later, the Astros also received today Josh Zeid, a 6’5″ right-handed pitcher who has started and worked out of the pen throughout his Phillies minor league career. A 10th round pick in the 2009 draft, Zeid is again a late round gem discovered by the Phillies’ incredible scouting staff. The 24-year old Zeid excelled in his first two seasons but hit a road bump this year in AA. With a 5.65 ERA and 1.414 WHIP, Zeid had a down year in 2011 and clearly has ways to go before coming to the majors. But for a pitching staff in need of pitching depth, Zeid becomes another arm in Houston.
If we go on the measure that the team with the best player wins the trade, we have to give this one to the Phillies. They received Hunter Pence, an All-Star outfielder in the prime of his career, under control for two more seasons. In return, the Phillies gave up three players that were all late round picks for the team and a player to be named later. Jonathan Singleton will be a star in my mind one day, no question. But he is still a very young player playing in the lower ranks of the minor leagues and has a long way to go before coming to the majors. That is the funny thing about prospects: their future can seem so bright, but between injuries, confidence and the ability they display by their play, it is quite often a gamble. The Astros do well in this trade if Singleton becomes a number or three or four hitter in the majors and turns into the home run hitter that he is projected to be. Cosart and Zeid are arms that may turn out to be great or average. The Astros may get two additions to their rotation one day, or perhaps just two more middle relief arms in their pen. As difficult as it is to project prospects, pitchers are the toughest of the bunch as they are more likely to face injuries and wear and tear on their arms compared to any other position players.
For a team in the basement of major league baseball, the Houston Astros needed to rebuild. But to trade the last star player on their team for one solid prospect and two uncertain arms was not necessarily the route I would have taken. But this trade was as much financially driven as it was about talent. The Astros are about to be sold and the new owner already ordered a massive payroll cut. With Brett Myers and Wandy Rodriguez still on the team, the Astros most tradeable player was Hunter Pence. Considering that the Blue Jays got Colby Rasmus for three middle relief arms essentially, the Astros went young and with more upside in this trade. Personally, I think very highly of Singleton having watched him play in the past. As one of the best young hitters in the minors, the Astros got themselves likely a future superstar. But the key word is likely. For what the Astros received back in potential, they gave up in certainty. Hunter Pence is a current star player that will fit immediately in the Phillies lineup with no cost off the team’s major league or AAA rosters. Until one or more of the prospects the Phillies receive produce at the major league level, which could be years away, the winner of this trade is the Philadelphia Phillies. Our preseason pick to win the World Series just got that much stronger. The rest of baseball has taken notice and competing teams will need to beef up their rosters over the next two days if they hope to have a shot of catching the Phillies in the postseason.
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Thursday, July 7, 2011
Rob Bland (Intern Candidate for MLB Reports): Since its inception in 1999, the Futures Game, now sponsored by XM Satellite Radio, has grown steadily in popularity. The players involved are split into two squads: USA and the World team. The rosters comprise of 25 players each, with every MLB organization represented, and no more than two players from each team. This year’s game will be played at Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field on Sunday, July 10th, a day before the MLB All-Star Homerun Derby.
Previous editions of the Futures Game has been littered with immense talent, and this year is no exception. The MVP of the inaugural event was Alfonso Soriano, and in other years it was Jose Reyes (2002), Grady Sizemore (2003), Aaron Hill (2004), and Billy Butler in 2006. Other notable past participants were superstars Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, Robinson Cano of the NY Yankees, and Clayton Kershaw of the LA Dodgers.
This year’s game is no different, as 14 of MLB.com’s Preseason Top 50 Prospects List will be participating in the event. That number could very easily be higher, but more than a dozen of those 50 are currently playing in the MLB. This year’s USA crop is highlighted by Mike Trout, #1 on the top 50 list, (LAA) and Bryce Harper, #3, (WAS) sharing the same outfield. The World team boasts a strong pitching staff, led by Julio Teheran, #10, (ATL) and Henderson Alvarez of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Let’s take a close look at the featured players that will be respresenting this year’s World Team:
Henderson Alvarez – RHP -Venezuela– TOR –New Hampshire Fisher Cats – AA – Eastern League
Alvarez is a right-handed starter who is in his second turn at the Futures Game. He has always possessed plus command, walking only 1.8 batters per 9 innings in his 5 year minor league career. An increase in weight over the offseason has also helped increase his velocity, as he touches 98 mph.
Liam Hendriks – RHP -Australia – MIN –New Britain Rock Cats – AA – Eastern League
Had an appendectomy just days before last year’s game, so this is a reprise for him. Not unhittable, but throws a ton of strikes; just 18 walks in 90 innings so far. Sits in the 87-91mph range with average secondary offerings.
Kelvin Herrera – RHP -Dominican Republic – KC – Northwest Arkansas Naturals – AA –Texas League
Diminutive right-handed reliever who has been almost untouchable this season. Since his call-up to AA early in the season, he has walked 2 batters to 35 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings. He sits around 95-96mph with a plus change-up.
Gregory Infante – RHP -Venezuela – CHISox – Charlotte Knights – AAA – International League
Another flame-throwing righty, he has managed to lower his walk rate and raise his strikeout rate in getting to AAA this year. He gets enough groundouts and doesn’t give up many homeruns. His lack of a consistent second pitch is holding him back, although his curve shows flashes of brilliance in the low 80s.
Jhan Marinez – RHP -Dominican Republic –FLA –Jacksonville Suns – AA – Southern League
Another righty reliever that can touch 98, with an exceptional 2-seamer that sits at 92. His problem, as most young arms, is control. Over his career he has average 6 BB/9, and has so far managed 7.9 BB/9 this year. He has struck out almost 12 per 9 innings though.
Carlos Martinez – RHP – Dominican Republic – STL – Palm Beach Cardinals – A – Florida State League
A Latin pitcher, thin and wiry who sits mid 90s with his fastball which has a good late cut. He has given up only 31 hits in 44 2/3 innings pitched, and is able to induce a lot of ground balls.
James Paxton – LHP -Canada – SEA – Jackson Generals – AA – Southern League
A tall, strong lefty, who didn’t sign after being selected in the supplemental first round in 2009, got a later start on his professional career after three years at the UniversityofKentucky. He sits 92-95mph with an above average curve, a power slider and average change-up. As a starter this year, he has struck out 81 batters in 60 2/3 innings.
Martin Perez – LHP -Venezuela –TEX – Frisco RoughRiders – AA –Texas League
A left handed starter with a fastball that sits around 92mph, his bread and butter is his sharp, hard-breaking curveball. His command is average, as he walks close to 4 batters per 9 innings.
Julio Teheran – RHP -Colombia – ATL – Gwinnett Braves – AAA – International League
It’s not often you see a 20-year old in AAA with his numbers. 9-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 90 2/3 IP. He possess a plus fastball that sits 92-94, with a plus plus change-up with great sink. Projects to be a #2 starter, if not a true ace in the big leagues.
Arodys Vizcaino – RHP -Dominican Republic – ATL –Mississippi Braves – AA – Southern League
Strong, well developed legs allow him to sit in the 91-94 range, topping at 95. His curve and change have yet to fully develop, but show flashes of promise. He has the ability to miss bats, as he has compiled 76 K in 78 2/3 IP.
Willin Rosario – C -Dominican Republic –COL -Tulsa Drillers – AA –Texas League
He possesses 30+ HR power, but lacks discipline and doesn’t walk. He has power to all fields but strikes out in almost 20% of his at bats. If he can learn some patience, he could be one of the top young catchers in the game.
Sebastian Valle – C -Mexico – PHI –Clearwater Threshers – A –Florida State League
Valle is a catcher who has hit at every level so far, yet still lacks patience, which is very common with young backstops. If he can raise his walk rate, and keep hitting the ball to all fields, he could be a special catcher in the Phillies organization.
Yonder Alonso – 1B/OF -Cuba – CIN –Louisville Bats – AAA – International League
Alonso is a very polished hitter. He has begun to play more innings at left field, because the Reds have Joey Votto as a lock at 1B. He hits to all fields, with some pop, and he walks a fair amount, which has led to his .861 OPS in AAA.
Jose Altuve – 2B -Venezuela – HOU – Corpus Christi Hooks – AA –Texas League
Listed at 5’7”, but plays as if he was 6’3”. Altuve is currently hitting .362 with 4 HR and 22 RBI in 31 games in AA after starting the season in A-ball, where he hit over .400 in 52 games. He doesn’t walk much, but when he is hitting everything thrown at him, he doesn’t really need to.
Hak-Ju Lee – SS -South Korea – TB – Charlotte Stone Crabs – A –FloridaState League
He is a plus defender at shortstop with good speed. Lee needs to work on his base stealing to better utilize that speed. He is having the best offensive season of his career, and is really looking like a steal in the Matt Garza trade with the Cubs.
Francisco Martinez – 3B -Venezuela – DET –Erie Sea Wolves – AA – Eastern League
Martinez is a prototypical third baseman with a quick bat and strong arm. Once he fills out his athletic frame, he should develop plus power. He still strikes out too much as he adjusts to AA pitching.
Alex Liddi – SS -Italy – SEA –Tacoma Rainiers – AAA –PacificCoast League
As the first Italian position player to sign a professional contract, he was seen as a bit of a project back in 2005. He has begun to develop his power, bashing 15 HR so far this season, but strikes out a ton; around 30% of his plate appearances end with him walking back to the dugout.
Jeffry Marte – 3B – Dominican Republic – NYM – St. Lucie Mets – A –Florida State League
Marte has good gap power and has a decent eye at the plate, as well as being smart on the base paths. May not be able to stay at 3B long term, but as long as his bat continues to progress, could make it to the big leagues as an outfielder.
Jurickson Profar – SS – Curacao –TEX –Hickory Crawdads – A –South Atlantic League
Premium defender at shortstop, with speed and the ability to drive the ball all over the field. He walks more than he strikes out, and once he fills out his 165lb frame, he could eventually become a 20/20 shortstop in the big leagues.
Jonathan Schoop – 3B – Curacao – BAL –Frederick Keys – A –Carolina League
Possesses the skills to play anywhere in the infield, his long term future looks to be 3B. He has quick feet and a good arm, with a quick bat. As he gets stronger, he could be a 20 HR guy that can drive in a ton of runs.
Chih-Hsien Chiang – OF -Taiwan – BOS –Portland Sea Dogs – AA – Eastern League
After five years of mediocrity in the minor leagues, he seems to have put it together this year. Hitting in the middle of Portland’s line-up, he has not only driven in 58 runs and hit 14 homeruns, but also hit 26 doubles, giving him a .618 SLG. Over half of his hits have been for extra bases, with gap power, he could prove that Boston’s roots in Asia are only getting stronger.
Reymond Fuentes – CF – Puerto Rico – SD –LakeElsinore Storm – A –California League
One of the pieces in the Adrian Gonzalez deal, he should be able to man center field at Petco Park for years to come with his speed. He already has 34 stolen bases, and he gets on base quite frequently. He may never hit for power, but could be a leadoff type hitter in the big leagues.
Starling Marte – CF -Dominican Republic – PIT –Altoona Curve – AA – Eastern League
There aren’t many players in baseball that could push Andrew McCutchen to a corner outfield position, but Marte could be one of them. He possesses the speed to cover a lot of ground, and although his power hasn’t quite developed, he could be a 10-15 HR player with a good OBP if his discipline continues to progress.
Alfredo Silverio – LF -Dominican Republic – LAD –Chattanooga Lookouts – AA – Southern League
Silverio has always seemed ready to be the power/speed combination outfielder the Dodgers envisioned when they signed him in 2003, and almost eight years later, he may finally be hitting his stride. If his discipline can improve, he could be in the big leagues quickly. Lacks a good arm, so he is basically destined for left field.
Dayan Viciedo – RF -Cuba – CHI Sox – Charlotte Knights – AAA – International League
Finally moved to the outfield this year, he has a solid arm for right field, and he flat out mashes. Many see a 30 HR player in the near future, as he uses all parts of the field with a quick compact stroke.
The World team is comprised of players from twelve countries: eight from the Dominican Republic, five from Venezuela, two from Cuba and Curacao, and one each from Canada, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, Italy, Colombia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
Stay tuned for analysis on the US roster.
***Thank you to Rob Bland for preparing today’s article on the All-Star Futures Game, preview of the World Team. You can follow Rob on Twitter.***
Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook . To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.