You can read here on what Logan thinks about tonight’s trade of Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians. The Rockies sent Ubaldo packing for four Indians prospects and most might want to know more about those prospects, so here you go.
The big name in the deal is also the official PTBNL (player to be named later): Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz cannot be officialy listed as the fourth player in the deal because was drafted last June. This part of the trade cannot be made official until August 15th. One of those ridiculous rules that says he cannot be announced, but yet everyone can be fully aware that he is the fourth player.
Yesterday I wrote about the updated top 50 prospect list on MLB.com by Jonathan Mayo and Pomeranz was listed as the 32nd overall prospect in baseball and second within the Indians organization. The key piece of info on Pomeranz from Mayo is on his fastball and curve:
Pomeranz has a plus fastball that reaches the mid-90s, and he had perhaps the best breaking ball in the 2010 Draft class.
Keith Law also has a piece up on the trade (ESPN Insider required) and from his point of view the Indians misread their chances of making the playoffs, much less winning the World Series. He has this to say about Pomeranz:
Pomeranz has had no trouble so far in pro ball, including three starts in AA after a recent promotion. He’ll mostly sit 89-94 with an out-pitch curveball in the mid- to upper 70s, and showed real improvement with the changeup when he appeared at the Futures Game earlier this month, potentially resolving one of the concerns about him coming into the year (that he might not be effective enough against right-handed hitters).
The second pitching prospect the Rockies received for Ubaldo was Alex White, who Mayo ranks fourth in the Indians organization in his updated prospect rankings. White was drafted by the Indians with the 15th pick overall in the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft. He was ranked by Baseball America as being MiLB’s 65th best prospect in 2010 and 47th best in 2011. He fast tracked to the major leagues after only spending two years in the minor leagues and only throwing 174 1/3 innings in the Indians organization.
White was pitching for the North Carolina Tar Heels just two years ago in 2011 he has three starts in the big leagues with the Indians. In a very small sample size White has 13 strikeouts versus nine unintentional walks in 15 innings pitched in 2011. KLaw has this to say about White:
Cleveland executives acknowledged there was a reasonable chance he’d end up in the pen if he couldn’t find a usable breaking ball to go with the above-average fastball and above-average or better split. White pitched well in limited time in AA this year, was rushed to the majors, then suffered a finger injury (not good in a guy who relies on a split-fingered fastball) from which he is just returning — but the slider still isn’t an average pitch. He has shown an ability to get groundballs, especially with the splitter, which makes up for the fact that he doesn’t miss a ton of bats
KLaw goes on to say that he see’s White as a high-leverage/late-inning reliever unless his slider continues to develop. He does say that several organizations view him as a #3 starter in the rotation if that slider develops.
Joe Gardner is a sinker ball pitcher, which is exactly what is needed at Coors Field, and he generated 3.2 ground balls to every fly ball in the minor leagues. He also led the Indians organization in strikeouts, which, if all goes really well, somehow he will turn into Ubaldo 2.0 in the fact that he strikes out batters and generates a lot of ground balls. Mayo ranks Gardner sixth in the Indians updated prospect rankings.
Finally, Matt McBride was the last player included in the deal. KLaw says he is an organizational corner infield which means it is not very likely we see him at Coors Field at any point in his career. Hey, someone has to fill out the roster in the minor leagues, not everyone of the guys in the Rockies organization will even sniff the big leagues.
A lot of prospects for Ubaldo Jimenez, who even in a year in which everyone is questioning his abilities, is 16th in the National League among starting pitchers in WAR according to Fangraphs.