Saturday, June 29, 2013

Zack Wheeler And The Trading Of Top-Ten Amateur Draft Picks

Note: This a guest column from on fantasy baseball.

When San Francisco traded Zack Wheeler to the Mets for Carlos Beltran in July 2011, Wheeler became one of several recent top ten picks to be traded without ever playing a major-league game for the team that drafted them. Wheeler was the sixth pick in the first round in 2009. Beltran hit .323 for the Giants in 44 games before leaving San Francisco as a free agent. Wheeler, one of the top pitching prospects in MLB, recently made his major-league debut, and is a hot free and cash fantasy baseball pick.

Here are other recent trades involving top ten picks who never played with their original teams:

Trevor Bauer, P (2011, 3rd pick, Arizona)

The Diamondbacks traded Bauer, now 22, to the Indians last December in a three-team trade in which the main player they got back was shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius from Cincinnati. Bauer is generally considered a better prospect than Gregorius, but as of early June, Bauer was back in the minors and Gregorius was starting at shortstop for Arizona and hitting over .320.

Jacob Turner, P (2009, 9, Detroit)

The Tigers sent Turner to the Marlins in the July 2012 trade that netted them Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante. The new acquisitions helped Detroit get to the World Series. Sanchez had a 1.77 ERA in three postseason starts and Infante took over at second base. In 2013, Sanchez has struck out 17 in one game and pitched a complete-game one-hitter in which he struck out 12. Infante was hitting over .290 in early June.

Turner started 2013 in the minors, but was called up at the end of May. In his first two starts, Turner allowed one earned run over 13 innings.

Yonder Alonso, 1B (2008, 7 Cincinnati)

The Reds traded Alonso along with two other former first rounders, Yasmani Grandal (2010, 12) and Brad Boxberger (2009, supplemental 43), for Mat Latos. Latos was 14-4 for the Reds in 2012 with a 3.48 ERA. This season, Latos was 5-0 with a 2.90 ERA after 12 starts.

Alonso, the Padres’ starting first baseman, was hitting .284 when he went on the disabled list June 1 with a fractured hand. Catcher Grandal hit .297 in 60 games in 2012, but missed the first 50 games of 2013 after being suspended for PEDs. Grandal has also been linked to the Biogenesis scandal. Boxberger was brought up from the minors in early June to join the Padres’ bullpen.

Drew Pomeranz (2010, 5, Cleveland)

The Indians gave up Pomeranz in a 2011 deadline trade that landed them Ubaldo Jimenez from the Rockies. Jimenez has generally been awful for Cleveland, with an overall ERA over 5, though he was doing better as of early June.

Pomeranz went 2-9 in 2012 with a 4.93 ERA. His ERA was almost exactly the same at home as on the road. Pomeranz is back in the minors this season, but is pitching well and could be back in Colorado before too long. Pomeranz is 24.

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