Around this time last year some of us were bemoaning the departure of some of our favorite Fabergé eggs. Chris Perez and then later Jess Todd went to Cleveland for Mark DeRosa. Matt Holliday was acquired for the man we affectionately dubbed the Walrus, as well as Clayton Mortensen and Shane Peterson. That was four of our top ten prospects going into the 2009 season, and Peterson was in most publications’ top 15-20.
I wasn’t a big fan of either trade at the moment they happened, but I gradually sobered up from my prospect fanboyism and realized that the deals, in themselves, were perfectly justifiable even if it meant putting a pretty big dent in the farm system. So far, Luhnow has done a pretty good job re-stocking the system with some potential, assuming the tops picks of the draft sign and the Carlos Matias signing is OK’d.
I thought it would be fun just to check in with some of the players and see how they’re doing for their new clubs. This isn’t to pronounce a winner or a loser in the trade, just a status update.
The Walrus’ slash line of .293/.353/.503 for Triple-A Las Vegas looks pretty good, but can be deceiving. I’m not hear to bash on Brett, but there’s some red flags about his numbers. First of all, Las Vegas is a hitter’s heaven. Adjusting for park, Wallace’s line diminishes to .280/.341/.480. Still not shabby considering he was only drafted two years ago. What’s got to be a little disconcerting for Blue Jays’ fans is his plate discipline. Touted as a disciplined hitter coming out of college, Wallace has a .32 BB/K ratio and just a 6% walk rate. His MLE OPS is .667. Oh, and he’s officially moved over to 1B.
I like Wallace, I still think he’s a good prospect, but I’m not quite as confident that he’s some sort of future all-star.
Shane Peterson has a .300 wOBA for Double-A Midland and a nice, shiny .003 ISO.
At age 25, Clayton Mortensen is still doing his thing in the PCL. He has thrown 100 innings, is striking out about 7 batters per nine, walking 2.8 per and is still getting lots of groundballs. (53% GB%)
Through 125 innings of professional ball, the former “closer of the future” has pitched right around replacement level. His strikeout rate has dipped down to around 6 per nine for Cleveland this year, and he has a 5.31 xFIP. Ouch. Remember the Motte versus Perez debate? I was on Team Perez for the reason of secondary offerings or lack thereof for Motte. Bully for those who were on Team Motte.
Jess Todd probably won’t destroy us all after all, but for Triple-A Columbus he’s striking out a batter per inning with good control to boot. I feel sort of silly for thinking he ever might be a starter, but he still might be a valuable set-up man. He was pounded in his brief major league stint, his opponent’s BABIP was .411. I wouldn’t read too much into his struggles in the majors last year.
Who knows what will become of Seth Blair once he signs, but if he turns out to be a quality #3-4 starter like he’s projected, then Todd and Perez for a couple of bad months of DeRosa and Blair will look pretty good.
I think the deal that none of us bemoaned but are bemoaning now happened before last season started. If you ever want to get depressed, just look at what Luke Gregerson is doing to major league hitters now. I can’t discuss it, it’s too painful. Just look. He has become my new Dan Haren.
Mark “I’m a legend in my mind” Worrell is in Triple-A, still. He has a 4.36 FIP in 34.1 innings pitched.
I still like the futures for several of these players, but it’s funny to me, in a painful way, that the most valuable player out of them all, at least so far, is the guy we didn’t mind parting with, the player we thought of as a fungible middle reliever. Sure, we all liked his shiny minor league numbers quite a bit, but we had several relievers in the minors doing similar things. The players I liked least parting with are showing all sorts of wrinkles and may not end up amounting to much of anything.
Oh the joy of prospects.