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August 1, 2013

Prospects Will Break Your Heart

The Top Ten Prospects Traded at the Deadline

by Jason Parks


The forecast called for a prospect-heavy deadline, with rumored deals involving proven major league talents like Cliff Lee and Jake Peavy who were expected to fetch some big names in the minor league world. However, the main haul in the Jake Peavy trade turned out to be young, major league ready talent, not names that appeared on the mid-season top 50. And despite a lot of words getting wasted on the possibilities, the Cliff Lees of the world were not turned into prospect treasure.

This led to a very lackluster deadline, with the Matt Garza trade responsible for moving around the most impact talent, while the majority of deals were centered around fringe prospects or relief arms that aren't easy to get excited about. While the book isn't written on any of the players, the minor leaguers who changed hands this summer are unlikely candidates to change fortunes, and without the dream of a high ceiling or high impact, it's hard to sell the reality of average-at-best skill-sets to fanbases that were anticipating a brighter tomorrow. I tried to anyway. Because I'm a good person.

The Top Five

1. Prospect: Mike Olt
From: Rangers to Cubs
Position: 3B
Notes: The de facto top prospect prize moved this summer, Olt was once a no-brainer top 50 talent, but struggles at the plate have depressed his value, and the Rangers made him expendable in the deal for Matt Garza. The ceiling is still in the first-division range, with an average hit tool but legit over-the-fence power potential, the kind that is quite appealing given his above-average defensive profile at third base. The downside is a hit tool that might fail to play up to average and could limit the utility of his power, making him an exploitable target of higher-level pitching. I’d put a role 5 on him, with some risk given the questions about the bat-to-ball ability.

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