Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

MLB News

Top 10 prospects traded this offseason

December 20, 2017

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The D-backs shockingly traded reigning No. 1 overall Draft pick Dansby Swanson at the 2015 Winter Meetings in Nashville. At last year's event in National Harbor, Md., the Red Sox parted with the then-best prospect in baseball, Yoan Moncada, as part of a package to

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The D-backs shockingly traded reigning No. 1 overall Draft pick Dansby Swanson at the 2015 Winter Meetings in Nashville. At last year's event in National Harbor, Md., the Red Sox parted with the then-best prospect in baseball, Yoan Moncada, as part of a package to obtain Chris Sale.
There were no such dramatic moves this year at Disney World, as not even a single Top 100 Prospect got traded. In fact, not a single one has changed addresses since the Astros surrendered right-hander Franklin Perez to the Tigers as the key piece in the Justin Verlander deal at the end of August.
The Marlins have acquired the top four prospects who have been traded this offseason, and six of the top 10, but that's more a product of their clear desire to reduce payroll than a reflection of the success of their trades. They didn't acquire any Top 100 prospects for either Giancarlo Stanton or Marcell Ozuna, who combined to hit 96 homers this year. And while they did get some intriguing guys with upside, their farm system is still far from elite.
Below we rank the 10 best prospects traded since the World Series ended. More detailed scouting reports and video are available at's Prospect Watch.
1. Sandy Alcantara, 22, RHP, Marlins (from Cardinals in Ozuna trade)
There's nothing wrong with his pure stuff, which includes an upper-90s fastball that reaches triple digits, a mid-80s slider and a tumbling changeup. Yet he doesn't miss as many barrels or throw as many strikes as he should, which may make him more of a late-inning reliever than a starter in the long run. That's light for the best player in return for Ozuna, who has two years of team control remaining after batting .312/.376/.548 at age 26 this year.

2. Jorge Guzman, 21, RHP, Marlins (from Yankees in Stanton trade)
Like Alcantara, Guzman has a high upside but also comes with risk. One of the hardest-throwing starters in the Minors, he usually operates from 97-103 mph, though his hard slider, changeup and control are still works in progress. He, too, might wind up in the bullpen and has yet to reach full-season ball at age 21. He shouldn't have been the headliner in a trade for Stanton, fresh off a season in which he homered 59 times and won the National League MVP Award. Stanton's 10-year, $295 million contract is also far less than he'd command on the open market.
3. Nick Neidert, 21, RHP, Marlins (from Mariners in Dee Gordon trade)
Miami did a better job in divesting itself of Gordon. A second-round pick from a Georgia high school in 2015, Neidert was the Class A Advanced California League pitcher of the year and reached Double-A in July at age 20. He has three solid or better pitches in his riding low-90s fastball, his slider and his changeup. He knows how to use his stuff better than Alcantara or Guzman, making him a safer bet to remain a starter.
4. Magneuris Sierra, 21, OF, Marlins (Ozuna trade)
Some evaluators credit Sierra with four plus tools: bat, speed, arm and center-field defense. Yet his floor stands out more than his ceiling because he rarely hits for power or draws walks, limiting his true effectiveness at the plate. He could become an everyday center fielder but probably would fit best toward the bottom of the batting order for a contender.

5. Yairo Munoz, 22, SS/3B/OF, Cardinals (from Athletics in Stephen Piscotty trade)
The feel-good story of the Winter Meetings came when St. Louis shipped Piscotty to Oakland, in part so he could be closer to his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease in May. Coming off a career-best .300/.330/.464 season between Double-A and Triple-A, Munoz has solid raw power and speed as well as a plus arm.
6. Max Schrock, 23, 2B, Cardinals (Piscotty trade)
The other half of the return for Piscotty, Schrock is a bat-first second baseman with a .324/.372/.439 slash line in three pro seasons. While the rest of his game is pretty fringy, his hitting and on-base ability give him a chance to eventually become an everyday player.

7. Zac Gallen, 22, RHP, Marlins (Ozuna trade)
A third-round pick from North Carolina in 2016, Gallen reached Triple-A a year and five days after he turned pro. While he lacks a plus pitch, he throws four for strikes and his low-90s fastball plays up because of its life and plane, so he could be a back-of-the-rotation starter.
8. Jacob Pearson, 19, OF, Twins (from Angels in international pool money trade)
When the Angels sought extra money as they pursued Shohei Ohtani, the Twins sent them $1 million in exchange for Pearson, who signed for the same amount as a third-rounder from a Louisiana high school in June. Though he hit .226/.284/.302 in a lackluster pro debut, he was one of the better prep hitters in the 2017 Draft and has 20-20 upside.
9. Juan Then, 17, RHP, Yankees (from Mariners in Nick Rumbelow trade)
With a deep farm system and a crowded 40-man roster, the Yankees made three trades in mid-November to get something for players they feared they would lose in the Rule 5 Draft. The best prospect they received in return was Then, a projectable 17-year-old who already reaches 94 mph with his fastball and also owns a promising changeup and curveball.

10. Christopher Torres, 19, SS, Marlins (Gordon trade)
Torres is a more advanced defender than most 19-year-old shortstops and owns a plus arm with speed to match. The switch-hitter started to show some power this summer but struck out in 30 percent of his plate appearances.

Jim Callis is a reporter for Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.