Breaking down Twins return in Berríos deal

July 30th, 2021

The Blue Jays pushed some big chips into the middle of the table on Friday by acquiring José Berríos from the Twins. The cost? Two Top 100 prospects.

Toronto sent No. 16 overall prospect Austin Martin and No. 68 Simeon Woods Richardson to Minnesota for right-handed starting pitcher ahead of the 2021 Trade Deadline.

Martin was moved just one year after the Jays selected him with the fifth overall pick out of Vanderbilt. Woods Richardson -- currently in Japan competing with Team USA in the Olympics -- joins his third organization after he was also traded at the 2019 Deadline in a Mets-Jays deal involving Marcus Stroman. With five Top 100 prospects before the deal, Toronto had the deep farm system to pull off a trade, while Minnesota deepens its own Top 100 contingent to five members ahead of a potential rebuild.

Here are scouting reports on the prospects swapped between the Blue Jays and Twins on Friday:

Austin Martin, SS/OF (No. 2/MLB No. 16)

The Jays got aggressive with the former Vandy star by sending him to Double-A New Hampshire straight out of the gate, and he hasn’t quite shown enough power in that jump with two homers and a .383 slugging percentage in 55 games. The rest of the offensive profile remains as strong as ever. Martin finds a lot of barrels with a quick and short right-handed swing, and he uses the whole field well as a result. He’ll also take his fair share of walks, showing off an advanced approach beyond those typically just entering pro ball. A .368 hitter in college, Martin has produced a .281 average and .424 OBP for New Hampshire, the latter ranking second in all of Double-A. His defensive home remains to be seen. He has split time equally between short and center in 2021, and he has the athleticism to work at both. His arm is just average, however, complicating the defensive profile, but Martin’s likelihood to play up the middle certainly adds to his value. He could compete with fellow Twins prospect Royce Lewis for the future at short or center in the Twin Cities.

Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP (No. 3/MLB No. 68)

Woods Richardson entered 2021 with four above-average to plus pitches with his 91-95 mph fastball and 60-grade changeup the two standout offerings. He also earned plus grades for his control, having thrown consistent strikes since the Mets took him in the second round of the 2018 Draft. That control, however, has taken a step back this season with Woods Richardson walking 26 Double-A batters in 45 1/3 innings. That has resulted in a rough 5.76 ERA. That said, the 6-foot-3 hurler remains quite young for the Double-A level at just 20 years old, and he still managed to fan 67 batters so far this season, indicating that he can put it past upper-level batters with regularity. If he can return to his regular strike-throwing ways, Woods Richardson could feature in the Twins’ rotation as early as next year.