Minor League Report: The Trade Deadline is Approaching

This is the last edition of the report before the major league trade deadline. This time next week many prospect, as well as MLB players obviously, will be changing teams.

There are very few times we will actually not like the landing spot for a prospect. The only case being if a pitching prospect ends up in Colorado or some other hitter friendly venue. For the most part, a trade for a prospect either stays neutral or even improves because of a landing spot that provides a quicker ETA.

One thing a fantasy owner might be able to do this time of the year is trade with the MLB trade hype. Almost every player dealt gets hyped up at the deadline with positives about why a team might want them. Heck, I saw a lot of outlets hyping the guys the Tigers got in return for J.D. Martinez even though most outlets didn’t have them as top-200, or sometimes even top-400, prospects.

Use the hype to your advantage. You aren’t all that sold on Sonny Gray? When he gets dealt someone will likely get excited as he will go to a better team which means more wins! But in reality, the difference might be 1-2 wins for the rest of 2017.

The same can be said for prospects. You have Tyler O’Neil but don’t buy him being a great player? EVERYONE has been banging their chests saying the Mariners got robbed. Someone out there will pay more for O’Neil now than they did a week ago.

Next Monday for the trade deadline is about as perfect as it could get for me in this space. So if you want to know about all those prospects changing hands, or at least the ones worth knowing about from a fantasy prospective, check out my article next week where I will be breaking down the prospects that were on the move in the final week of the non waiver trading period.

As usual if you have any questions on anything fantasy baseball, feel free to ask about them in the comment section below or on Twitter

All stats are through Sunday July 23.

Redraft Radar

  • Chance Adams P – Yankees
  • Willie Calhoun 2B – Dodgers
  • Luke Weaver P – Cardinals
  • Ozzie Albies 2B – Braves

Fairly obvious, and if you waited this long it is likely too late, but add Rafael Devers. And after being here for what feels like forever, Yoan Moncada graduates with a call to the majors. The Cardinals could use Luke Weaver in the rotation as he has been great this season in the hitter friendly PCL. Albies could be a nice source of steals down the stretch if the Braves decide to promote him. I just don’t know where he would play. A crowded infield situation got more crowded, and even Dansby Swanson isn’t an everyday player at the moment.

Who’s hot

Pavin Smith 1B – Diamondbacks (A-)

  • 2017: .359/.431/.456, 0 HR, BB: 13 (11.2%), K: 11 (9.5%), 0 SB

Smith was one of my favorite hitters coming out of the draft as a safe plus hit tool, plus power college bat.

The downside with Smith is he will likely be relegated to first base in the majors and that spot is currently being manned by one of the best in the game, Paul Goldchmidt.

Smith could be a routine 25 homers and .280 average in the majors when he gets there. It could be soon if he keeps this up and forces his way into a lineup.

Keston Hiura 2B – Brewers (A)

  • 2017: .429/479/.774, 4 HR, BB: 6 (6.4%), K: 18 (19.1%), 0 SB

Hiura might be Willie Calhoun in a couple of years. What I mean by that is the guy that we love the bat and we keep staring at these minor league numbers screaming why isn’t he up yet. Well it is because he isn’t a good fielder.

Maybe 15-20 years ago those things didn’t matter. In the days of advanced defensive metrics people have to be good in the field to be able to well play.

Hiura has one of the best power and hit tool combinations from the draft. Over his college career he slashed .375/.466/.581 with 22 homers and just a 16 percent strikeout rate capped off by his final season where he hit .442/.567/.693.

Hiura didn’t get the hype that some of the top-level drafted guys got because he doesn’t have that crazy upside, like Adell, Greene, Lewis, etc., but there are a lot of elite players that don’t steal bases.

Heliot Ramos OF – Giants (Rookie)

  • 2017: .397/.449/.778, 3 HR, BB: 5 (7.2%), K: 19 (27.5%), 5 SB

Ramos is one of those guys that has people crossing their fingers hoping he can put all the tools together and become a star.

The 17-year-old outfielder has power already and should develop more as he gets older. He also has enough speed to get steals that will keep you interested. While he won’t go stealing 20 anytime in the majors, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 10-15.

With these guys it usually comes down to the hit tool. If he can hit, fantastic, but if he can’t he is probably a total bust. That is pretty obvious to some, but that is what you have to remember with this profile.

Ramos will likely cost a pretty penny if you haven’t had a first year player draft because people will like the upside. If you can get him cheaply and take a chance on that upside go for it, but don’t spend a high pick to secure him.

Jordon Adell OF – Angels (Rookie)

  • 2017: .350/.381/.650, 3 HR, BB: 2 (4.6%), K: 8 (18.6%), 1 SB

More so than Ramos, Adell is the biggest upside play outside of Hunter Greene.

Adell has the potential to be a five category contributor in the outfield with plus speed, potentially plus power, and an average hit tool.

Don’t be surprised here, but the biggest road block for him will be his tendency to swing and miss.

I would be willing to pay up to get Adell because I think the upside is legitimately a first round pick if it works out. He could also fall in line with the hundreds of other potential five category contributors that just couldn’t hit enough to be relevant.

Royce Lewis SS – Twins (Rookie)

  • 2017: .316/.400/.532, 3 HR, BB: 8 (8.9%), K: 10 (11.1%), 6 SB

The number one pick in this year’s draft. Lewis is expected to stick at shortstop long-term, and as we know, it doesn’t take a lot to be relevant as a fantasy shortstop.

Lewis is bat first which isn’t all that surprising as he is just 18 and should develop power as he matures in the minors.

If the power doesn’t develop it shouldn’t be a big concern as Lewis does have plus speed that should help carry him in his early years.

Even though he is the number one pick in the draft, and I hope many of you already know this, Lewis is very far away from making a major league impact. At the earliest we might see him 2020, and that is only if everything goes right.

Checking in


  • Tyler Glasnow isn’t long for the minors. The Pirates will have to promote him again sometime soon. There isn’t much left to show in AAA.
  • Dillon Tate Tate has struggled to repeat his high strikeout numbers since he first appeared in this space. With that being said, his ERA is under 3.00 for the season.
  • Eric Lauer has been roughed up in back to back outings, 12 earned in 11 2/3 innings.
  • Corbin Burnes had his first start this season where he allowed four or more earned runs.
  • Austin Gomber has been roughed up in two of his last three outings.


  • Jose Miguel Fernandez is hitting .326 in his last 10 games.
  • Starling Heredia is showing a batting average that few expected recently, but the strikeout rate is still too high.
  • Ramon Laureano is cooling off a bit, but still is getting bad BABIP luck.
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. is struggling lately with a .211 average and 11 strikeouts in his last 10 games.
  • Daz Cameron is keeping his strikeout rate in check and that has led to some batting average success.

Visit fantasy rundown for additional fantasy articles and prospect rankings.

Andy Germani

Written by 

I am a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan and a graduate from Penn State. Baseball was my first love and I still play to this day in an adult baseball league. I always love helping people with their questions on Twitter so feel free to follow me and ask questions.