Minor Leaguers Could Play Big Role at Trade Deadline

Continued from yesterday

Safe

  • Tyler Flowers -- Flowers is the Sox best prospect now that Beckham and Poreda are soon to lose their prospect status. Flowers is slated to take over for AJ Pierzynski following the '10 season, but might force his way onto the roster next year as a DH/backup C.

    I'm still not completely on board the Flowers bandwagon, at least not as much as Tdogg and Larry. I'm still a bit concerned about hit contact rate, though he obviously has shown a great batting eye. He'll probably adjust eventually, but I'll always have some reservations until I see him produce at the major league level.

  • Brandon Allen -- Allen was recently promoted to Charlotte and figures to be a September call-up candidate. With Thome and Dye (possibly) coming off the books next year, Allen could find his way to the '10 opening day roster at 1B/DH. Konerko will be coming off the books after '10 with AJ, which should remove all obstacles. Colin has Allen in his "likely to be traded" column, but I'm convinced his proximity to the big leagues and impending departures of the old & slow core puts him in the safe category.

    Allen has seen his ISO (power) drop to its lowest level since he his first season in A-ball, which might be a product of the expansive OF in B'ham. But he has offset that drop in power by demonstrating better control of the strike zone, maintaining his new found batting eye while further cutting down on his strikeouts. I wouldn't be overly concerned about the power, as the batting eye was the one area where he needed the most improvement.

  • Jordan Danks -- Unlike the two previous players Danks is not blocked by any players of consequence, and thus could conceivably find his way to the major league club faster than them.

    Danks has been everything I thought he would be. I just didn't expect it to happen so fast. So while I want to say that he's at least another full season away, I also didn't expect him to be at AA before the All-Star break, or even before the end of the season. He'll have to work on his contact issues, but his walk-rate and defensive abilities could carry him to the show if the Sox find themselves in a similar situation next season.

  • Jared Mitchell -- You can't trade a guy who's not even signed yet...
  • Dayan Viciedo -- I can't see the Sox moving a guy they spent that much money on in such short order. Viciedo has been disappointing to some, but those people had unreasonable expectations. He's shown improvement month-to-month as a 20-year old in AA. It's far too early to give up on him.

Trade Bait

  • Daniel Hudson -- The third member of the Sox outstanding '08 draft class to reach AA. Hudson's numbers are remarkably similar to those of the 4th overall pick Brian Matusz. And while I'm not going to compare him to the big lefty, I get the feeling that he's being undersold by some here.

    Hudson was considered a second-round talent following his sophomore season, but had some gopheritis problems his junior campaign, losing his Friday starter spot and dropping in the draft. The talent was still there, and it's not like a 90-93MPH fastball is something to scoff at. That plays in the big leagues. Part Gavin Floyd and part Javier Vazquez, he might not be a front of the rotation guy, but he's got plus stuff and a knows how to miss some bats.

    Behind Poreda and Richard on the SP depth chart, and with an ETA that doesn't put him on the big league club at any point next year, Hudson is the prospect most likely to be shipped out at the deadline.

  • Dexter Carter -- Larry's boy hasn't moved as quickly as his former ODU teammate, but he's got a few extra MPH on his fastball and might grade out higher on most scouts' scorecards. Not quite a project -- it seems the Sox already tackled the major project that was his control -- Carter is the type of high-upside arm that all (smart) teams are looking for in trades.
  • John Shelby -- Already having been supplanted by Jordan Danks as B'ham's CFer, Shelby slid even further down the Sox shallow CF depth chart when they drafted Mitchell. Shelby's likely destination wasn't CF anyway, as he's still quite raw out there. Teams aren't going to come to the Sox asking for Shelby, but he'll definitely be on the list of available players.
  • Nathan Jones -- He throws hard. Teams seem to like that.

There are plenty of other guys who would be of some value to other teams, guys like Gregor Infante, Charlie Leesman, Santos Luis, Jon Gilmore, maybe even a Justin Greene, but I would be here all night if I listed the guys who might be traded.

This little exercise reinforced my feeling from the previous piece that the Sox should largely stay put. They've got some nice prospects in place to replace their aging core, and any trade of those players would seem to legitimately push the Sox next good team a year two later.

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