Prospect Watch: Top five youngsters moved at MLB trade deadline

You may have heard that Major League Baseball’s trade deadline passed Tuesday night. (If not, you can use our handy trade tracker to catch up on all the moves from the past few weeks..) As such, this edition of Prospect Watch is, predictably, all about ranking and analyzing the top five youngsters who have been included in deals.

Keep in mind that these exercises are always more art than science and there were more than five interesting leads traded by the deadline. Now forward.

There’s a lot to love about Marte’s game. He’s a left infielder with well above average raw power who walks and has kept his strikeout rate in check despite playing against competitors who are several years older than him. The only big unknown facing Marte is his defensive position. He’s been terribly error-prone the past two seasons, and he might have to slip to third place. It won’t be very negative if he hits like he is able to hit.

Hassell, the eighth pick in the 2020 draft, has already achieved High-A success hitting .299/.379/.467 with 10 homers in 75 games. Scouts praised his hit tool and approach dating back to his prep days; alas, they also wondered when (and how much) he would tap into his raw pop and whether he would stay center stage. Those concerns remain in place, but it’s now up to Nationals to help find a good resolution.

3. Edwin ArroyoSS, Reds (Luis Castillo)

Arroyo has had his share of fans entering the 2021 draft thanks to a combination of his extreme youthfulness and defensive shortstop ability. It didn’t hurt that he showed enough positive traits at the plate for scouts to imagine him rising beyond utility player status. Still, Arroyo showed more offensive skill than his fiercest boosters might have expected hitting .316/.385/.514 in 87 games in the Cal League, where his average opponent was, oh, over three years old. his eldest. Arroyo is a few seasons away from major league relevance, but he’s something to keep in mind.

4. James WoodOF, Nationals (Juan Soto)

Wood, the other outfielder in the Soto trade, has the kind of raw power you’d expect from someone listed at 6-foot-7. He moves better than the Richie Sexsons of the world, though, and the fathers had mostly played him in center field. The main concern with Wood’s play as an amateur was that he would scratch too often to maximize his pop. It is therefore an encouraging sign that he has managed to keep his seasonal withdrawal rate below 20%. Wood could become a mid-range hitter if that trend continues as he moves up the ranks.

If the Angels were determined to take a boost from Marsh, a former top prospect who struggled to make consistent contact at the majors, they could have done worse than fire O’Hoppe in return. He spent the season in Double-A, hitting .275/.392/.496 with 15 homers in 75 games. O’Hoppe is a well-balanced backstop, a general field type that could provide average or better offensive production. He looks set for Triple-A, and he should be able to make his league debut in 2023.

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