It seems like the general consensus has been among the media outlets that the Astros did not get enough in return for Michael Bourn. I also was of that same opinion, primarily because of the fact they were not able to get one of the Braves top four pitching prospects.
However, I do need to thank Fred Owens from Tomahawk Take for providing me with a more positive outlook on this trade after breaking down the prospects the Astros received. After the jump, I have included Owen’s analysis of the new Astros’ prospects.
In double-A starters Brett Oberholtzer and Paul Clemens you get a couple of good arms that average 7Ks a game and ERAs around 3.75. Not ace starters but certainly nor throw away pieces either. Oberholtzer had a superb spring, as good as Mike Minor really, and made significant progress this year. The numbers have’t raised him to a top prospect but he’s a solid lefty who slots in as your number 10 prospect and will improve. Clemens was our number 8 prospect and many say he has a higher upside than Oberholtzer. Clemens slots in as your number 6. That brings me to Juan Abreu.
I think Abreu is underrated. If I said you have a new relief pitcher that’s struck out 68 batters in 48 innings of work (that’s 12.5/9 innings) and has a 2.25 ERA, you’d be excited about a future closer and you should be because that’s Juan Abreu. For reference Craig Kimbrel who hold the rookies record for saves before the ASG has and ERA of 2.04 and K/9 of 14.3.
It’s true Abreu’s BB/9 and WHIP are slightly higher but they compare favorably with Kimbrel’s 2010 numbers. I don’t know why he gets no prospect respect but your going to love this kid when he matures.
A quick look as an outsider after all the deals are done tells me that your prospect list is stocked with good arms (Clemens was 8 in our list he’s six in yours as a comparison). Everyone correctly says that our pitching strength is the basis for the future. Looks to me like Ed Wade’s parting gift – and he should definitely look for a job with ESPN next year – is a minor league system set up to get you back into the mix in a couple of years. Looking around the Central, most teams are no better off than you prospect wise.
If anything Ed Wade has built up the Astros farm system the last two years with his trade deadline deals and while the prospects may not be household names, it doesn’t mean they aren’t quality players. Only time will tell if the trades were the right moves, as trading for prospects is a risky proposition but Wade has provided us with a lot of prospects, specifically pitchers.