In a trade that was agreed upon back on July 20, the Astros have officially received SP Kevin Comer as the player to be named later in the trade with the Toronto Blue Jays, officially completing the mega deal. Comer completes the ten player deal which sent J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter to Toronto for Francisco Cordero, Ben Francisco and minor leaguers Joe Musgrove, Asher Wojciechowski, David Rollins and Carlos Perez. Comer has reported to Greeneville to finish out the season.
When the trade was originally announced and a “player to be named later” was involved, I figured it wouldn’t be anything significant as we had already received quite a haul for three fringe major leaguers. I was wrong. Dead wrong. Kevin Comer is the third former first round pick obtained by the Astros in this deal, joining Musgrove and Wojciechowski, and is arguably the best player received back in the deal (although I tend to lean toward Musgrove as the best). Comer was a supplemental first round pick, #57 overall, in the 2011 draft. He had a very firm commitment to Vanderbilt which caused Toronto to have to pay over slot to get him to sign. Since joining the Blue Jays as GM, Alex Anthopoulos’ M.O. has been to draft high upside pitchers. In the past few years, the Astros have done the same with Bobby Heck although we tend to mix it between position players and pitchers.
Comer shot up the draft board last year as he was clocked in the mid 90’s with his fastball. He also has a very nice curveball that he is still developing that he can throw two different ways. Now there have been reports that his velocity has dropped all the way to the upper 80’s from the mid 90’s but that can be explained several different ways. The first thing that came to mind when I heard about his diminished velocity was that he was a high school arm in his first season of pro ball. This tends to happen with high schoolers. They can easily regain it back. Also, he could be working on other pitches, which would limit his fastball use and velocity. Either way, acquiring a high ceiling talent like Comer is a huge plus for the Astros. Of all the young pitchers the Blue Jays drafted over the past few years, Comer could have the highest ceiling. As for rankings, he will definitely rank in my top 20 prospects (which I will give an updated list of my top 20 at seasons end) and probably slot somewhere in the 12-16 range. Another great addition for Jeff Luhnow!