Astros Prospects: Talking Stros w/ JJ Cooper, Defends Martes over Bregman

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CTH/TexSR: What factors go into ranking Martes ahead of Bregman?

photo credit to Rich Guill (@QCBanditPhotog)
photo credit to Rich Guill (@QCBanditPhotog) /

Cooper: There are a couple of things that we are trying to do, to give you a little background, I have been with Baseball America for 14 years now, I have ranked the top-30 for the past 12 years. We are looking at long-term impact, in an ideal world, I want my write-up and the ranking to be accurate, but that’s not always going to work out. Every once in a while you get a perfect one, like my David Wright write-up in the 2004 handbook. I projected that Wright would be an above average third baseman who hit .300 with 20 homers with .360 on-base percentage with a lot of doubles. However, I ranked him third behind Kaz Matsui, so that negates the good write-up.

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Let’s compare Martes and Bregman, impact wise, I think that Martes gets a pretty significant edge. I you say, when in doubt, what is Bregman going to be? Bregman most likely will be a very productive big leaguer, but he will not be like Carlos Correa, there are not many Correa’s out there. If everything works out to a reasonable level, he will hit for average, could stay at shortstop (maybe not with Houston), a reliable defender but not rangey one, some power (maybe 10-15 homers), and a solid on-base guy. That’s the realistic upside for Bregman.

Let’s compare that to Martes, he has two plus pitches that really could be weapons for him with a third pitch that is coming along that could be an average offering. Martes does not have significant control troubles and at this point there are some questions about durability, you don’t have a long track record on that. There is nothing in his delivery to have any concerns about, he’s a big body guy who could have durability issues, but stuff-wise, that’s a top of the rotation starter. Comparing those two players, I would say that makes him more valuable. You could look at WAR, but I tend to think along the lines of what would rational teams pay to sign him.

The you look at the likelihood of them reaching those ceilings; I think Bregman is the safest guy in the top 10, even though he was just drafted. I would be stunned if Bregman is not a very useful major leaguer; he has a long track record at LSU, he did everything you would expect in Low-A. The only complaint that I have heard about him is that he works so hard, you have to tell him at times to slow it down a little, it’s a long season. That type of work ethic is a good thing to have, similar to Correa’s work ethic. Martes has a pretty high floor as well because at least he could be that plus two-pitch reliever barring injuries.

If you were talking trade, I think the other team would ask for Martes before they ask for Bregman, so that’s a point for Martes. If you are talking ultimate impact, I would have to give that point to Martes over Bregman. If you are talking about the most likely role, you could give that edge to Bregman. Put it all together that puts Martes second and Bregman third.

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