2015: Ranking The Prospects Traded at the Deadline

Image credit: CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 15: Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Michael Fulmer (32) delivers a pitch to the plate during the seventh inning of the the Major League Baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Guardians on July 15, 2022, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The 2015 non-waiver trade deadline proved that not only is there such a thing as a pitching prospect, but at times there appears to be nothing but pitching prospects.

Of the 57 prospects who were traded in the past two weeks, 44 of them (77 percent) were pitchers.

So why is there such a focus on trading for pitching? Part of it is circumstance. Multiple pro scouting directors and front-office officials said that there were few available position prospects who impressed and were available.

“There are more quality arms than bats right now in the minor leagues,” said an official in a National League team’s front office. “It’s easy to take a flier on an arm, on a guy throwing 95.”

“Legit position players are scarce these days, but (in the long-term) it’s probably just a fluke,” said another NL front office official.

Overall 33 righthanders, 11 lefthanders, five outfielders, five infielders and three catching prospects were traded in the weeks before the July 31 trade deadline.

So how did those 57 prospects compare. We ranked them and divided them into different categories.


These are the kind of nearly big league ready well-rounded prospects that are rarely traded at the trade deadline. They are players ranked among the Top 15 Prospects in baseball. For a recent example, take the Athletics trading shortstop Addison Russell to the Cubs last summer.

No player of this caliber was traded this year. That’s not unusual. Russell’s trade last year was the outlier.


These are prospects who would currently rank among the top 50 Prospects in the game. Compared to the Top 15 Prospects, they either are further away from the majors, have a shorter track record of success, have an injury concern or project to fill a slightly lesser role. The majority of these prospects should end up being big league regulars with a few turning into stars. Few of these prospects are traded in a normal year, but this was a very good year for Top 50 Prospect trades.

Hector Olivera, 2b, Braves
Daniel Norris, lhp, Tigers
Brett Phillips, of, Brewers
Jose Peraza, ss/2b, Dodgers
Jeff Hoffman, rhp, Rockies
Jake Thompson, rhp, Phillies


Compared to Top 50 Prospects, Top 100 Prospects are either further away or have some more-discernible flaw that makes them a riskier bet to reach their full ceiling. In most cases, they will have big league careers, many will become regulars and a few may develop into all-stars. This is a particularly high-ceiling group; Finnegan has been bounced between relieving and starting for the Royals, while Alfaro (injured this year) and Williams have swing-and-miss issues. All three have Top 50-caliber tools.

Brandon Finnegan, lhp, Reds
Jorge Alfaro, c, Phillies
Nick Williams, of, Phillies


These are prospects who could end up cracking next winter’s Top 100 Prospects list but currently appear to be just on the outside. Any of these pitchers could wind up in the middle of a big league rotation down the line, but they also could wind up in a bullpen, as Castro already has earlier this year. They have very good chances to be solid regulars and have enough tools to have solid fallback positions as role players.

Michael Fulmer, rhp, Tigers
Sean Manaea, lhp, Athletics
Miguel Castro, rhp, Rockies
Rob Kaminsky, lhp, Indians


These are prospects who are among the Top 150-300 prospects in baseball. In many cases they could end cracking the Top 100 Prospects list at some point in the future. In other cases, they are nearly ready for the big leagues, but with lower ceilings.

Keury Mella, rhp, Reds
Jacob Nottingham, c, Athletics
Cody Reed, lhp, Reds
Josh Hader, lhp, Brewers
Matt Boyd, lhp, Tigers
Domingo Santana, of, Brewers
Zach Davies, rhp, Brewers
Nick Pivetta, rhp, Phillies


These are prospects who are far away from the big leagues, but have a high-enough ceiling that they could turn into future organization Top 10 Prospects or better. They have a possibility of developing into everyday regulars or better, but they also carry a high risk of failing to develop into a big leaguer at all. At this point, organization fit matters as much as overall talent as far as rankings go. One organization may prefer to take chances on bigger upside while another may prefer role players who are much more likely to have big league careers.

Alberto Tirado, rhp, Phillies
Jairo Labourt, lhp, Tigers
Jesus Tinoco, rhp, Rockies
Zach Bird, rhp, Braves
Nick Wells, lhp, Tigers
Jake Brentz, rhp, Tigers
Alexis Tapia, rhp, Rays
Eduar Lopez, rhp, Rays


These are prospects who have some flaw or significant limitation that will likely keep them from being everyday regular position players or a quality rotation member, but they also have a solid chance to be a big league contributor either in a limited role as a position player, as a reliever or as a swing starter. Jones stands out in this group as a middle infielder with real power but also a propensity to swing-and-miss.

JaCoby Jones, ss, Tigers
Adam Duvall, 3b, Reds
Casey Meisner, rhp, Athletics
John Lamb, lhp, Reds
Chih Wei-Hu, Rays
Luis Cessa, rhp, Tigers
Alec Asher, rhp, Phillies
Ramon Flores, of, Mariners
Adrian Sampson, rhp, Mariners
Jerad Eickhoff, rhp, Phillies
Jose Ramirez, rhp, Mariners
John Gant, rhp, Braves
Robert Whalen, rhp, Braves
Yhonathan Barrios, rhp, Brewers
Daniel Mengden, rhp, Athletics
Tomas Telis, c, Marlins
Aaron Brooks, rhp, Athletics
Ivan Pineyro, rhp, Marlins
Adrian Houser, rhp, Brewers
Kevin Guzman, rhp, Marlins
Eric Stamets, ss, Indians


Often throw-ins in larger trades, these are prospects who have some useful tools–they are more than the run-of-the-mill organization player, but they also have enough flaws that it is less than likely that they will have a significant big league career. Some will exceed that projection, others will be out of their new organization in the next six months. Often they will be prospects who are traded because they will be Rule 5 eligible this winter, and the team trading them was not expecting to protect them.

Victor Araujo, rhp, Marlins
Kyle Barraclough, rhp, Marlins
Jeff Brigham, rhp, Marlins
Jimmy Cordero, rhp, Phillies
Malik Collymore, of, Brewers
Cody Ege, lhp, Marlins
Elliot Soto, ss, Marlins

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