The post will focus on a baseline that was suggested by a scout. So, yes, the opinion of a single professional is how we will value Jones' worth here. What is that worth? It was posited that Adam Jones would be worth a top 25 player, a top 50 player, and a top 100 player. In other words, I would translate this as meaning a A-, B+ and B level player. One final way of looking at it, a 60, a 56, and a 52. That means that some in this business think very highly of Adam Jones. We at the Depot have not thought as highly of Jones in the past, but what matters is who values him the most.
This first part will focus on packages from NL East teams.
Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
Randall Delgado, RHP
Edward Salcredo, 3B
This package would involve two pitchers who have the potential of being 2/3 slot pitchers on a first division team and a corner infield/outfield bat with an above average offensive profile. Both Vizcaino and Delgado will be able to help out Baltimore in 2012 to varying degrees. Atlanta used Vizcaino in the pen last year, but has the tools to start. He has a mid 90s fastball and a plus curve. Delgado also spent time last year in the Majors, but in the Braves' starting rotation. His ERA was under three, but his peripherals suggest a great deal of luck was involved. He has some issues with command and depends more on his curve and change up. Salcredo held his own as a 19 yo in the SAL. He shows an above average profile at the plate with power. His defense may push him to right field where his plus arm can still be used.
Christian Yelich, LF
Matt Dominguez, 3B
Marcell Ozuna, RF
The Orioles need more position prospects in their system and the Marlins match up the best to provide those pieces. This deal consists of an above average all around left fielder, a defense first third baseman, and a young tools oriented right fielder. Yelich has come out strong since being drafted in 2010. His arm is merely average and he does not throw well, so he may be shifted to first base where his bat would look more average. Dominguez has a gold glove caliber glove, but his bat is at best an average one. He shows poor meaningful contact and does not show much power. Ozuna is a few years away from the Majors. He shows a strong arm in right field and plus power. He has had issues making contact.
New York Mets
Zach Wheeler, RHP
Matt Harvey, RHP
Jenrry Mejia, RHP
This deal involves three pitchers at varying stages of development and varying probabilities for reaching a 2 slot ceiling. Wheeler was who we suggested to take in the 2009 draft when the Orioles preferred Matt Hobgood (we still feel good about that one). Wheeler has a plus-plus fastball that sits in the mid-90s and a plus / fringe plus-plus curve. He is a year or two away from MLB. Harvey also has a live arm and sits in the mid 90s and shows a plus slider. His change up is lagging behind Wheelers, which leaves some to think Harvey might be better suited for the bullpen. Mejia also showcases a mid-90s fastball, but uses a change as his second offering. His ability to stick as a starter is how his curve develops. Of the deals available in the NL East, this one has the highest ceiling.
Trevor May, RHP
Brody Colvin, RHP
Jesse Biddle, LHP
This is one of the weaker packages as all three profile as mid-rotation arms and none of them pitching above A ball last season. May throws a low 90s fastball with good movement and is working on his curve ball and change up. He ate up HiA ball hitters last year with 208 ks in 151 innings. Colvin was another shadow selection we made back in 2009. He struggled with a back injury last year. He has a heavy mid 90s fastball and above average secondary offerings (curve and change). I still think he has an outside shot of being an ace, but that probability has slimmed up quite a bit. I liked Biddle coming out of high school. The long season though saw his fastball velocity dip below 90 mph, which is problematic long term. He needs to get stronger and be able to add velocity. If not, he may be best suited in relief where it might be easier for him to regain velocity.
Brad Peacock, RHP
A.J. Cole, RHP
Sammy Solis, LHP
Ideally, Anthony Rendon would be in play here, but he won't be due to him signing last August. It is unrealistic to think the Orioles could let him stick with the Nationals for almost the entire season before he could be spun. Peacock could break camp with Baltimore. His low 90s fastball and curve are plus pitches and he is gaining better use of his change up. He could be a 2 slot pitcher. A.J. Cole has two plus pitches in his mid-90s fastball and his curve. However, he needs to improve his command of the curve as fewer batters will swing at it as he moves up the ladder. Solis throws in the mid 90s and has less control and command of his curve than Cole. All throw pitchers look like mid-rotation arms. A.J. Cole though could be special if he figures out his curve and develops his change up.
The Nationals, Braves, and Marlins need center fielders. The Phillies have Victorino and the Mets need to hold onto their young talent right now. I am not fond of what the Marlins have to offer. Yelich could provide a good average to above average option in left field, Dominguez could be an average third base man, and Ozuna might flare out in the upper minors. I am of the opinion that a team wins based on star talent and this package does not flash that enough for me. The Nationals package does flash star talent with A.J. Cole and Brad Peacock. A downside here is that the value is all pitching. The inclusion of Salcredo makes me prefer the Braves package here. An infield of Jonathan Schoop, Manny Machado, and Edward Salcredo could be an excellent infield core. If Salcredo's defense falters then he could spell Markakis. Vizcaino and Delgado are excellent pitching prospects that are essentially MLB ready. I doubt the Braves would do it, but it is what I would target.