Minor Developments: Trades, debuts and more

Debuts and trades are the focus of this week’s Minor Developments.

The Diamondbacks dealt Brandon Allen(notes) at the deadline, paving the way for Paul Goldschmidt(notes) to finally get a much deserved promotion. He posted a .306/30/94 line at Double-A Mobile, and had little left to prove there. He picked up a hit in his first major league at-bat, and put some very good swings on the ball against Matt Cain(notes) in his debut, eventually finishing 1-for-4 with a strikeout. I compared Goldschmidt to Mark Trumbo(notes) in my piece last week, and feel I was being far too conservative. Most hitters have difficulty making the leap from Double-A to the majors (except Mike Stanton(notes)), so be prepared for some growing pains.

In a surprise move, the Tigers summoned top pitching prospect Jacob Turner(notes) over the weekend, and he had a solid debut (5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K). Turner effectively mixed a few different fastballs, his curveball, and a developing change. He clearly has a strikeout arsenal, although control will be the question as he makes the jump up to face much more advanced hitters. He’s a must add in AL-only formats, but may not have much value in mixers for the remainder of the season. Dynasty owners, on the other hand, are rejoicing.

Staying on the topic of debuts, we jump back to the farm, checking in with 2010 No. 3 overall pick, Diamondbacks pitcher Trevor Bauer. He pitched two innings in his debut, striking out three, while giving up only one hit and not issuing a walk. Many like to compare Bauer’s quirky personality and routine to Giants Tim Lincecum(notes), and automatically think he’ll have similar success. It’s certainly possible, but let’s see him build a minor league workload before making that claim. He could move quickly, possibly even debuting by the middle of next season.

Another interesting bit of news was the Yankees announcing that catcher Jesus Montero(notes) is nearing a promotion, and it should come within the next few weeks. Montero has been a bit of a disappointment in relation to his lofty prospect status, posting a .283/10/48 line, with an increase in strikeout rate and decline in walk rate. Many say Montero looks bored at Triple-A, while others say he’s simply overrated by the New York media. This debate can only be decided on the field. Personally, I’m a believer, and think he’ll be a nice fantasy contributor during the 2012 season.

The A’s have to be pleased at progress of outfield prospect Michael Taylor(notes), who after a looking lost at the plate in ’10, has rebounded nicely in ’11. His batting average (.283) and power output have rebounded (12 HR), and since he’s on the 40-man roster, should be in line for a September promotion. If he can nail down a regular gig next spring, he’s a nice bargain power/speed play for those in AL-only formats.

Let’s close by taking a closer look at some of the top prospects who changed teams at the trading deadline.

Drew Pomeranz, Colorado: He’s the player to be named later in the Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) trade, and is the key piece the Rockies acquired. He dominated High-A (1.87 ERA, 11.10 K/9), and is doing the same since his promotion to Double-A (2.57 ERA, 10.93 K/9). He could find his way to the majors at some point during 2012 and profiles as a top-of-rotation starter in the majors.

Zach Wheeler, NY Mets: Getting Wheeler back in exchange for Carlos Beltran(notes) was highway robbery for the Mets. He has ace potential, although he’ll need to continue refining his control in order to reach that lofty level. His overpowering strikeout arsenal should be on display at some point during 2013, and he’ll front the Mets rotation along with Matt Harvey for many years to come.

Robbie Erlin, San Diego: Great control, but nothing more than above average stuff across the board. Erlin’s main issue is that he’s homer prone, so he has the potential to be very good in spacious Petco Park. While he may not be much more than a middle of the rotation guy in reality, he could perform much better than that for his fantasy owners when he eventually debuts either late next season or 2013.

Jared Cosart, Houston: He has dominating stuff, with a big mid-90s fastball, and a curveball and change-up for secondary offerings. Injuries have been an issue for Cosart in the past, but he’s a top-of-the-rotation talent if he can stay on the mound and continue to develop. He’s a few years away, but is a great dynasty prospect to sit on.

Jonathan Singleton, Houston: Potential to hit for power and average in the majors, and his bat should play very well at Minute Maid Park. Singleton is an advanced hitting prospect for his age (19), and should reach the majors quicker than most prospects his age.

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Rob Steingall is a syndicated fantasy analyst whose work also can be found at SNYWhyGuys.com.

Updated Wednesday, Aug 3, 2011