This week on Big Hype Prospects, we’ll look at more prospects who could find themselves on the move in the next few days. Check out last week’s Juan Soto Edition of Big Hype Prospects for more deadline trade candidates.
Five Big Hype Prospects
Brett Baty, 22, 3B, NYM (AA)
350 PA, 14 HR, 1 SB, .303/.394/.507
The Mets are reportedly trying very hard to hang onto Francisco Alvarez and Baty. To accomplish all of their deadline trade goals, they might not be able to cling to both. Alvarez being the scarcer and flashier talent, I figure he’s less likely to be traded outside of a Juan Soto or Shohei Ohtani deal. Baty, however, would fit in a swap for any of the next tier of trade targets. Names like Luis Castillo, Frankie Montas, or Sean Murphy.
Baty is having a fine season after a bit of a slow start. His performance suggests a readiness for the next challenge. When I see a prospect of this caliber promoted slowly, it leads me to wonder if he’s been held down to ensure his trade value doesn’t take a hit from an untimely slump. Baty makes a ton of hard, low-angle contact. Despite a 26 percent strikeout rate, he regularly hits for a high batting average. He makes the most of his rare air-ball contact thanks to an over 20 percent HR/FB ratio. His batted ball profile reminds me of a slightly better Ryan McMahon.
Bobby Miller, 23, SP, LAD (AA)
76.1 IP, 11.20 K/9, 3.30 BB/9, 4.36 ERA
Miller receives plenty of attention for his triple-digit velocity heater, but his results don’t always match the raw stuff. This season, his ERA is a full point higher than his FIP. In the past, we would have shrugged and assumed better days awaited. Unfortunately, it seems his fastball shape and middling command are the culprits. Both issues, should they remain, will only intensify once he reaches the Majors. They could prevent him from realizing his full potential. While some kind of rotation role is likely with a floor as an elite reliever, now could represent a good time for the Dodgers to sell Miller. Some clubs might believe they can fix him.
If the worst outcomes are reminiscent of Sixto Sanchez or Hunter Greene, that’s not a bad thing. Sanchez, you might recall, was dealt for multiple seasons of J.T. Realmuto (the Phillies also included Jorge Alfaro, Will Stewart, and an international bonus slot in the deal). Miller might not be quite as beloved as Sanchez was at the time. His plus command helped assuage doubts about a modest strikeout rate. Still, that implies the Dodgers can expect to add a substantial player if they part with Miller.
Jasson Dominguez, 19, OF, NYY (A+)
(A) 423 PA, 9 HR, 19 SB, .265/.373/.440
(A+) 27 PA, 1 HR, 2 SB, .292/.370/.500
Dominguez is best-known for having the physique of a mid-20s body builder as a 17-year-old. Now 19, the developmentally mature teenager recently earned a promotion to High-A where he’s one of the youngest players on hand (recently promoted Jackson Chourio is the youngest player at the level). Reports heading into this season were mixed with some notes emphasizing his physicality as potentially detrimental. He’s put those concerns to rest while display above average plate discipline with plenty of blistering contact. Presently, he makes a lot of hard, low-angle, pulled contact. He has time to make adjustments to unlock either a more balanced or more power-centric approach.
Dominguez comes with substantial bust risk so any acquiring team should make sure they feel confident about their development staff.
Colton Cowser, 22, OF, BAL (AA)
(A+) 278 PA, 4 HR, 16 SB, .258/.385/.410
(AA) 98 PA, 7 HR, 1 SB, .324/.480/.689
Cowser is a personal favorite of mine. He has fantastic discipline, a better-than-average swinging strike rate, and a batted ball profile maxed out for high BABIPs. In short, he is the ideal leadoff hitter. His game is a little bit like Alek Thomas – if the DBacks outfielder took a lot more pitches. While an adjustment isn’t strictly necessary, Cowser could probably stand to swing more often. Adding in a little bit loft wouldn’t hurt either. There are a lot of directions this profile can go, and most of them yield some type of really useful ballplayer. To reach a superstar ceiling, he’ll have to take bold risks regarding his approach and mechanics.
Depending on who you talk to, Cowser is the Orioles third- or fourth-best prospect. With their surprise contention, the front office is undoubtedly kicking around ideas. From the perspective of continued employment, it’s safer for Mike Elias to stay the course. If they do spend prospects on reinforcements, they’ll likely either be from the bargain bin or club-controlled for a long period. In the latter scenario, some of their better names like Cowser, Coby Mayo, and Jordan Westburg will need to be in play.
Joey Wiemer, 23, OF, MIL (AA)
364 PA, 15 HR, 24 SB, .243/.321/.446
Wiemer has the look and the size of the notable prospect. At times, he puts up video game numbers as he did in High-A last season. Opinions are divided. Some scouts I spoke with last fall weren’t enamored with his playing style, believing he’d fade into a role player as he advanced through the system. Unaffiliated scouts who are plugged more into the fantasy baseball scene love his combination of power and aggression on the basepaths.
As reported earlier today, the Brewers are looking for mid-tier upgrades like Ramon Laureano. While the club would undoubtedly prefer to hold onto one of their few top prospects, they have one of the weaker farm systems behind Chourio. Their list of attractive trade assets might not extend much beyond Wiemer, Sal Frelick, and Ethan Small.
Kyle Harrison, SFG (20): In his latest outing – his first appearance since July 8 – Harrison fanned nine of 10 batters faced. It was a masterful performance. The soon-to-be 21-year-old is ready for the next challenge.
Oswald Peraza, NYY (22): With the Yankees eyeballing a late-October run, one of their young shortstops is probably going to wind up joining another club. While Peraza isn’t as impressive as Anthony Volpe, he still profiles as a future above average shortstop. He’s hit 13 home runs with 24 steals and a .258/.329/.446 triple-slash in 319 Triple-A plate appearances.
Royce Lewis, MIN (23): Lewis showed signs of a breakout in the spring of 2021 before missing the entire season. Then, after showing well in Triple-A and a 41 plate appearance stint in the Majors, he again suffered a season-ending injury. The Twins undoubtedly don’t want to sell Lewis. They stuck it out with Byron Buxton so it’s not as if they’re averse to players with the “injury prone” label. If they’re thirsty enough, he’s a highly valuable prospect who happens to be incapable of helping them contend this season.
Michael Busch, LAD (24): A Busch trade is beginning to feel inevitable. The oldest player featured today, Busch is having a decent but unspectacular campaign at Triple-A. He’s on a tear this month, batting .310/.384/.529 in July (125 wRC+). Since he looks like someone who might need awhile to adjust in the Majors, the Dodgers might prefer to skip that portion of his development by cashing out.
Ricky Tiedemann, TOR, (19): A youthful southpaw who has chewed through the competition, Tiedemann might just be the Blue Jays most sellable prospect. He has a bright and promising future after already succeeding in High-A as a teenager. However, TINSTAAPP applies, and the Jays current contention window may well be closed by the time Tiedemann is big league ready.