Prospects in the Carlos Quentin Trade
The Chicago White Sox traded outfielder Carlos Quentin to the San Diego Padres today, in exchange for a pair of minor league prospects: pitchers Simon Castro and Pedro Hernandez.
The White Sox farm system is the worst in baseball and needs infusions of talent from any possible source. Neither of these pitchers are future stars, but both have a chance to help. Let's take a look.
Simon Castro, RHP: Castro is a 6-5, 210 pound right-hander born on April 9th, 1988 in the Dominican Republic. Considered to be one of San Diego's best prospects entering 2011, he had a difficult season, getting killed early for Triple-A Tucson (10.17 ERA, 21/18 K/BB in 26 innings, 37 hits), then posting mediocre numbers for Double-A San Antonio (4.33 ERA, 73/16 K/BB in 89 innings, 95 hits) after being demoted to regain his confidence. Castro had pitched well for San Antonio in 2010 (2.92 ERA, 107/36 K/BB in 130 innings, 107 hits), so his inability to transition to Triple-A was disappointing.
Castro still has a fine arm, featuring a 90-95 MPH fastball. His slider has plus moments, but he's still working to refine his changeup. His mechanics are complicated and his command fails if they get out of whack, but the arm strength for success is still here, and until '11 he did a good job throwing strikes most of the time. He still has a chance to be a starting pitcher, although many scouts prefer him in relief. I have him rated as a Grade C+ in my upcoming 2012 Baseball Prospect Book.
Pedro Hernandez, LHP: Hernandez is a 5-10, 200 pound Venezuelan, born on April 12th, 1989, signed by the Padres in 2007. He pitched at three levels in 2011, going 5-0, 2.70 ERA (44/6 K/BB in 57 innings) for High-A Lake Elsinore, 3-2, 3.48 ERA (43/10 K/BB in 41 innings) for Double-A San Antonio, and 2-1, 6.00 ERA (7/6 K/BB in 18 innings) for Triple-A Tucson. He was little-known before 2011 but pitched well enough that the Padres protected him on the 40-man roster.
Hernandez has an 88-92 MPH fastball along with a good changeup and mediocre curve. There's nothing spectacular about him, but he throws strikes and could develop into a fifth starter or a relief option. I currently rate him as a Grade C prospect.
The White Sox didn't obtain a premium prospect for Quentin, but Castro still has considerable upside and perhaps the change of scenery will help his development.