Prospects in the Hunter Pence Trade
The Houston Astros traded outfielder Hunter Pence to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, July 29th, in exchange for three prospects: pitcher Jarred Cosart, first baseman-outfielder Jonathan Singleton, and pitcher Josh Zeid. There is a player to be named as well. Let's take a look at the three guys we know about.
Jarred Cosart, RHP: The Phillies drafted Cosart in the 38th round in 2008, from high school in League City, Texas, which isn't far from Houston. His draft spot was deceptive: he was considered a third-round talent, but fell due to signability. Cosart has first-class stuff, featuring a 94-96 MPH fastball, sometimes higher, along with a strong curveball and changeup. His biggest problem is erratic command, and his makeup has been doubted at times. He had a 3.92 ERA with a 79/43 K/BB in 108 innings for High-A Clearwater, with a 1.65 GO/AO. I rated him a strong Grade B pre-season and will stick with that for now, although I might go with B+ depending on how things look at the end of the year.
Jonathan Singleton, 1B-OF: Singleton was drafted by the Phillies in the eighth round in 2009, from high school in Long Beach, California. A strong left-handed hitter with plus raw power, he struggles against southpaws (.570 OPS this year) but mashes right-handers (.324/.410/.489), hitting .284/.387/.413 overall for High-A Clearwater this year. His plate discipline is quite good and he draws plenty of walks, but he hasn't fully tapped into his natural strength yet. Singleton is a poor defensive outfielder but is solid at first base. I rated him a B+ pre-season and will stick with that, especially since he's only 19 years old.
Josh Zeid, RHP: Zeid is a 24-year-old right-hander drafted in the 10th round in 2009, from Tulane. He had an outstanding 2010 season for Low-A Lakewood, with a 2.93 ERA and a 111/27 K/BB in 107 innings, but has been less effective after jumping to Double-A this year, with a 5.65 ERA and a 56/27 K/BB in 64 innings for Reading, with 63 hits and a 0.7 GO/AO. He's split the season between the rotation and the bullpen, but has been much more effective in relief, with a 2.25 ERA and a 24/2 K/BB in 16 innings. Zeid has an 89-94 MPH fastball and a solid slider, but his lack of a consistent changeup was a problem when used as a starter. I had him as a C+ pre-season. His erratic performance drops that to a C, but in relief he could be quite useful.