Prospects in the Mike Adams Trade
The San Diego Padres traded reliever Mike Adams to the Texas Rangers for two pitching prospects, right-hander Joe Wieland and southpaw Robbie Erlin. Let's look at this haul.
Robbie Erlin, LHP: Erlin was drafted by the Rangers in the third round in 2009, from high school in Scotts Valley, California. Extremely polished, the 20-year-old southpaw works with a fastball with mediocre velocity at 87-92 MPH, but he locates the heater well and mixes it effectively with an above-average curveball and changeup. He is a fly ball pitcher and his main problem is a high home run rate. Erlin posted a 2.14 ERA with a spectacular 62/5 K/BB in 55 innings this year with just 25 hits allowed for High-A Myrtle Beach, then a 4.32 ERA with a 61/7 K/BB in 67 innings for Double-A Frisco, with 73 hits allowed. I gave him a Grade B pre-season and he's at least that now, despite the lack of superior velocity.
Joe Wieland, RHP: A 21-year-old right-hander, Wieland was drafted in the fourth round in 2008, from high school in Reno, Nevada. He was rated a breakthrough candidate pre-season and indeed has broken through, with a 2.10 ERA and a 96/4 K/BB in 86 innings for Myrtle Beach, 78 hits, followed by a 1.23 ERA in 44 innings for Frisco with a 36/11 K/BB and 35 hits. He threw a no-hitter in his last start. Wieland has an average heater at 88-92 MPH, but his command is excellent and he mixes in a good slider and curveball. His changeup still needs some work, but his command is among the best in the minor leagues. I gave him a C+ pre-season but put him in the B/B+ range now, along with Erlin, despite his lack of a huge fastball.