Prospects in the Michael Bourn Trade
The Houston Astros traded outfielder Michael Bourn to the Atlanta Braves, in exchange for outfielder Jordan Schafer, and pitching prospects Juan Abreu, Paul Clemens, and Brett Oberholtzer. Here's a look at the three arms the Astros have added to their farm system.
Juan Abreu, RHP: A 26-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic, Abreu was originally signed by the Kansas City Royals in 2003, but was picked up by the Braves as a minor league free agent in 2009. He throws quite hard, hitting 95-96 MPH, but his breaking ball and changeup are erratic, and his control is mediocre. He has a 2.25 ERA with a 68/27 K/BB in 48 innings for Triple-A Gwinnett this year, with 34 hits allowed and a 0.44 GO/AO, showing a strong fly ball tendency. He could be an impressive bullpen arm if he can tone down his wildness. Grade C, but has some upside.
Paul Clemens, RHP: The Braves drafted Clemens in the seventh round in 2008, from Louisburg Junior College in North Carolina. A 23-year-old right-hander, he works with a 92-95 MPH fastball, along with a curveball, slider, and changeup. The changeup is his worst pitch and some scouts think he'll fit best as a reliever in the long run, although there's enough promise here that letting him start as long as possible makes sense. He has a 3.73 ERA with a 90/44 K/BB in 109 innings this year for Double-A Mississippi, with 103 hits and a 0.96 GO/AO. I rated him as a strong Grade C+ pre-season and he's somewhere on the C+/B- cusp right now.
Brett Oberholtzer, LHP: A 22-year-old lefty, Oberholtzer was drafted by the Braves in the eighth round in 2008, from Seminole Community College in Florida. He has a 3.74 ERA with a 93/42 K/BB in 128 innings for Mississippi this year, with 119 hits allowed and a 0.85 GO/AO. He works with an 88-93 MPH fastball, and has a solid slider and changeup combination, along with a decent curve a few times a game. He throws strikes and profiles as a number four starter. I had him a Grade C+ pre-season and see him in the C+/B- range right now.