Opening Night was interesting for more than just the first game of the year: yesterday afternoon the Atlanta Braves traded closer Craig Kimbrel and outfielder Melvin Upton (formerly known as BJ in case you missed that news) to the San Diego Padres. In exchange the Braves received Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin, and a pair of prospects: right-handed pitcher Matt Wisler and outfielder Jordan Paroubeck.
The Padres have been aggressive about trading prospects lately while the Braves continue to work to rebuild their farm system. Both Wisler and Paroubeck are quite interesting, albeit for very different reasons.
Matt Wisler, RHP: Wisler is a 6-3, 195 pound right-hander born September 12, 1992. Drafted in the seventh round in 2011 from high school in Bryan, Ohio, Wisler emerged as a prospect quickly with a strong run through the Midwest League in 2012 (2.53 ERA, 113/28 K/BB in 114 innings). He jumped to Double-A in 2013 and remained sharp, with a 3.00 ERA and a 103/27 K/BB in 105 innings for San Antonio. He split 2014 between San Antonio and Triple-A El Paso but had some trouble in the difficult PCL, seeing his ERA rise to 5.01 although he maintained a strong 103/36 K/BB.
Here is the pre-trade report I wrote on him in the 2015 Baseball Prospect Book:
Matt Wisler held his own in the Pacific Coast League last year. It wasn’t as impressive as 2013 but it wasn’t terrible considering the anti-pitching environment in his home park and the league in general. Wisler still showed his normal 90-95 MPH fastball, along with a slider, curve, and change. The slider is the best of the secondaries but all three are workable. A fly ball pitcher ill-suited for the thin air and hitters’ parks of the PCL, he should fit better at Petco. He still looks like a number three starter to me although there could be some short-term adjustment issues. Grade B+.
Wisler still looks like a potential mid-rotation starter and is a fine pick-up for the Braves.
Jordan Paroubeck, OF: Not as well known as Wisler, Paroubeck was a supplemental second round pick in 2013 from high school in San Mateo, California. Injuries delayed his debut until 2014 but he performed well in the Arizona Rookie League, hitting .286/.346/.457 with four homers, four steals, 13 walks, and 42 strikeouts in 140 at-bats.
A 6-2, 190 pound switch-hitter, Paroubeck was born November 2nd, 1994. Although somewhat raw with considerable swing-and-miss in his game at present, Paroubeck offers intrigue as high-upside power/speed package. His family is friends with Barry Bonds and Paroubeck has reportedly taken hitting lessons from the master. If he can lock down the strike zone he could be an impact player in multiple categories a few years down the line.