The 2017 MLB Summer trade season got off to a rousing start this morning, with the Chicago White Sox trading left-handed starter Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs. In exchange the Sox receive four prospects: outfielder Eloy Jimenez, right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease, plus infielders Matt Rose and Bryant Flete.
This is a big haul for the White Sox. Let’s take a look.
Dylan Cease, RHP: Cease was drafted by the Cubs in the sixth round in 2014 from high school in Milton, Georgia. He was considered a first round talent but needed Tommy John surgery; the Cubs still spent $1,500,000 to sign him.
Cease is listed at 6-2, 190, born December 28th, 1995. He is fully recovered from surgery and in the middle of an impressive campaign for South Bend in the Low-A Midwest League, posting a 2.79 ERA in 52 innings with a 74/26 K/BB. He was supposedly clocked as high as 103 MPH in 2016, works in the middle to upper-90s, and has made progress commanding his plus curveball and decent change-up. His command still needs work but his ceiling is excellent.
Eloy Jimenez, OF: Jimenez is from the Dominican Republic and was signed for $2,800,000 in 2013. He had a breakout season in 2016, hitting .329/.369/.532 in the Midwest League, and has remained productive in 2017 with a .271/.351/.490 mark in 155 at-bats for Myrtle Beach in the High-A Carolina League.
Jimenez is listed at 6-4, 205, a right-handed hitter and thrower born November 27th, 1996. Scouts regard him as one of the top outfield prospects in baseball with 70-grade power and steadily improving pure hitting skills. He’s lost some running speed since signing but has learned to tap into his strength and power more readily. Like Cease, Jimenez is a premium prospect.
Matt Rose, 1B-3B: The Cubs drafted Rose in the 11th round in 2014 from Georgia State University. He has played first base and third base for Myrtle Beach this season, hitting .227/.281/.481 with 14 homers but just 15 walks against 68 strikeouts in 233 at-bats.
Rose is 6-4, 195, a right-handed hitter and thrower born August 2nd, 1994. He has some power but his approach is impatient and he’s never hit for much of an average. His defense is also limited. He is not in the same class of prospect as Cease or Jimenez.
Bryant Flete, 2B-SS: Flete is from Venezuela and was signed as a free agent back in 2012. His career has been very erratic but he’s in the middle of a good season for Myrtle Beach, hitting .305/.355/.425 in 275 at-bats.
Flete is 5-10, 150, a left-handed hitter born January 31, 1993. At age 24 he is rather old for High-A so his 2017 numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. He has been groomed as a utility infielder but will have to show his hitting will hold up in Double-A. Like Rose, Flete is not an elite prospect but provides some organization depth.
The keys for this trade are clearly Jimenez (Grade A- pre-season) and Cease (B+). Overall I like this trade for the White Sox.