Padres Get Nice Haul in Gonzalez Trade

December 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm 1 comment

Casey Kelly

The San Diego Padres, and not just Adrian Gonzalez and the Red Sox, are winners in the trade that netted them top prospects Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, Reymond Fuentes, and a PTBNL.

The biggest chip in the deal was starting pitcher Casey Kelly.  Here is a scouting report from Keith Law over at the 4-letter:

Kelly is a great athlete who fields his position well and repeats his delivery, contributing to that above-average command. He probably will add a little velocity as he goes, but his ability to locate his fastball and chance for two above-average to plus secondary pitches make him a top-flight pitching prospect even without the big fastball

Kelly had a down year in 2010 but he played the full season as a 20 year old in AA.  He throws strikes, has above-average stuff, gets groundballs, and is one of the most athletic players in the minors.  He also loves the game and loves to hit and is moving to the best pitcher’s park in the Majors.  I cannot imagine him being anything less than thrilled with this trade.  He, in my opinion, is a Jeremy Hellickson clone, and we all remember his Major League debut in the AL East last year.  The Padres could be sporting a 2012 opening day rotation of Mat Latos, Kelly, and Simon Castro.  Not too shabby.

Anthony Rizzo also played 2010 in AA, mostly as a 21 year old, hitting 20 homers and 30 doubles in 414 at-bats but striking out 100 times.  Here is his scouting report from Law:

…one of the best defensive first basemen in the minors. He’s a left-handed hitter with a very easy stroke that generates line drives to all fields, although as he grows he should develop 25-30 home run power.

I can’t imagine Rizzo starting 2011 with the Padres.  They will need to find a 1B on the market (possibly Russell Branyan) until Rizzo is ready, hopefully by 2012.  Rizzo could easily be a plus-fielding first baseman with 40 doubles and 20 homers but his pitch recognition must improve first.

The player that could push the trade in the favor of the Padres is 2009 first-round pick Reymond Fuentes.  I, personally, love Fuentes.  He is a plus fielder, plus runner, and should hit for average.  Oh, and his uncle is just some pedestrian named Carlos Beltran. no big deal.  Here is Law’s take on Fuentes going into the 2009 draft:

The consensus [among scouts spoken to] seems to be that he has substantial upside as a hitter, at least for average, and the potential to be a plus defender in center like his uncle, Carlos Beltran.

Fuentes is small, just like Beltran was at the same age.  Listed at 6 ft tall and 160 lbs, Fuentes could gain by adding some bulk.  He could also gain by taking a few more pitches and recognizing pitches better.  He played the entire 2010 season in A-ball as a 19 year old and hit .270/.328/.377 with 15 doubles, 5 triples, 5 homers, and 42 steals in 414 plate appearances.  Fuentes has a long way to go and may never be as good as Beltran but his skill set fits the Padres needs for the Petco.

The PTBNL, according to Peter Gammons Twitter, is not a prime guy.  Overall, the haul the Padres received, knowing they had a limited amount of trade partners willing to give up the level of prospects needed and to offer Gonzalez an extension, was top-notch and I could see all three prospects as solid regulars in the majors with Kelly having the highest ceiling.

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