Jun. 19, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton reacts in the dugout against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Yes, yes… I know we have been hearing lately that Giancarlo Stanton will not be traded, but the rumors keep on coming in. They threw out some intriguing names from the Pirates system in a rumored trade over at City of Champions, so I figured there is no harm in taking a closer look at how good these guys really are. The Pirates do have a really good minor league system, but let’s see if the Marlins should even entertain this rumor. The players mentioned as coming to Miami are:
"“Bucs right-hander Jameson Taillon, catcher Tony Sanchez and outfielder Gregory Polanco, three of the Pirates’ current Top 10 prospects. Some have even suggested that right-hander Nick Kingham’s name could be thrown in as well.”"
Here is what they have done in 2013 in the minors:
Let’s start with right hander James Taillon who would be the headliner in this deal and was the Bucs #2 prospect coming into the season. The scouting report suggests “his fastball is a plus pitch and he’ll touch 96-97 mph with it” and his secondary stuff is developing, but can be above average eventually. The 9+ K/9 shows he has the ability to miss bats, but the 3.64 BB/9 is somewhat concerning when you figure it will probably increase in the majors.
Nick Kingham is another big right hander who “could have three above-average-or-better pitches and above-average command when all is said and done” according to the scouting report. He also sports an impressive 9+ K/9 and has a better BB/9 rate at 1.91, although most of that has been at the lower A+ level this season.
Catcher Tony Sanchez was drafted as “a defensive-minded backstop who could hit maybe a bit more than expected and get to the big leagues fairly quickly” according to the scouting report. He has had excellent offensive numbers this season and the 9 homers is already a career high. Most importantly though, his twitter handle suggests he would be a natural in Miami – @Tony26Montana.
Outfielder Gregory Polanco “has the chance to be a true five-tooler on the field” according to a scouting report. The speed is evident by the 27 steals so far this season and the 15.3% strikeout rate suggests that he makes pretty good contact. He would add to an already crowded OF situation with the Marlins, but too many good prospects is never a problem.
This is definitely a solid group of prospects and slotting Taillon in the rotation behind Jose Fernandez would give the Marlins two potential aces. Sanchez appears to be ready for the majors now and could make a nice catching tandem with Rob Brantly. Polanco has that rare speed/power combo that scouts drool over and Kingham is putting up some impressive numbers so far. Plus all of these players are cost controlled for 6 at least years as opposed to only 3 years of Stanton. So should the Marlins pursue this deal for Stanton?
I still say no way. If you are going to give up a proven top tier player, you need to get someone with the potential to be that coming back. I just don’t see that in this group, especially with Taillon’s control heading in the wrong direction so far. The future looks bright for the Pirates, though, considering the players they already have and this group on the horizon.