Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/20/14

It’s no secret that I’ve been a big fan of the moves that Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow has been making. He’s done an outstanding job of turning the organization around despite having almost nothing to work with. Astros fans will not see immediate results at the big league level but the organization – including the front office, scouts, and minor league development staff – have done an amazing job of infusing talent into the system.

Today’s trade with the Toronto Blue Jays will add even more talent to the organization and the 10-player deal (called the most boring 10-player deal ever) is being highly underrated from Houston’s perspective and will no doubt positively impact the club for a long time. Although Luhnow did not acquire an A-level prospect in the deal, he acquired three B-level prospects and a sleeper.

My first impression of this trade is that Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos – referred to as a ninja by many Toronto fans as well as the media for his stealth-like moves – may have made a panic trade and served up too much talent for three so-so pitchers with big league experience.

Let’s breakdown the minor league players involved:

Carlos Perez
Position: Catcher
Drafted: 2007 non-drafted free agent (Venezuela)
Level: Low-A ball
Age: 21
Pre-Season Top 15 Ranking: Not Ranked

Toronto has chosen to deal Perez while his value is down, which is good news for Houston as he’s already begun to turn things around. Toronto can point to the fact that it has a lot of catching depth with prospects such as Travis d’Arnaud and A.J. Jimenez ahead of the young Venezuelan and Santiago Nessy and Seth Conner coming up behind him but you can never have too much of a good thing and both d’Arnaud and Jimenez are already on the disabled list and likely lost for the 2012 season. On my pre-2010 Toronto Blue Jays prospect ranking, Perez was ranked ninth before moving up to the fifth spot in 2011. He fell off entirely from the pre-2012 list and was forced to repeat A-ball this year while working to improve both his offense and defense. Perez has hit OK in every month but June and currently has a wRC+ of 125. He should be assigned to high-A ball with the Astros organization and could produce some very nice offensive numbers playing for Lancaster in the California League. Perez, 21, is a bat-first catcher but he’s improved enough to project as an average big league defender.

Joe Musgrove
Position: RHP
Drafted: 2011 supplemental 1st round
Level: Advanced Rookie
Age: 19
Pre-Season Top 15 Ranking: Just Missed

Musgrove is a beast on the mound at 6’5”, 230 lbs. The 19-year-old was nabbed with the 46th overall selection of the 2011 draft out of a California high school and he was a late-bloomer on the prep prospect landscape. Musgrove’s velocity crept up into the mid-90s last year but his velocity was down in early 2012, causing minor concern among the Jays’ coaching staff. He threw much better in his last game before the trade, though. Combined with high ground-ball tendencies, Musgrove’s new-found velocity gives him an impressive pitching repertoire. He’s working to improve his secondary pitches: a breaking ball and changeup. It’s easy to envision him as a durable, No. 3 workhorse. However, if his secondary pitches improve to the point where he has a second plus pitch he could develop into a No. 2 starter. Because he produces good ground-ball numbers, Musgrove is the type of pitcher that could perform well at home in Houston’s park. He’s overshadowed by Toronto’s big three arms in low-A (Aaron Sanchez, Justin Nicolino, Noah Syndergaard) and he’s very underrated.

Asher Wojciechowski
Position: RHP
Drafted: 2010 supplemental 1st round
Level: High-A ball
Age: 23
Pre-Season Top 15 Ranking: 13th

Like Perez, Toronto is dealing Wojciechowski while his value is down. He was highly regarded as a 2010 draft pick out of college but Toronto tried to rework his delivery and he completely fell apart in 2011. The right-hander has finally settled into a comfortable delivery now and is back on track while repeating high-A ball in 2012. He had a rough May when his ERA was 6.94 in five starts but it’s been below 2.20 in both June and July. He’s struck out 38 batters with 15 walks during that 46.2 innings stretch. Wojciechowski only produces average ground-ball rates but he’s done a nice job of keeping the ball in the park with three homers allowed this year. The right-hander has nice velocity on his fastball but he struggles with his command and the consistency of his secondary stuff. His control has been above-average. Houston will probably keep him in the starting rotation for now but he could blossom as a high-leverage reliever. He’s probably ready to avoid Lancaster and will likely be assigned to double-A.

David Rollins
Position: LHP
Drafted: 2011 24th round
Level: Low-A ball
Age: 22
Pre-Season Top 15 Ranking: Not Ranked

Rollins was a low draft pick but he’s intrigued MLB clubs for a while now and was actually drafted four times as an amateur (also by the Dodgers and twice by the Mariners). The lefty has average stuff but he shows good command and his control is usually good but it’s been a little inconsistent in A-ball. As well, Rollins is an extreme fly-ball pitcher so that may not go over so well in Houston’s home park. The hurler has plenty of time to improve but he currently performs much better against left-handed hitters (.189 average against) than right-handers (.246) suggesting his future may lie in a big league bullpen. Rollins was in a groove in his last four starts (1.50 ERA, 10 hits, 20 Ks in 18 IP) but he has spent the past few weeks on the minor league disabled list.

The PTBNL

There is also rumored to be a Player to Be Named Later going from Toronto to Houston. I would gather that the player is one of Toronto’s 2011 draft picks who signed less than a year ago (A player cannot be traded until one year after signing). Possible names that could be on the move include Texas-born prospects RHP Jeremy Gabryszwski, RHP John Stilson, or 3B Matt Dean. Infielder Andrew Burns, who was selected out of the University of Arizona and has intriguing tools, is also a possibility. I would recommend high-A pitcher Marcus Walden, who is in his second year back from Tommy John surgery. He has a good fastball and produces crazy ground-ball rates (3-to-1) and could be an outstanding eighth-inning reliever.

* * *

With the recent trades with Toronto and Miami (which netted Matt Dominguez and Rob Rasmussen), as well as an outstanding 2012 draft (Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers Jr., Rio Ruiz), Houston’s Top 15 prospect list is looking much improved. And the future looks very bright as the organization prepares for a move to the American League West division in 2013.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

John Fox: Jay Cutler will have to earn starting QB job

Report: Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall candidates for Texas

Kurt Warner is helping to turn around Colin Kaepernick

Bizarre call allows Duke to cover spread against Utah

Saints love TE Josh Hill following Jimmy Graham trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Darren Sproles' role is growing for the Eagles

Barkley, Reggie Miller condemn Indiana religious freedom bill

Metta World Peace interested in coaching at St John's

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

Victorino: I plan on playing every day for Red Sox in 2015

Bruins coach suits up as backup goalie

Tennessee fans show love for Bruce Pearl on campus rock

Louisville guard turned off phone after clutch NC State win

Steve Spurrier hung out with Kenny Chesney before concert

Winnipeg Jets prospect had a rough night on the ice

Russell Wilson to suit up for Texas Rangers Saturday

Did Dean Smith’s gifts to former players violate NCAA rules?

WWE unveils Ultimate Warrior statue

WATCH: Tom Brady jumps off tall cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.