When trading a top-of-the-line, All-Star type of player, it's hard to see the return, whatever it might be, as equal value.
Hopefully, Baseball America's latest rankings (subscription required) of the San Diego Padres' farm system will help that notion along some for the fans who had to say goodbye to Adrian Gonzalez this offseason. Filling up three of the top four slots, Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, and Reymond Fuentes are looking like a pretty sizable haul right about now.
At the top is, of course, Casey Kelly. Despite his disappointing ERA in 2011, BA reminds us all of exactly what he was up against:
Boston attributed that to him having to learn how to harness an increase in velocity and make his mechanics work as his frame started to mature. His fastball now ranges from 89-93 mph and peaks at 96.
It's easy to forget that 2010 was Kelly's first full year as a pitcher, and his learning curve against Double-A hitters was steep.
In second, Baseball America gives strong grades to Anthony Rizzo's defense and emerging home run power, while fourth place Reymond Fuentes is expected to make big contributions after a rather longer stint in the minor leagues.
We've started in on our top-20 prospects list here. And though we've only got two spots done, I thought it'd be a fun little exercise to see where you all would expect our departed minor leaguers to slot in. Discuss!