I called Ben Badler, an editor at Baseball America, asking for an independent take on some of the Phillies prospects who have been mentioned as pieces in the various deals. People associated with teams obviously have every incentive to talk up their own talent, so I thought you might find a reality check useful.
First off, Gordon Edes of Yahoo, a terrific reporter, said today that the Red Sox have included Clay Buchholz in an offer to obtain Halladay. I asked Badler who he’d rather have between the two prospects. He said:
What is the best potential move for the Phillies as the trade deadline approaches?
“I think it depends on who you talk to, but I’d prefer to have Buchholz. I see a more advanced repertoire, and he’s ever had the type of major arm surgery that Drabek has. You never know how that could catch up with him.”
Here was his take on some other guys. BA gets its information from scouts, managers, farm directors and coaches across the minor leagues. They updates their files constantly.
Carlos Carrasco: : "Some of Carrasco’s numbers are very good. He strikes out a batter per inning, he has walked about three per nine innings. He’s only 22 years old. He’s been very hittable this year, but that could just be luck. He has a low-90s fastball, and above-average change-up and a curveball that gets mixed reviews but shows flashes. This year has been a little bit disappointing for him.”
Lou Marson: “It is tough to know what to make of Marson. You always like to see players who control the strike zone like he does, but his power is limited. If Marson can develop power, that will determine his future. But even moderate power as a catcher would make him valuable. I wouldn’t predict above-average power for him. If he develops some power—and it’s hard at this point to say if he will—he will be an average player.”
Jason Donald: “It’s fair to say he’s been one of the most disappointing prospects in baseball this season. It seems to have fallen apart for Donald, and all of a sudden he’s a 24-year-old in Triple-A. His value has plunged this year.”
It should be noted, of course, that Donald and Marson have dealt with injuries this season. Also, I am aware that a report knocked down Edes' report. I don't know the specifics of this particular story, but I do know that Edes is rarely wrong.