Who the Padres would covet
This left-handed pitcher is really special and is just about ready to contribute at the major league level. He has a quality fastball that tops out at 97 MPH, and teams that with an above average slider. The 23-year-old was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 19th round of the 2012 draft, but was dealt to the Houston Astros in a deal for Bud Norris. In July 2015, he was dealt from the Astros to the Brewers in a deal for Carlos Gomez. He has a lot of value and multiple teams recognize that.
At 23, Hader is listed as the #30 prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com. There is tremendous upside here and the Brewers will not be thrilled with the idea of dealing him. However, the team is in a bit of a tailspin and they certainly understand that they have a chance to make the playoffs. A deal for Brad Hand would be enticing to the Brewers, as he is not due for free agency for a couple of years. Hader has much upside, but he is far from a guarantee. Yes he is pitching well for the Brewers out of the pen, but as a rookie, he is capable of failure at any moment.
In Triple-A this season, Hader went 3-4 with a 5.37 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. The lefty struck out 51 batters, while walking 31 in 52 innings pitched and 12 games started. He was promoted to the big leagues, where he has pitched quite well, going 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA. He has struck out 15 batters in 14 innings, while walking 11. He has had control issues his whole career and is in the need of some refinement with his mechanics. His delivery is deceptive and he creates great arm speed, but has trouble staying between his lanes. Darren Balsley could do wonders for this young man. Hand for Hader is interesting, but I believe both teams want more from their player. In the end, a package of lesser projects might be beneficial for both teams.
Of all these listed prospects, he really makes the most sense. He is a true shortstop in every sense of the word, but is blocked at the major league level by Orlando Arcia. Dubon is 23 and in Triple-A, where he is hitting .269 in 93 at bats. He started the year in Double-A, putting up a .276/.338/.351 batting line with two homers, 24 RBI and 31 stolen bases. He lacks power, but makes up for it with a solid approach at the plate. The right-handed hitter has a quick bat, and could eventually be a 10-15 home run guy with a full season of at bats.
Defensively, Dubon has a great arm, decent footwork, and excellent range. He has the ability to play anywhere in the infield, but surely the Padres would utilize him at short. Think of him as a Jose Rondon, with better tools. Dubon has a high floor and should eventually be given a shot to play everyday by someone. The right-handed hitter was drafted in the 26th round of the 2013 draft by the Red Sox and has worked hard to get to where he is. That in itself says a lot about the character of this young man. He would be a nice get for the team in exchange for one of the veteran starting pitchers. It may take more though.
I am adding him to this list even though there is no way he should be made available by the Brewers. You never know though, he is a bit of an unheralded player. The right-handed pitcher will surely be the team’s minor league pitcher of the year as he has been unhittable in 2017. Between Advanced A-Ball and Double-A, he has gone 8-2 with a 1.36 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP. Burnes has struck out 109 batters in 112 innings, while walking only eight. He attacks hitters and has proven to be fearless on the mound.
Burnes is having a breakout year and really should not be dealt. At 22, he has grown tremendously after being drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 draft. His fast arm motion is a bit concerning according to reports I have read. Teams are concerned if he will be able to repeat his max-effort delivery consistently, especially late in games. Thus far, he has shown he can do just that, and his stock is certainly rising. The Padres will ask, but the Brewers will likely balk at the idea of dealing him.
The Brewers #19-rated prospect is Freddy Peralta, a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher currently in Double-A. He has made strides this season and his numbers show that. Peralta is 2-5 overall with a 2.94 ERA. He has struck out 122 batters in 85 innings, while walking 42. The young man has a decent three-pitch offering (fastball, change, slider). He is capable of changing speeds off his fastball and has advanced knowledge of how to pitch at an early age.
The undersized pitcher (5′ 11″-175 lbs) has an excellent motion and smoothly repeats that motion. He could make it all the way to the majors as a mid-rotation starter, though he is still developing, so his future is up in the air. Peralta has shown some minor control issues (31 walks in 56 innings this season in High-A ball), but should be able to rectify those problems in time. He is a decent little prospect that could be of interest to the team.
Of all the prospect on the Brewers’ list, he looks to be the one most likely to be dealt. Clark was drafted 15th overall in the 2015 draft out of high school and has an advanced approach at the plate. The 20-year-old is currently in High-A ball where he has put up a batting line of .236/.375/.396 with eight homers and 36 RBI in 313 at bats. The left-handed hitter has a decent swing, but has struggled putting the ball in play. He has struck out 103 times this season. The good news is he has walked 71 times, so there is pitch recognition ability there.
Defensively, he has remained in center, despite a suspect arm. His future might be in a corner outfield spot, but he has the ability with the bat to be productive at that position which is typically reserved for offensive players. Clark has great speed (25 stolen bases this season) and gets excellent jumps on the ball. Clark has holes in his swing, but there is much to like about the man. His power could develop in time, and if he can get some arm strength, he could be a valuable center fielder. The Padres lack positional players in the minors. Trent Clark could help with that.