Greinke Trade Rejuvenates Brewers Farm System
The short-lived Zack Greinke era is over in Milwaukee.
After weeks of speculation, the Milwaukee Brewers finally dealt their ace to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday evening for a trio of talented prospects that should improve the Brew Crew for years to come.
Say a special thank you to the Texas Rangers for creating an American League West Division race to acquire the former Cy Young winner and thus, sweeten the deal for Milwaukee.
The trade was centered around shortstop prospect Jean Segura, the Angels top prospect at the beginning of the season not named Mike Trout.
Segura was called up to the Angels’ big league roster last week after making a name for himself in AA Arkansas. The 22-year old Dominican Republic native batted .294 with 10 doubles, five triples, seven home runs, 40 RBIs, and 23 walks. The speedster has also notched 33 stolen bases this season.
It will be interesting to see if GM Doug Melvin decides to keep Segura on the Major League roster with the inconsistency of Cesar Izturis and Cody Ransom this season, or instead sends him down to AAA until September call-ups. Regardless, the Brewers shored up an infield position of very little depth in their farm system with a potential star.
Milwaukee also acquired two intriguing right-handed pitchers in John Hellweg and Ariel Pena.
Hellweg is a giant on the mound, standing in at 6’9 and 210 pounds. Baseball America touted him as the Angels’ 2012 fourth-best organizational prospect with the best fastball and curveball in the system.
The flamethrower reaches the mid-90s, but struggles with his command, posting a relatively high 1.38 WHIP (Walks plus hits per innings pitched) in 119.2 innings pitched this season; he has 88 strikeouts to 60 walks with a 3.38 ERA. Nevertheless, the 23-year old Hellweg figures to be a factor in the Brewers’ pitching rotation within the next two seasons.
Pena, another 23-year old, was ranked the ninth-best prospect in the Angels farm system, but has been impressive thus far in 2012. In 114.1 innings pitched, he has totaled a 2.99 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with 111 strikeouts to 42 walks. Like Hellweg, Pena should be in the majors within two years and be a back-end of the rotation starter.
When the Brewers acquired Greinke before last season, a main concern was the loss of prospect Jake Odorizzi, who had been tearing up A ball and was considered among Milwaukee’s, and the league’s, top pitching prospects. However, the additions of Hellweg and Pena should help restore pitching talent to Milwaukee’s minor league system and complement last year’s first round picks Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley.
Though sad to watch another pitching stud leave Milwaukee after a rejected contract offer (CC Sabathia in 2008), the Milwaukee Brewers seem to have received a solid package of young prospects that should impact the club soon.
Now, what will Melvin’s next move be before Tuesday’s trade deadline?