Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I covered most of the Astros prospects yesterday, but I did leave one out:

Tommy Whiteman, SS.

Whiteman split time between AA, where he hit .336 / .381 / .473 but with relatively few XBH (22) and walks (20) in 277 AB's. He was then promoted to AAA, where he hit .276 / .336 / .337, and again didn't walk or hit for power. He also made a combined 17 errors in 93 games (not a terrible total for a shortstop, but not great), and he's already 25, so I'm not too high on him. I guess he'd be our best SS prospect if Everett went away (though I wouldn't mind seeing Burke shift to SS and Conrad go to 2B), but that's more an indictment of the state of our minor league system than Whiteman's excellence. Not a bad player, but little patience, little power, and an average-to-below-average glove at SS don't predict future success.

The Sosa trade looks like it's going through, and rumor has it that the Cubs are close to signing Jeromy Burnitz. This is great news for Astros fans; an OF of Hairston or DuBois / Patterson / Burnitz is pretty bad, probably worse than Biggio / Lane / Berkman assuming Berkman comes back healthy. The Tigers are also rumored to be offering Magglio Ordonez a 5 year deal (is anyone else even offering a 3 year deal??), so they'll probably get him. That leaves trade as our only real option to improving the OF. I still think Randy Winn from Seattle (they have Ibanez, Jeremy Reed, and Ichiro in the OF) and Cruz Jr. from Tampa (they've got Crawford / Baldelli / Gathwright / Danny Bautista) as the two most likely suspects. Our trade bait should be Tim Redding / Brandon Duckworth / Willy Taveras / Mike Burns / Todd Self / Mike Lamb. Surely some combination of that could bring us Winn or Cruz Jr. I just hope we don't trade Ensberg, Lane, Burke, or Astacio.

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