Trade Analysis: Astros On Right Track

The Astros trading away Hunter Pence, arguably the team's franchise player, is a bitter pill to swallow for the city of Houston and their fan base. However, looking beyond the initial sting of losing an All-Star, the key is that the organization is on the right track in terms of what type of talent they are now stocking their farm system with, including the players acquired from the Phillies.

The Phillies will be helped by the presence of Hunter Pence in their outfield, and there seems to be very little doubt about that. But, they did pay dearly for the 28-year-old outfielder. Jonathan Singleton is a potential plus power bat from the left side with good plate discipline and a strong overall approach for a 19-year-old. He's had some ups and downs and has been streaky as a pro but he instantly becomes the elite bat in Houston's farm system.

As for the second prospect Houston received, Jarred Cosart, the Astros are receiving one of the true blue chip young arms in professional baseball. And if his stock wasn't high enough already, Cosart stood out as one of the stars of the Futures Game earlier this month. Here is what I wrote about the Astros' newest star prospect following that event:

"If there was a second place winner as to who impressed most on the mound on Sunday after Matt Moore, Cosart would be up for that award. In his one inning stint, the Phillies' righty worked at 96-97 mph and flashed a sharp, potential plus curveball at 75-77 mph. His fastball shows fantastic life and the only real issue is command. He tends to miss up in the zone, but considering his velocity he can get away with a lot of mistakes. Cosart has a ways to go in his development but his two plus swing and miss offerings make him a front of the rotation type starter in the future."

In other words, Cosart is a potential jackpot for Houston, and few farm systems could use an arm like this as badly as they could. From the sound of it, Houston looked over a couple different packages of prospects from other clubs, and it is difficult to envision them landing two more talented players than these two.

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