Trade Analysis: Astros Net Sleeper

Michael Bourn was a solid trading chip for the Houston Astros. A superstar he is not, however, and it wasn't likely that Houston would get a package of blue chip prospects in exchange for him. But, what they did get is a player that has that type of potential. The Braves are indeed winners in this deal, but Houston just netted themselves another intriguing prospect.

To be clear, the Braves are big winners in pulling off the deal that sent Jordan Schafer, Juan Abreu, and Brett Oberholtzer to Houston in exchange for Michael Bourn. Bourn is one of the best defensive center fielders in the game, gets on base, and is also an elite base stealer. He fills many needs for Atlanta and should be able to make an impact this year and beyond.

But, Houston didn't exactly get robbed blind in this case. Jordan Schafer has yet to reach his potential but is still viewed favorably by many talent evaluators in the game. He's far from a safe bet, but at the very least has very high offensive upside.

Brett Oberholtzer is probably the safest prospect Houston received in this deal. The 22-year-old southpaw has been very strong in Double-A this season and has the type of stuff to be a middle of the rotation type starter in the big leagues. He works between 88-93 mph with his fastball with superb movement, and has a good feel for his changeup. His breaking ball still needs some work but the framework is there for three solid big league offerings. And, this is the type of guy who also isn't too far off from pitching in the big leagues.

Juan Abreu is a solid prospect in his own right, but the potential key to this whole deal is 23-year-old righty, Paul Clemens. Clemens has been enigmatic over the course of his career since being drafted in 2008, but seems to have put things together in Double-A here in 2011. He's the owner of a 92-96 mph fastball that gets up to 97 at times, as well as a good breaking ball and a changeup with some potential. He also has a durable 6-foot-4, wiry frame.

In other words, if he continues to develop and avoid the command problems that have plagued him in the past, this is a high ceiling type starting pitcher. And, at worst Clemens could be a power arm working out of the bullpen. These are the types of talents teams trying to rebuild like Houston should be rolling the dice on.

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