Brewers' System Gets Boost in Greinke Deal

It always stings when you trade away a high caliber pitcher like Zack Greinke. The blow is lessened, however, when you net the type of prospects Milwaukee did in exchange for Greinke. While it's difficult to say who came away the winner of this near deadline trade, it's safe to say that the Angels did pay a hefty price for Greinke's services.

The Angels have acquired a top of the rotation starter in his prime in Zack Greinke. It's difficult to call that anything less than a major victory. He's performed at a supremely high level against American League competition in the past, and he's going to slide into an Angels' rotation where he can simply be part of the supporting cast. And, in acquiring him, Los Angeles has taken a major step toward being on equal footing with the division leading Texas Rangers.

There is a price to pay for that type of starting pitcher, however, and the Angels paid it. In exchange for Greinke, Jean Segura, Johnny Hellweg, and Ariel Pena were shipped to Milwaukee. Each of those prospects was one of the ten best in the Angels' farm system.

Jean Segura, who is likely the best prospect in the deal, immediately gives Milwaukee one of the best middle infield prospects in the game. The 22-year-old has a long history of hitting in the minor leagues and profiles as a perennial .300 hitter in the big leagues. There are some lingering questions about his ability to play shortstop, but most evaluators still lean toward him being able to stick there. Throw in his ability to steal 30 bases a year and you have a plus performer at a premium position in the big leagues.

As for the two young pitchers headed to Milwaukee, the Brewers certainly made sure they brought in some power arms. Towering right-hander, Johnny Hellweg has upside that is difficult to match anywhere in the minor leagues. At 6-foot-9, consistency has been an issue for him, but I saw him up to 99 mph in spring training and he typically sits around 95-97 mph. His curveball also grades out as a plus offering. If he can get his command issues worked out, this is young arm that could pitch near the top of a big league rotation.

23-year-old Ariel Pena is also the owner of plus raw stuff. He works consistently at 91-94 mph and is routinely up to 95-96. He also shows some feel for his two secondary pitches.

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