There have been a bunch of names being bandied about the past few days as Houston looks to deal Hunter Pence and at least 50 billion other players before the trade deadline Sunday. To bring some order to the Twitter chaos, let's look at some of the prospects in play so you can be a little more familiar with who they are.
From the Phillies:
Domonic Brown, outfield - The No. 4 overall prospect ranked by Baseball America before the season, Brown hasn't shown much in the little major league exposure he's gotten so far. He's seen the most playing time this season, when he's hit .247/.338/.399 in 204 plate appearances. His strongest tool is his arm in right field, but the rest of his tools grade out very similarly to Hunter Pence. He's got the ability to hit around .300 with 20-25 home runs and decent speed. The one big difference between Brown and Pence is that Brown may have a much better walk rate, as he's posted numbers over 12 percent in the minors in the past and is at 10.7 percent for his major league career. The Phillies would be crazy to trade him.
Jonathan Singleton, first base - The big first baseman is three inches shorter than Brown and 15 pounds heavier at 6-foot-2 and 215, but he's got more power potential. He had his breakout season last summer when his name was bandied about in all the Roy Oswalt deals. That power hasn't translated this season in the minors, but his walk rate has remained strong. His strikeout rate also jumped up this season while his isolated power dropped below .150 for the first time as a pro. Scouts continue to suggest that the power is there, it will just take some time to develop. Singleton is still just 19 years old, so he's got a bright future if he keeps developing. I'm sure the Astros goal would be to pair him with George Springer and DDJ in the lower minors, instead of finding someone for the Keuchel, Martinez, Altuve group.
Jarred Cosart, right-handed pitcher - A League City native, Cosart could be a fan favorite pretty quickly. Just 21 years old, he'd also quickly become the top pitching prospect in Houston's system. The 6-foot-3, 180 pound righty had a lot of success at Low A last season, but saw a bit of a regression with his K rate and an increase in walk rate in High A ball. That's also corresponded with a rise in his ERA over the past month, but the good thing is that Cosart has been healthy for the entire season. Health is the only real knock on him, as his stuff profiles as a front of the rotation starter. He's got a fastball that sits mid to high 90's with a solid curve and a developing change. Basically, he's got the stuff of a young Roy Oswalt.
Trevor May, right-handed pitcher - Depending on how you evaluate prospects, May's 2011 season may have him leap-frogging over Cosart as the second-best pitcher in the Phillies system. He started 14 games at High A Clearwater last season to mixed results (mainly due to a 7.89 BB/9 rate). This season, he's done much, much better. May's maintained his K/9 rate above 11 for the past few seasons and dropped his walk rate to 4.03. His FIP is also down to 2.77 this season. His fastball doesn't have the same velocity as Cosart's, but it still sits in the low to mid 90's. His curve and change has potential, but are not as polished or as consistent as Cosart's. The big thing with May appears to be consistency. If he can repeat his delivery, his control will get better.
From the Braves:
Mike Minor, left-handed pitcher - A Top 50 pitching prospect, Minor was a favorite to win a spot in this Braves rotation, but was beaten out in spring training by Brandon Beachy. Minor hasn't done poorly in the meantime, with solid strikeout numbers, a sterling ERA and good control. Plus, he's generating plenty of ground balls, which is always a plus. At this point, he'd be ready to step in immediately to Houston's rotation beside Jordan Lyles.
Tyler Pastornicky, shortstop - The 14th best prospect in the Braves system, Pastornicky fits a lot of what the Astros seem to look for in a prospect. He's got speed up the middle, a little pop and should stick at shortstop. The only problem here is that Atlanta acquired Pastornicky last season in the deal with the Blue Jays for Alex Gonzalez and is their most advanced shortstop prospect.