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Where are they now? How Angels prospects traded at last season’s deadline have performed.

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Chicago White Sox

Edgar Quero and Ky Bush traded for Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez

Edgar Quero is a bat-first catching prospect who we fast-tracked to AA by 2023 as a 20-year-old. He had absolutely demolished A ball, with what was expected to be a pretty sustainable approach. He was patient at the plate, hit a bunch of dingers, and ended up with a wRC+ of 150.

Our organization aggressively moved him up to AA, and he still hit at a wRC+ of 105, which is impressive for his age. His numbers were pretty similar post-trade. He remained a top 100 prospect on MLB pipeline and Fangraphs going into this year, and that ranking seems super justified now. He probably put in some serious work this off-season, because over 249 PA in 60 games already this season, he’s batting at a wRC+ of 152 (!), smacked 11 homers, and is still only striking out 17% of the time. One of the concerns at the time (for moving him up even more) was that Quero’s catcher skills were lagging a bit behind his bat, but dude’s still 21; he has plenty of time to continue honing his craft on the other side.

The most common retort I see is “we already got O’Hoppe, so Quero became expendable.” This is a flat out terrible argument, because given Quero’s pedigree and results so far, if it really were a matter of positional redundancy, we could have traded him for a similar highly-touted prospect at a different position. However, in our desperate attempt to make the playoffs and maybe satisfy Shohei (in retrospect, a fool’s plan), we sent him out for two rentals who barely made a dent in our playoff hopes.

Ky Bush, a lefty starter, struggled with injury issues during his time with us, and sadly, it was all soft tissue stuff. He got an oblique injury, groin injury, and a lat strain. He tried to play through some of those injuries and remained a top 10 Angels prospect going into the trade despite those struggles. His numbers suffered as a result, but we had made him our second round pick in our all pitchers draft with good reason. He’s got solid stuff (4-pitch mix), and he has the makeup of a starter (6’6″ 250). We arguably sold him low as he battled his way to a 5.88 ERA with us, then a 6.70 ERA with the White Sox in 2023. Then, this past off-season happened, and he went back to the Ky Bush of old.

He’s currently sitting at a 1.78 ERA and 3.07 FIP in AA at the age of 24, with 70.2 IP in 12 games. He’s kept his home run rate pretty low and is pretty respectable at striking guys out. I don’t think he has ace material, but he’ll likely make it to the league fairly soon as a back-of-the-rotation guy, and stick around for as long as his health holds up (we’ll see if his issues were related to our medical personnel, or lack thereof).

On the other side of the deal, Giolito was terrible for us during his divorce proceeding and proceeded to get injured in pre-season. Reynaldo Lopez converted to a starter role and has been absolutely incredible. If we somehow had re-signed him, this deal might have paid off, but this is by far the most painful deal we made last deadline.

Also of note, the White Sox have Jared Walsh in AAA right now.

Summary: This trade set us back two potential long-term contributors, even if we would have had to flip Quero for someone else. Given how Bush has pitched (and how he’s a lefty starter), we absolutely would have been clamoring for him to replace Suarez over the last few weeks.

Colorado Rockies

Jake Madden and Mason Albright for CJ Cron and Randal Grichuk

Mason Albright is currently the better of the two. The Rockies took a page out of our book on this one with their aggressive promotions. We had him in A for 2023, so the Rockies sent him there for one start. After that one start, they immediately sent him to A+, where he proceeded to have 5 really good starts. After the off-season, they moved him straight into AA, where he’s continued to be really solid, with an ERA of around 4 over 56 IP. He’s a smaller (6’0″, still taller than me) 21-year-old leaning on his stuff, but he’s got a decent chance to make the league considering how quickly he has risen.

Jake Madden is less of a sure thing. He was higher rated when he was with us, seeing as we picked him in the 4th round, but he’s developed a little slower than Albright, despite coming out of college (in contrast with Albright entering from high school). Even though he spent all of last season as a starter (20 total starts), it looks like the Rockies are trying him out as a relief pitcher. It sounds like his fastball and breaking stuff haven’t really developed, which is a shame since he’s listed at 6’6″, 185. Still, he’s rocking a 2.89 ERA and 4.77 FIP in low A, where they’re probably keeping him lower to ensure he can work on his stuff.

Summary: We will probably regret this trade, but it’s less painful than losing Quero and Bush. Albright has a decent shot at making the big leagues as a backend starter. Madden’s a mixed bag.

New York Mets

Coleman Crow and Landon Marceaux for Eduardo Escobar

Escobar was a fan favorite anywhere he went, but his play on the field left a lot to be desired. In return, we sent back two more pitchers, both of whom are out for the season.

Coleman Crow was an absolute innings eater at AA in 2022, going 128 IP in 24 games, which was especially impressive because he was 21 at the time. He was on track to an even better season in 2023 before he needed Tommy John surgery. Prior to the injury, he used his great command and breaking stuff to get batters to whiff. Because of the risk, the Mets ended up trading him to the Brewers. Even now, Fangraphs put him as the Brewers’ 21st best prospect, while MLB Pipeline has him at 25th. These are high hopes for a guy coming off Tommy John, and had we kept him and he stayed healthy, we might have already seen him called up at some point (like last year’s roster expansion in September).

Landon Marceaux is also hurt and still in the Mets system. There’s less to like here about Marceaux, though he’s kind of in a similar mold as Crow. He’s never had the solid numbers that Crow has, despite being older and being drafted higher. Like Crow, he also got hurt, so his development gets delayed even more. I don’t think he’ll ever make the majors, but maybe he’ll prove me wrong.

Summary: This one will probably hurt. Even if neither Crow nor Marceaux pan out, we can always use more high-risk, high-reward projects, especially if their biggest issue is injury. (Though given our track record with injuries, I’m skeptical.) Considering how most pitchers get Tommy John nowadays, it seems reasonable for Crow to regain most of his ability, though that remains to be seen.

Jeremiah Jackson for Dominic Leone

Jeremiah Jackson was yet another in a long line of Angels prospects who have a lot of potential and athleticism, but who need to find a hit tool to make the big leagues (see: Jo Adell, Jordyn Adams, Arol Vera, Werner Blakely). Though he was showing off his power last season, the trade has proven to not be a big hit to the org. This season, he’s batting close to .200 and rarely walking, so something has gone wrong there. Still, it was for a reliever rental, so honestly, no real winners here.

Summary: I wasn’t happy about this trade at the time (because it’s more about the thought process and less about the trades themselves), but in the grand scheme of things, I think this one will have a negligible effect.

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