The Colorado Rockies have traded Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians for a package that includes Drew Pomeranz (who will be a player to be named later as he cannot be traded until August 15th, a year after he signed), Alex White, Joe Gardner, and Matt McBride. The 22 year old Pomeranz was the 5th overall pick out of Ole Miss in the 2010 draft and has been lights out since turning pro. This season he is a combined 3-3 with a 1.98ERA and has struck out 112 batters in 91 innings between the High-A Kinston Indians and the Double-A Akron Aeros. He was a participant in the 2011 Futures Game. The 6’5″ lefty has as high a ceiling as any pitcher in the minor leagues. White went 1-0 with a 3.60 in 3 starts with the Indians earlier this year before going on the DL with a finger injury. The 22 year old pitched a simulated game on Monday and was scheduled to start tonight for Akron before being scratched upon news of the pending trade. White went 10-10 with 2.45ERA in 25 starts between Kinston and Akron in 2010. He was the 15th overall pick of the 2009 draft out of North Carolina. Gardner is another product of the 2009 draft. The Indians took the 23 year old in the third round out of UC Santa Barbara. He is currently 7-8 with a 4.99ERA in 19 starts for Akron. Gardner was 12-6 with a 2.68ERA in 28 starts for Kinston in 2010. McBride is a 26 year old with a solid bat who has yet to play above the Triple-A level. He was second round pick by the Indians out of LeHigh University way back in 2006 and has been in the Indians organization since. After not hitting more than eight home runs in any of his previous minor league seasons, McBride broke out with a 44 Double, 18 Home Run, 99 RBI year between Kinston and Akron in 2009. He followed that up with a 31 Double, 21 Home Run, 79 RBI year between Akron and the Triple-A Columbus Clippers in 2010. This season McBride has once again split between Akron and Columbus and has posted a combined .279, 26 Double, 15 Home Run, 56 RBI year to this point.
The Seattle Mariners have traded pitchers Doug Fister and David Pauley to the Detroit Tigers for pitcher Charlie Furbush, outfielder Casper Wells and Francisco Martinez. The 20 year old Martinez is one of the top prospects in the Tigers organization. The third baseman is one of the youngest players in the Double-A Eastern League and is holding his own at the level batting .282 with 14 Doubles, 4 Triples, 7 Home Runs, and 46 RBI’s this season. He played in the 2011 Futures Game. Martinez has been fast tracked through the organization since signing with the Tigers as a non drafted free agent out of Venezuela back in 2007. Last season in High-A, Martinez hit Florida State League pitching to the tune of .271 with 17 Doubles and 3 Home Runs. He is a steal for the Mariners in this trade and has serious big league potential in the future. The 26 year old Wells has bounced between Detroit and the Triple-A Toledo Mudhens the past two seasons. In 64 games in Detroit in 2011, Wells batted .257 with 10 Doubles, 4 Home Runs, and 12 RBI’s. He was sent down to Toledo on July 22nd and was hitting .370 in Triple-A prior to the trade. Wells batted .233 for Toledo in 2010 before a big league call up that saw him hit at a .323 clip in 36 games late last season for the Tigers. Wells was a 14th round pick by Detroit in the 2005 draft. Furbush made his major league debut earlier this season for Detroit and was 1-3 with a 3.62 ERA in 32.1 innings of work. He walked 14 and struck out 26 over 32.1 innings of work with opponents hitting .302 against him. In Triple-A the 24 year old The 25 year old was 5-3 with a 3.17ERA in Toledo this year and had 61 strikeouts in 54 innings with opposing hitters batting just .180 against him. In 2010 Furbush was one of the breakout pitchers in minor league baseball finishing with 183 strikeouts across stints with the High-A Lakeland Flying Tigers, the Double-A Erie Seawolves, and the Triple-A Mudhens. The 6’5″ lefty was a fourth round pick of the Tigers out of LSU in the 2007 draft.
Since being drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the second round of the 2009 draft out of El Toro High School in California, all Nolan Arenado has done is hit. The 20 year old is a career .307 and is currently blistering the California League to a tune of a .310 average with 24 Doubles, 1 Triple, 11 Home Runs, and 74 RBI’s as a member of the Modesto Nuts. Among the most impressive stats from Arenado’s career thus far is that he’s struck out in just 108 of his 924 career at-bats, a rate of just over 11 percent. Equally as impressive is that over 37 percent of his hits go for extra bases. Arenado played in the 2011 Futures Game and did what he does best, hitting a double off Royals pitching prospect Kelvin Herrera. We hope you enjoy our Q&A with Nolan Arenado.
TPA: What was it like being around all of the best prospects in baseball at the Futures Game?
Nolan Arenado: It was a blast. It felt so good being around players you hear and read about, and some of them I know personally, like my high school classmate Austin Romine of the Yankees.
TPA: What were some of the things you will take with you from the Futures Game experience?
Nolan Arenado: We were treated so well. All of the attention on us was nice. Playing for such a big crowd was awesome and Chase Field is a great ballpark. It was an honor representing the Rockies. You never know if an opportunity like this will come up again, so I just tried to enjoy every minute.
TPA: After a slow start to the season offensively in 2011, you’ve been one of the hottest bats in the minors over the last month or so. What adjustments did you make to help lead to your recent success?
Nolan Arenado: I did start out slow but I didn’t panic. I made some small tweaks to my swing. I have since tried to stay consistent with what I’m doing at the plate.
TPA: What type of approach and swing thought do you take with you to the plate?
Nolan Arenado: I want to drive the ball. I look for a fastball to hit. I try to do what the situation dictates, and not try to do too much.
TPA: You did a bunch of Perfect Game events when you were in high school, describe that experience, and how seeing the some of the best prep pitching in the country at the time helped prepare you for pro ball?
Nolan Arenado: Perfect Game was a good experience. The more I did them, the more confidence I got. You definitely improve when you play against better competition.
TPA: What’s been your biggest challenge thus far in your pro career?
Nolan Arenado: It is a long season. So, staying consistent in my hitting is a challenge at times.
TPA: Being from Southern California what has it been like getting to play some of your road games this year in cities close to home?
Nolan Arenado: That’s one of the best parts. I’ve been lucky to have my family and friends come out and watch me play. Their support means a lot.
TPA: What has been your best memory so far as a pro?
Nolan Arenado: I am going to have to say the Futures Game so far. I had extended family come out as well, and it was great seeing them. On the field, meeting and talking to pro players was unforgettable. Also, another highlight was working out with Tulo this past winter.
Check out the clips below to see some of what Arenado experienced while at the Futures Games
Arenado’s Double In The Game
Arenado’s Fan Fest Interview with MLB.com
Another Futures Game Interview With MLB.com
The Houston Astros have called up Jose Altuve who has been one of Minor League Baseball’s biggest breakout prospects in 2011. The 21 year old second baseman began the year with the High-A Lancaster Jethawks batting .408 with 13(2B), 7(3B), 5HR, 39RBI, and 19 stolen bases in 52 games. Following a promotion to Double-A Corpus Christi, Altuve continued his hot hitting posting a .361 batting average with 9(2B), 3(3B), 5HR, and 25RBI. He has struck out just 40 times in 357 combined at-bats this season. Altuve will be one of the shortest players in the big leagues, officially listed at just 5’7″, but is possibly a little shorter than that. Altuve went 2-3 with a double during the 2011 Futures Game.