- Jim Callis, Fantasy
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Talk about your lackluster deadline deals. No big-name prospects like an Adrian Gonzalez or Scott Kazmir changed hands this July; instead the trades involved a bunch of guys named Larry, Curly and Ryan Meaux.
Even at Baseball America, where we can come up with a Top 10 list for anything, we couldn't identify 10 quality prospects who changed hands this year. So you'll have to settle for this Top 5:
1. Omar Quintanilla, ss (Athletics to Rockies in the Eric Brynes-Joe Kennedy trade). Quintanilla is a line-drive hitter who's better suited to play second base, and he'll be challenging for Aaron Miles' job in short order. A 2003 supplemental first-rounder who owned a career .330 average entering the season, Quintanilla might have pushed for a starting job in Oakland in 2006. But he was batting a soft .293 at the time of the deal, which made him expendable.
2. Yorman Bazardo, rhp (Marlins to Mariners in the Ron Villone trade). Florida deemed Bazardo untouchable a year ago but was willing to give him up now to get some bullpen help, in part because his disastrous big league debut in May turned off manager Jack McKeon. Though he can throw in the mid-90s and tops out at 98 mph, Bazardo doesn't dominate as much as he should. He needs to refine his secondary pitches (changeup, slider) to realize his considerable potential.
3. Chip Ambres, of (Red Sox to Royals in the Tony Graffanino trade). Ambres isn't going to maintain his .400 average in Kansas City but he's intriguing, especially considering he was on the six-year minor league free-agent market during the offseason. A former Texas A&M quarterback recruit, he was derailed by injuries after signing as a 1998 first-round pick. Now healthy, he's again showing solid all-around tools and a good eye at the plate.
4. Travis Chick, rhp (Padres to Reds in the Joe Randa trade). Chick was an unknown when Florida shipped him to San Diego at 2004's deadline, but his stuff quickly took off and earned him comparisons to a young Curt Schilling. Chick has regressed this year in Double-A but still has the makings of a big league starter, beginning with his low-90s fastball and hard slider. Improving his changeup and control are his biggest needs.
5. Eduardo Sierra, rhp (Yankees to Rockies in the Shawn Chacon trade). Though Sierra has yet to get past Double-A in his seventh pro season, he has legitimate power stuff. He throws a mid-90s fastball, an 81-86 mph slider and an 87-91 mph splitter. Once he works them into the strike zone more consistently, he'll be ready to help a big league bullpen.
Baseball America couldn't identify 10 quality prospects who changed hands in trades this year. So you'll have to settle for this Top 5 list.