Astros land two top prospects, intriguing arm
The Phillies may have gotten the right-handed bat they wanted in Hunter Pence, but the Astros got two outstanding prospects, one intriguing arm and a player to be named in return. Here's some more information on Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton and Josh Zeid.
Cosart and Singleton were ranked first and second on MLB.com's Phillies Top 10 list at the time of the trade. Both were playing in the Class A Advanced Florida State League, but the Astros appear likely to assign Cosart to Double-A Corpus Christi and Singleton to Lancaster in the California League once they join the organization. They are currently ranked 37th and 38th among MLB.com's Top 50 prospects.
Cosart was drafted in the 38th round of the 2008 Draft but signed with the Phillies with an over-slot deal instead of heading to Missouri. He's always had electric stuff, but he had trouble staying healthy over his first couple of years and threw just 95 2/3 innings from 2009 to '10.
In 2009, he had back and shoulder problems. In 2010, his season ended in June because of a bad elbow. Even in limited time, though, he showed what he can do, striking out 102 and walking just 23 in that span.
Cosart has one of the better fastballs in the Minors, and it was on display at this year's Futures Game, when he was touching 98 mph. He has a very good curve to go along with the heater. His changeup is behind the other pitches, but he was learning to use it more regularly this season. He's lean and projectable and has good command, which is rare for a power pitcher. More than anything, he's stayed healthy in 2011. His 108 innings already surpass his career high for a season, and although he was scuffling for a while, in his last -- and final -- start with the Phillies, he tossed seven shutout innings.
Singleton was a 2009 Draftee, taken in the eighth round and signed away from a Long Beach State commitment. For a young hitter taken out of high school, he showed a more productive bat right away than some expected to see. He has a smooth swing from the left side of the plate, and most feel that he'll hit for average and power as he matures and learns the game.
In his first full season, he showed pretty good plate discipline and the ability to draw some walks. He faded in the second half of 2010. After hitting .373/.460/.672 with nine homers and 41 RBIs over 134 at-bats in the first half, he hit .244/.356/.372, with five homers and 36 RBIs over 242 at-bats.
Singleton is a good first baseman, but the Phillies moved him to left field to start this year, thinking that Ryan Howard would be a very big roadblock, but moved him back to first. Considering he's just 19, his .284/.387/.413 line in the pitching-friendly Florida State League isn't too bad.
Zeid, a senior signing out of Tulane in 2009, has the chance to contribute soon out of the bullpen. He's both started and relieved as a professional, but he's had more success in shorter stints this season. He had a very good first full season overall in 2010, with a 2.93 ERA, a 9.3 K/9 ratio and 2.3 BB/9. He did save eight games as a reliever.
Zeid threw well in the Arizona Fall League as well before he hit his innings limit for the year, setting him up to make a double jump to Double-A in 2011. He began the year in the rotation, and after putting up a 6.80 ERA (and .290 batting average against) over 11 starts, he moved into the bullpen. Over 10 relief outings, he had a nifty 2.25 ERA, striking out 24 and walking just two (with a .182 BAA) over 16 innings.