Friday, November 14, 2014

See ya Kyle, Howdy Zach!

I guess the writing was on the wall. I mean, this was what should be expected when your dad gets fired and trashed in the local media by "unnamed sources," your uncle also gets fired, and your skillset wasn't too notable. Yet, it was kind of depressing that Kyle Wren was traded Friday to the Milwaukee Brewers for right-hand pitcher Zach Quintana and not only because it spared us the potential hilarious awkwardness of Wren coming to camp next spring and posting big numbers. Granted, that was the biggest reason for my depression. Can you image a #FreeWren movement?

Beyond that, though, Wren had been a rather productive outfielder even if his ceiling was low. When he was drafted by his father's team, it appeared to be nepotism at its worst. But when more than a casual inspection of Wren beyond his name was conducted, it was clear Wren was deserving of being drafted in the 8th round. In fact, when compared to his teammate with Georgia Tech who was selected right after him, Wren has considerably outperformed Brandon Thomas, who is in the Yankees organization. Also, Wren had been far more deserving of his draft status than Jon Schuerholz, who was also an 8th rounder, but failed to hit in six minor league seasons before getting a job with the Braves.

Wren had paired with mega prospect Jose Peraza at the top of the lineup to wreck havoc on opposing pitchers with Rome in 2013 and in both Lynchburg and Mississippi last season. While Wren won't ever show much power, he was a competent center fielder with plenty of speed. His OBP was good enough to potentially land him some time as a fourth outfielder in the major leagues. In fact, he could have easily been like Gregor Blanco in the right spot.

Alas, that will not occur in Atlanta. So what do we know about Quintana? The right-hander was selected in the third round of 2012 out of Arbor View High School in Las Vegas, the sixth choice after the Braves picked up catcher Bryan De La Rosa that year. Quintana was a 3B and pitcher in high school and was on his way to San Diego State when the Brewers convinced him to give up college, along with his third baseman glove.

Since signing, Quintana has mostly been a starter with two years in rookie ball and last season with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in the Midwest League. The results have been fairly bad. In 194.2 ING in the minors, Quintana has a 1.75 WHIP, 4.8 BB/9, and 6.1 K/9. Quintana was considered a polished high school pitcher who may have been selected higher if he had a more desirable stature (he's only 5'11", which we all know is often embellished). His velocity tops off in the 91-92 mph range, meaning his average velocity is a good tick or two slower. He's supposed to get some sinking movement on his pitches, though his secondary offerings leave much to be desired.

At best, this deal could be classified as trading a max 4th outfielder for a project pitcher, but that seems like a stretch. This deal is better defined as "getting rid of that guy cause we hate his dad." I just don't understand the timing, nor the need. Wren apparently didn't make a stink and demand to be traded, but I guess the Braves felt his name was enough reason to jettison him.

All in all, it should be noted that this trade likely won't hurt the Braves. Wren is good at maximizing his tools, but his placement in the Braves prospect rankings would have been based more on the system being so bare over his actual potential. And that's why the Braves simply washed their hands of this. They considered dealing him as not having a high likelihood of biting them in the ass. Chances are, they are right.

But dammit, it took away some of my fun.

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