If you haven't heard, the Atlanta Braves just traded all-world defensive shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the Los Angeles Angels for Erick Aybar and the top two pitching prospects in the Angels' farm system: Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis.
We'll take a quick look at the prospects coming to Atlanta in this deal:
Newcomb is clearly the center piece of this trade and was the top guy in the Angels system. He is a 6-foot-5 left-handed pitcher with a fastball that sits in the low-to-mid 90s, which he can pump up to 98. Last season at three levels in the minors, Newcomb posted a 2.85 ERA with an 11.1 K/9 and a 5.0 BB/9. After finishing the year in Double-A Newcomb could be Major League ready as soon as the 2017 season.
For a bit of an idea how Newcomb compares to the plethora of arms Atlanta already has, here's Baseball America's Teddy Cahill:
The Braves have a lot of pitching prospects, but Newcomb is probably now the best one.— Teddy Cahill (@tedcahill) November 12, 2015
Ellis was the No. 2 rated overall prospect in the system according to MLB.com and was taken in the third round (88th overall) of the 2014 draft by the Angels. He is a 6-foot-4 right-hander with a low-90s fastball that has some movement (sink and run). His changeup is his best secondary offering, and he has the makings of a solid curveball as well, although it remains inconsistent at the moment. Ellis also finished the season at the Double-A level, but with less impressive results: a 3.90 ERA for the entire year with an 8.4 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9. His ETA is also the 2017 season.
Both pitchers could advance quickly through the minors and reach the big leagues in 2016 thanks to some extra development in college, but I'd consider 2017 the safe bet.
Be sure to stay tuned as we continue to break down and analyze this trade.