The key part of both trades that the Diamondbacks made today was financial flexibility. Both trades give General Manager Kevin Towers, and Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa money to spend this offseason on free agent pitching.
However, its not like the Dbacks didn’t get any players in return. The Dbacks sent Martin Prado to the Yankees, but they also received the New York Yankees 2nd best catching prospect in Peter O’ Brien.
O Brien was drafted in the second round in 2012 from the University of Miami-Florida. He made his debut in the New York-Penn League and had a rough go of it. In 48 games for Staten Island, his slash line looked like this: .202/.249/.394. He was more effective in 2013 at higher level of the minors. Between Low A-Charleston and High A-Tampa, he hit .291 with 39 doubles and 22 home runs. Granted its the lower level of the minors, but those are pretty good numbers for a catcher.
This year, combined at Class-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, he hit .267 with 23 doubles, 33 home runs, and 70 RBI’s. He was ranked as the 9th best prospect in the Yankees system by MLB.com, and was selected to this year’s Futures Game.
O’Brien’s best tool is clearly his power and he has only gotten better in that category as he has moved up through the minors, which shows that he has the potential to be an impact bat in the major leagues down the road. He is a high ceiling prospect.
This is what Towers said about O’Brien in a press conference on Thursday: “O’Brien is probably one of the better offensive players in the minor leagues right now.”
He might be right. O’Brien ranks second in the minors in extra base hits with 58, third in home runs, fourth in total bases, and 9th in slugging.
The biggest concern with O’Brien is his defensive skills behind the plate. However that is a work in progress, and I’m sure he will get better in that department as he continues to develop.
O’Brien will play for Double A Mobile in the Diamondbacks system.