A Look at the New Astros Prospects from the JD Davis trade

By: Wayne Schields

J.D. Davis and Cody Bohanek were traded to the Mets on Sunday afternoon for three minor leaguers. While this isn’t a game changer for the Astros and their quest to return to the World Series in 2019, it could pay dividends as soon as 2020. If nothing else, add even more depth to arguably the deepest farm system in baseball.

For the Astros, trading Davis makes sense, as he is blocked from consistent playing time with the Astros and dealing him opens up a valuable spot on the 40-man roster, potentially clearing the way for Jeff Luhnow to make an acquisition soon.

Davis finishes his Astros career with a disappointing .194/.260/.321 slash line with five home runs, 12 RBI, and 49 strikeouts in just 181 big league at-bats via Baseball-Reference. The 22-year-old Bohanek saw action across three levels in 2018, slashing a combined .214/.324/.293 in 392 at-bats.

The return.

With Luhnow having a rather impressive history in these type of deals, it behooves Astros fans to take a closer look at the three prospects acquired—-Luis Santana, Ross Adolph, and Scott Manea—-and see if we can see why Keith Law called this trade a “shrewd move” by Luhnow. 

Santana appears to be the primary prospect coming over to the Astros. The 5’8″ second baseman is described by Baseball Prospectus as having a plus hit tool and was recently ranked by that publication as the 11th best prospect in the Mets organization.

The 19-year-old made it stateside in 2018 and didn’t let the more advanced and older competition slow him down. In 53 games in the Appalachian League, Santana slashed an impressive .348/.446/.471 with 13 doubles, four homers, 35 RBI, and had more walks (27) than strikeouts (24). MLB Pipeline has Santana ranked as the 22nd best prospect in the Astros system.

Adolph is no slouch either. The Mets 12th round selection in the 2018 draft (350th overall) earned team MVP honors for Brooklyn in the New York-Penn League after posting a slash line of .276/.348/.509 in 232 at-bats. Adolph added nine doubles, 12 triples, and seven homers while also stealing 14 bases in his professional debut.

He played all three outfield spots in college but profiles as a corner outfielder in the big leagues. Adolph doesn’t have a true plus tool but is at least average across the board, giving the 22-year-old a pretty solid floor as a big league fourth outfielder.  

Manaea, 23, is a defensive-minded catcher with some upside remaining as a hitter. In 100 games at Columbia in the Class A South Atlantic League, the 5’11” and 216 pound Manaea slashed .261/.368/.432 with 12 homers and an OPS of .800 while being named an All-Star.

The sturdy backstop has seen vast offensive improvement in each of his three years in the minors, and he will look to continue that progress in the Astros system, where he will likely start the season with the organization’s new Advanced-A affiliate in Fayetteville, NC. 

***All stats from Baseball-Reference***

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