Cozart: Worst case scenario: Khalil Greene, Marco Scutaro esque
Expectation: J.J. Hardy with some speed
Absolute Best case scenario: Troy Tulowitzki with a lesser BA
Here is an article on Thames:
A 24-year-old talent developed in the Blue Jays farm system, Eric Thames was a seventh round pick in the 2008 draft. It wasn't until he broke out in the Minor Leagues in 2010, clubbing 27 home runs with 104 RBI and a .288 average that he was considered a legitimate prospect.
Thames showed flashes of brilliance this year in spring training, blasting two home runs with two triples and six steals in 25 games. However, with the Blue Jays already offering Juan Rivera, Rajai Davis, Travis Snider, and Jose Bautista spots in the lineup, there were no openings for Thames.
Things have since changed, as Rivera's struggles will likely land him with another team. Snider had been sent down to the Minors until this week, and Davis has been splitting time with the more effective Corey Patterson. Meanwhile, Thames went out and hit .352 at triple-A with seven home runs and five steals. In need of some offense, the Blue Jays called Thames up to the Major Leagues for his debut on May 18.
Thames has been a serious contributor since that first game against the Rays. He offered a single with a run and an RBI in his debut and has not slowed down since. The only discrepancy was a squeeze for space on the Blue Jays roster. When Adam Lind recovered from an early injury and the Blue Jays needed the extra roster space, they designated Thames back to Triple-A on June 1, despite his solid .286 average and .362 on base percentage.
Three weeks later, the Blue Jays were in need of more offence and Thames again got the call. Since rejoining the team on June 24, Thames has had hits in eight straight games, while slamming three home runs. His batting average has soared to .329 and even his strikeouts have dipped, as he has fanned just twice in the last five games after fanning on nine occasions in the previous five.
What had made Thames so special to Blue Jays fans is that his production has been meaningful. In 38 at bats with the Blue Jays trailing, Thames has been splendid with a .421 average and two home runs.
Thames is also very much a first-pitch hitter. He has put the ball in play on the first pitch on 16 occasions. In those at bats, Thames has picked up eight hits with half of those of the extra-base variety.
Like most rookies, Thames still needs to work on handling off-speed pitches. After all, Thames hits .343 against fastballs, but just .176 against curveballs and sliders.
It is clear that he is far from the finished product, but he is a young outfielder with all five-tools who can find a home in the Blue Jays outfield for years to come. On that note, the Blue Jays are far from a finished product themselves.
Even though the franchise has flirted around .500 throughout the season, the future looks very bright with a young and talented pitching staff and now Thames, Snider, and eventually top prospect Brett Lawrie joining proven sluggers Bautista and Lind in the lineup.
Dog's Note: Once the scouting book gets out on him, they will do him just like they did Heyward and some growing pains will come as a result. Good fastball hitter, struggles against offspeed breaking pitches....sounds like Andruw Jones to me. He has some big time power, his MLA unless that guru did for him what they did for Bautista. He has had a history of strikeouts, a la Andruw Jones. If this is what we can expect, a 270 OF with 32-45 homer potential in his prime, this is like the Andruws, Dunn's, Reynolds of the fantasy world.
All I can say is with Bautista, Lind, Lawrie around him in the lineup, he will continue to see good pitches to hit so a safe bet to big a big time source of power and some speed.
Here is Andruw Jones 2003 line:
2003 ATL 156 595 101 165 36 116 53 125 4 3 .338 .513 .277
It is way to soon to tell if he will be a flash in the pan or will be a proven major leaguer, same with Cozart...
As far as Colby Lewis or Brett Myers is concerned: I'd easily want Lewis. But they are 1 year apart in age neither are world beaters, but I like Lewis' upside for the next few seasons, I suppose. I'm not enthused about either. I'd trust Lewis over Myers...with the past issues concerned.
Personally, Cozart is 25 going to be entering his prime years rather quickly....he's not the greatest hitter in the world but he has pop in his bat for sure. (Think Dan Uggla for SS production). That's about what your going to get outta him. However, he has proven himself in the minors more than Thames has. Yunel is a solid SS you know what your going to get outta him. He's not going to win it for you but not kill you either. In his prime years also in a good lineup.
This trade is a tough one actually.
Is there anyway you could rework the deal and ask for a pitcher who has less miles on his arm and has some modicum of upside to him?
If you put a gun to my head, gauging your team needs and other players factored in:
+Thames is a legitimate power hitting stud OF, but your already covered in the OF very well, however this would be a boost to your UTL slot.
+Lewis pitches for a division chaser, upside for wins is greater.
+Lewis has less miles on his arm than Myers does as Myers has been in the majors longer.
+Cozart has legitimate pop for a SS/MI, however that will come with a shaky batting average.
+Cozart is the best SS prospect in the Reds system and they just do not grow on trees, not to mention that Janish and Renteria will be FAs at season's end, so barring a FA signing the SS job will be Cozart's to lose in 2012 and beyond.
+/- Cozart is 26 years old so adjustment period should be small yet
+/- Cozart IS hitting 320 at AAA but the problem is he won't keep that up. He's going to be about a 260ish hitter with double digit homers and SBs.
-Dusty Baker relies on veterans too much to equate to current playing time and is hard to trust in the short term.
-You've already JP and Yunel on your team...team stacking I always advise against it unless you have no other choice.
-Brett Myers is not trustworthy, but a year younger than Lewis, and pitches for a last place team and has shown terrible inconsistency. Plus, we don't know if he will ever blow up again like Carlos Zambrano does. He is a wife-beater after all and I do not trust someone that abuses their life partner, sorry but that goes against my code.
Final analysis: If given a full season of ABs, Cozart profiles to put up lines similar to Dan Uggla with speed, good power and RBI totals but shaky on the BA. He profiles as a 260ish hitter at the big league level, unless someone can help him gain some consistency.
Eric Thames: Somewhat of a come out of nowhere prospect, hits in a good young lineup but less track record than his counterpart. I'd put my money on trusting this cat over Cozart because of all the +s working for him. He profiles as the player in this trade with the highest upside so I'd take his side of the deal by a slight margin, but that's not by much. He can provide power and some speed. Like I said, I think your getting a young Andruw Jones here, it will be frustrating to own but when its good, man is it ever, caveat implied that I do not like to team stack.
Hope that helped and good luck to you.
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