One of baseball's better farm systems added two more dynamic pieces to cap off the Winter Meetings.
The St. Louis Cardinals acquired infield prospects Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock from the Oakland Athletics on Thursday in exchange for big league outfielder Stephen Piscotty. Munoz took over as the Cardinals No. 10 prospect while Schrock slotted in at No. 12.
Munoz, 22, split this season between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville, batting .300 with 13 home runs, 68 RBIs and 22 steals in 112 games. The 2012 international signee possesses average to above-average tools across the board with his throwing (60) and run (55) tools earning the highest marks on MLB Pipeline's 20-80 scale.
Schrock headed to his third organization in four seasons. The 2015 13th-round pick of the Nationals was originally traded to the A's at the 2016 deadline for reliever Marc Rzepczynski. Schrock put together an impressive offensive campaign in his first full season with Oakland, compiling a .321/.379/.422 slash line while striking out just 42 times in 417 at-bats in 106 games with Double-A Midland. Though the 23-year-old stands just 5-foot-8, weighs 180 pounds and possesses average tools, scouts laud his pure hitting ability and strike-zone management.
Taken with the No. 36 pick in the 2012 Draft, Piscotty hit .268 with 38 homers, 163 RBIs and 12 steals in 323 games over three seasons with the Cardinals. A Bay Area native, the deal will allow the 26-year-old to be closer to his mother, Gretchen, who is battling ALS.
In other moves:
The Tigers continued their youth movement Wednesday night, trading veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler for two of the Angels' top 25 prospects -- outfielder Troy Montgomery and right-hander Wilkel Hernandez.
Montgomery had been ranked by MLB.com as the Angels' No. 20 prospect, while Hernandez checked in at No. 24.
The 23-year-old Montgomery wrapped up his first full season in the Minor Leagues in September, hitting .271/.358/.413 with eight homers, 62 runs scored, 38 RBIs, 15 stolen bases in 100 games across three levels. He spent most of the year with Class A Advanced Inland Empire and compiled a 19-game hitting streak before he was promoted to Double-A Mobile, where he had a .235/.350/.265 slash line in 20 games.
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Signed by the Angels as an international free agent in July 2015, Hernandez split his first stateside season between Rookie-level teams in the Arizona and Pioneer leagues. With a fastball that received a 60 grade on the 20-80 scouting scale from MLB Pipeline, the 18-year-old was 4-1 with a 2.64 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 12 games, including seven starts. He limited opponents to a .164 batting average but issued 22 walks while striking out 44 over 44 1/3 innings.
In July, the Tigers traded ace right-hander Justin Verlander for three of the Astros' top 11 prospects: right-hander Franklin Perez, outfielder Daz Cameron and catcher Jake Rogers. Perez vaulted to No. 1 in MLB.com's rankings of Tigers prospects, while Cameron is fifth and Rogers seventh.
The Mariners sent some of the international bonus pool money they'd amassed in an unsuccessful attempt to lure Shohei Ohtani and reacquired left-hander Anthony Misiewicz from the Rays while obtaining right-handed reliever Shawn Armstrong from the Indians.
"The way we were looking at it, we acquired $1.5 million in slot money by trading away a power right-handed reliever and what we thought of as a potential down-the-road catcher," Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto told MLB.com. "And we just replaced it with Misiewicz, who will go out and start for us in Double-A and we feel has the ability to make it to the big leagues.
"And we acquired Shawn Armstrong, who gives us that same level of protection as -- if not a bit more polish than -- Thyago Vieira. You're not going to strike out many more guys than Shawn Armstrong strikes out at the high levels in the Minor Leagues."
Misiewicz was selected by Seattle in the 18th round of the 2015 but traded to the Rays in August for right-hander Ryan Garton and catcher Mike Marjama. The Michigan State product made 28 starts across two levels this season, recording a 4.51 ERA and 1.29 WHIP with 141 strikeouts against 43 walks over 147 2/3 innings.
Offseason MiLB include
Armstrong was a Minor League All-Star four times in seven seasons in the Indians organization. In 2017, he was 10 of 13 in save chances with Triple-A Columbus, going 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 28 relief appearances. The 27-year-old also had a 4.38 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 21 games out of the Cleveland bullpen.
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The Rays on Monday acquired infielder Joey Wendle from the Athletics for a player to be named or cash considerations. Wendle batted .285/.327/.429 with 29 doubles and 13 stolen bases for Triple-A Nashville and spent time with the big league club for the second straight September. The 27-year-old had been ranked 24th among Oakland prospects by MLB.com but was designated for assignment last week when the A's signed veteran right-hander Yusmeiro Petit.
The Mariners claimed outfielder Cameron Perkins off waivers from the Phillies. The 2012 sixth-rounder split the year between Triple-A Lehigh Valley and the Majors, totaling 26 extra-base hits and compiling a .374 on-base percentage over 76 International League games.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.