Three Yanks prospects joining A's for Gray

Fowler, Kaprielian, Mateo heading to Oakland for right-hander

Dustin Fowler collected 41 extra-base hits in 70 games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before his promotion. (Ken Inness/MiLB.com)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | July 31, 2017 4:00 PM

With about one hour to go in the non-waiver Trade Deadline, the biggest block of the day was moved.

The Yankees agreed to send prospects Dustin Fowler, Jorge Mateo and James Kaprielian to the A's for Major League right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray and $1.5 million in international signing bonus money, both teams announced. Fowler, Mateo and Kaprielian were the No. 4, 8 and 12 prospects in the New York system, according to MLB.com.

Tweet from @Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray traded to NYY with $1.5M in int'l bonus slot $ for OF Dustin Fowler, IF Jorge Mateo, RHP James Kaprielian.

All three prospects have high ceilings but come with question marks, most notably regarding health.

At No. 77, Fowler is the lone top-100 representative among the group. The 22-year-old outfielder was hitting .293/.329/.542 with 13 homers and 12 steals in 70 games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre when he was called up for his Major League debut on June 29. While making a play in foul territory, he banged his knee against the wall and ruptured his right patellar tendon, an injury that will keep him out for the remainder of the 2017 season.

Video: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's Fowler homers in fourth

When healthy, the left-handed hitter has shown a good mix of power and speed. An 18th-round pick out of a Georgia high school in 2013, he's made tremendous strides at the plate, and the Yankees had him playing all three outfield spots at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to get his bat to the Majors. He'll slot in between A.J. Puk and Matt Chapman as the A's No. 3 prospect.

Mateo was one of the most polarizing prospects in the Yankees system. New York promoted the 22-year-old to Double-A Trenton on June 27, despite the fact that he'd hit just .240/.288/.400 with four homers in 69 games with Class A Advanced Tampa to begin the season. However, he's been successful in the Eastern League, with a .300/.381/.525 line and four homers in 30 contests with the Thunder -- although a .372 BABIP has played an important role in his improvement. 

Mateo is known for his blazing speed -- a tool that allowed him to swipe a Minors-best 82 bases back in 2015 and can earn him some extra hits on occasion. His primary position is shortstop, but the Yankees gave him time in center and second base with Gleyber Torres also in the system. Once a top-100 prospect, he'll need to show that this Double-A hot streak is not a mirage to rebuild his stock with the A's.

Video: Trenton's Mateo clears the bases with a triple

Like Fowler, Kaprielian is also on the shelf after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April. The 16th overall pick in the 2015 Draft has drawn raves for an arsenal that features a fastball that can touch the upper-90's and three above-average off-speed pitches. However, he's thrown only 29 1/3 innings of Minor League ball in his career -- as well as 27 frames in last year's Arizona Fall League -- as a strained flexor muscle in his right forearm limited him in 2016. He has the talent to be a top-end starter, but Kaprielian must remain healthy to reach that ceiling.

Gray joins a Yankees club that sits just a half-game ahead of the rival Red Sox and 3.5 games in front of the Rays in the American League East. The 27-year-old right-hander has posted a 3.43 ERA with 94 strikeouts and 30 walks in 97 innings this season, good enough to be worth 2.2 WAR per FanGraphs. But he has some questions of his own, especially following a 2016 season in which he posted a 5.69 ERA in just 117 frames. However, Gray brings extra value to the Yankees as a player who won't become a free agent until after the 2019 season.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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