The Houston Astros must have really wanted Zack Greinke, an aging but productive starting pitcher.
Hours away from the trade deadline on July 31, Houston traded for the former Cy Young winner. As expected, large media outlets glossed over the minor leaguer players included in the deal and honed in on Greinke, a five-time Gold Glover.
It was a strong move by the Astros to prepare for the postseason. But did they pay too much?
Ask Clemson fans, and they'd probably say yes. Former Tiger Seth Beer was packaged in the deal, and recent evidence may leave Houston wondering if they made the right call.
Recognition keeps rolling in for Beer, who totaled 56 homers and 177 RBIs through three seasons at Clemson. He also showed a good eye at the plate, batting .321 and walking 180 times in that span, from 2016 to 2018.
That dominance has continued all the way through his first two years in minor league baseball. Earlier this season, Beer made the Top 100 prospects list in all of minor league baseball. To keep that in perspective, there’s more than 5,000 players in the minors.
Even better for Beer, he was listed as one of the top 20 prospects from the Arizona Fall League, an offseason league meant to showcase some of the top talents in the minors.
Needless to say, Beer has earned the nod. He’s played for three teams this season — Class-A Advanced and double-A for Houston and double-A for Arizona — and has compiled some of the best numbers in the minors.
Through 120 games, the left fielder has hit .292 with 22 homers and 101 RBIs. He’s also walked 46 times and boasts a slugging percentage of .523.
Cost of a ring?
Now in his 16th season, Greinke hasn’t slowed down. The owner of two ERA titles has a 4-0 record this season. The trade makes sense for a Houston team looking to capture its second World Series championship in three years.
Still, Houston must have really wanted Greinke considering the investment they made in Beer, and how well the 22-year-old performed in their farm system.
The Astros took Beer with the 28th overall pick and have watched him hit for power and average for nearly two years.
A championship is the ultimate goal. Still, a premium Beer may prove to be a high price to pay.