With the trade deadline just six weeks away, deals are sure to be made soon, seeing established stars head to contenders in return for coveted prospects. Some of the biggest prospects in baseball, like Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, Yoan Moncada, and Dansby Swanson, have all been moved around in trades over the past few years. These high-upside minor leaguers typically carry a high price, but there are an elite few who have an exorbitantly large value to their teams. These blue-chippers have no shot of being moved this summer, save for a deal for one of the best players in the game.
Prospects within organizations whose big league clubs are not in playoff contention will not be considered eligible for this list. Obviously, the Mets won’t trade Amed Rosario when they’re virtually out of the National League East race.
Brendan Rodgers, Colorado Rockies
The Rockies have stunned the National League in 2017, putting together a 44-win season thus far. They currently lead the N.L. West, and look like potential postseason contenders with their elite offense and shutdown bullpen. However, their starting rotation raises questions. While the youthful staff has produced thus far, their lack of late-season experience could lead to future struggles. Colorado would be wise to add a solid, veteran starter to guide the young Rockies pitchers into October. The Rockies hold multiple trade chips, but one stands tall above the rest.
Brendan Rodgers is the premier prospect in the Rockies’ farm system and for good reason. The 20 year-old is hitting .400 at High-A Lancaster with twelve home runs and a .419 OBP in 48 games. He had 23-game hitting streak going as well, and is surely positioned to receive a call-up to Double-A in the near future. Rodgers could easily bring back the pitcher Colorado needs. But the Rockies will not move their future shortstop, who has the look of an absolute superstar.
Eloy Jimenez, Chicago Cubs
Eloy Jimenez put himself on the map with his remarkable performance in the 2016 Futures Game where he blasted a ball into the seats at Petco Park and also flashed some leather in the outfield. Jimenez is still just 20 years old, and he probably won’t play at Wrigley Field until the end of 2018 at the earliest. That being said, the Cubs won’t trade the slugging outfielder, even if they find themselves behind in the National League Central. The Cubs have plenty of other expendable prospects and players like Jeimer Candelario, Dylan Cease, Ian Happ, Javier Baez, and Albert Almora that can bring back an impact player.
Lewis Brinson, Milwaukee Brewers
When the Brewers dished out former all-star catcher Jonathan Lucroy last summer, general manager David Stearns saw a franchise cornerstone in outfielder Lewis Brinson. The 2012 first-round draftee just made his big league debut last week after tearing up the Pacific Coast League for two months. Brinson hit .312 with a .900 OPS over 45 games in Triple-A this year. The 23 year-old has serious five-tool potential, giving Stearns no reason to trade him at the deadline this summer.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
His father may be on the cusp of a well-deserved Hall of Fame induction, but young Vladdy could be knocking on the door in Toronto as soon as next year. At just eighteen years of age, Guerrero is obliterating A-ball pitching, hitting .321 with a .469 slugging percentage. His approach is well beyond his years; Guerrero Jr. has walked three more times than he has struck out through 59 games. He has even been promoted as a better hitter than his father, which is a testament to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s potential. Toronto has made up considerable ground in the Wild Card standings, but there’s no way they will trade their top prospect for an aging star.