1) Best Value
The Anaheim Long Ballers spent $2.91 million on 5 international prospects, and the current Salt Lake City Bonnevilles GM isn’t complaining about a few of those players.
SS Fernando Chavez signed with Anaheim for $430K and currently sits on Salt Lake’s AA roster. Chavez spent his first two seasons in Rookie ball, but only played in 73 games in Season 2 despite hitting over .300. He started Season 3 in Rookie, but earned a promotion to Low A after 15 games. Chavez responded to the promotion by hitting .364 and splitting time between SS and RF defensively. After starting Season 4 in Low A, he once again earned a mid-season promotion. Chavez hit .315 in 73 games, this time exclusively at SS.
While lacking in speed and power, Chavez could possibly earn a major league bench role with a solid batting average in the next few seasons.
2) Lowest Production Per Dollar
I really wanted to give this award to Hector Rosado, a pitcher that signed for $5 million with Albuquerque and currently sits on Atlanta’s AAA level. However, all of the trades that are tied into Rosado and Sacramento make Rosado’s value to Sacramento a bit arguable. (If you have 3 hours, feel free to trace down Rosado and all of the players that went to SacTown after his trade.)
Rodrigo Gomez signed with Anaheim for $1 million. After two seasons in Rookie ball, he finally “earned” a promotion to Low A (7-4, 5.35 ERA, 1.59 WHIP). Season 4 saw Gomez put up a 5-10 record in 25 starts with a 4.73 ERA and 1.44 WHIP and seemed primed for a potential promotion to High A.
No such luck, as Gomez retired before Season 5. Reports were that he had figured on two more seasons in Low A before another promotion, putting his expected age before a major league promotion to be around 174.
3) Best Overall
Anaheim signed 3B Luis Seneca for a mere $890K, which Salt Lake could view as a bargain in a few year.
In Season 1, the power hitting Seneca hit .281 with 28 HR and 106 RBIs in Low A. Surprisingly, Seneca was DEMOTED to Rookie ball the following year, where he hit .341 with 17 HRs and 98 RBIs in less than half of a full season.
In Seasons 3 and 4, Seneca turned High A ball into a playground, putting up 82 HRs, over 300 RBIs, and a .325 batting average.
He starts Season 5 in High A, and Salt Lake might want to consider promoting him immediately or risk losing him to retirement. Luis could likely end up as a backup 3B on the major league level, especially with his power and ability to hit right handers.