The St. Louis Cardinals, desperate for an offensive boost after (and probably before) Matt Holliday's injury, acquired 1B/OF Brandon Moss from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for pitching prospect Rob Kaminsky. Joe details on each player HERE. I am going to look in depth at what the Cardinals lost in the deal.
Spoiler alert, it's a lot.
The Cardinals drafted Kaminsky in the first round (28th overall) out of New Jersey. While the Cardinals might have reached a little when drafting the 5'11" lefty, his profile fit the Cardinals perfectly as a projectable young pitcher who might not have the highest ceiling, but also not the lowest floor.
Rob Kaminsky's first full season was in 2014 and he spent the majority of the season with the Low-A Peoria Chiefs and went 8-2 with a 1.88 ERA. Opponents hits .192 against Kaminsky while his FIP was elevated at 3.28,still solid though. For 2015, Kaminsky was promoted to the Palm Beach Cardinals, the Cards' affiliate in the High-A Florida State League. Again, success followed him as he was 6-5 with a 2.09 ERA and a 2.53 FIP. His strikeout and walk rates remained pretty consistent between Peoria and Palm Beach.
MLB.com has Kaminsky as the 88th best prospect in the major leagues at the 2015 mid-season point. Here is a little of what they have to say.
A New Jersey high school product who signed for $1,785,300, Kaminsky has the best curveball in the Cardinals system. He falls in love with his curve too much at times, but it's easy to see why, because it's a sharp downer that arrives in the upper 70s.
Kaminsky's other pitches both project as solid or better, an 88-92 mph fastball that can reach 95 and a changeup with some fade. He throws strikes with all three of his offerings and helps compensates for his lack of height by throwing from a higher three-quarters slot that adds some plane. He's extremely competitive and chafes at the notion that his smaller size might push him to the bullpen.
That last sentence always bothers me, "his smaller size might push him to the bullpen." The same was said about Carlos Martinez many times. I think its a lazy comment to make and does not fit Kaminsky at all. His repertoire of pitches has starter written all over it.
I think his upside is that of a #3 or #4 starter, but the big thing is he lacks a considerable floor. The risk in Rob Kaminsky is not the same risk in Alex Reyes, who has a considerably higher ceiling. In my top 20 post on Kaminsky, I had his ETA to teh Major leagues at 2017, but if the Indians move him to Double-A immediately, that timetable could hit late 2016.
Here was my initial reaction to hearing the rumors
Moss for Kaminsky does not make sense. Throw in Carlos Santana and we are talking.— CardinalsFarm (@CardinalsFarm) July 30, 2015
Rob Kaminsky has a lot to offer for the Indians and I am not talking about on the field. From talking to many teammates of his, he is a class act and an incredibly hard worker. You can be assured he will be doing everything he can to help his team, whichever team that may be.
Here is video of Kaminsky facing Tigers' prospect Steven Moya earlier this season:
Before I leave you, here are two thoughts on the deal:
1. If Moss was the target, could you have gotten him at a lower price?
2. Could you have received a better option for Kaminsky?
Unfortunately, we couldn't wire tap John Mozeliak's phone to listen in on his conversation with Indians' GM Chris Antonetti, so I will save a reaction to the trade for my fellow VEB writers, but know the Cardinals gave up a lot in return for Brandon Moss.