3 plus 6 = ?

I know I'm going to be sorry for opening this can of worms again, but I just can't resist.

About that Miguel Tejada trade. When I first wrote about this on the blog, some readers were upset that I was dismissive of some of the players coming to Orioleland. I referred to some of them as not being household names. Well, for a much better rundown of the haul Baltimore might have made, I refer you to Roch Kubatko and Jeff Zrebiec's excellent scouting report earlier this week in The Sun.


But I was taken by some readers being particularly keen on the notion that two of the players, pitcher Troy Patton and third baseman Mike Costanzo, were the No. 3 and No. 6-rated prospects in the Houston Astros' organization, according to Baseball America.

So I was curious about this: What has that meant historically, to be either the No. 3 or the No. 6 prospect in the Astros' organization. Now, this is not meant to be predictive about Patton and Costanzo. They might go to Cooperstown for all anyone knows, especially me. But again, over a reasonable period of time, what has it meant to be Houston's No. 3 and No. 6 prospect?


Going back to the year 2000 and continuing through 2007, my best online research efforts have produced the following list of Houston's No. 3-rated prospects: Wade Miller, Tim Redding, Chris Burke, Jason Lane, John Buck, Willy Taveras, Fernando Nieve and Matt Albers. Of course, looking ahead was Patton.

For the No. 6 prospect, it was: Julio Lugo, Adam Everett, Anthony Pluta, Tommy Whiteman, Hector Gimenez, Matt Albers, Hunter Pence and J.R. Towles. And, of course, looking forward it was Costanzo, mostly in the Philadelphia Phillies' system.

So in those groups, there are some interesting names, even from the most recent World Series - Lugo of the Boston Red Sox, Taveras of the Colorado Rockies. There are some star/solid major leaguers, current and past - Pence, 24, hit .322 with 17 homers for the Astros in 2007, and Miller, 31, was a career 62-46 for three teams. A handful have been so-so major leaguers (note that Everett was a shortstop in Houston - hurt in '07 - until he signed with the Minnesota Twins). Four or five have been real clinkers. And a couple might still pan out.

So, does that tell us anything about the No. 3 and the No. 6 prospects in some other team's organization now that they're Orioles? In the words of that cinematic philosopher, Forrest Gump, it's like that proverbial box of chocolates. Ya just never know.