So yeah, this one's a bit late, but being a White Sox fan I feel compelled to write about Monday's trade between Chicago and Arizona.
First let's look at things from Arizona's perspective.
With Eric Byrnes, Chris Young and Justin Upton each patrolling the Diamondback outfield, numerous baseball officials and those around the blogosphere felt the D'Backs would try to package Quentin and Double-A outfielder Carlos Gonzalez in a trade to acquire a much needed starter. Things obviously didn't work that way so the D'Backs settled for the lesser-known Chris Carter coming from the White Sox farm system.
Only 21 years of age, Carter still has a long way to go before reaching the majors, however he's already developed a reputation as your classic first baseman who can flat out rake, but offers very little on the speed and defense front.
Here's a look at Carter's numbers thus far into his short career:
As we can see, Carter is not afraid to hack away. He's shown a pretty good eye over two levels as evident of his walk rates, but he's a big time strikeout guy as well. Still far too early to tell, but Carter looks like your prototypical three true outcomes type player. Its worth noting Carter did improve both his walk and strikeout rates in his first full A-ball season.
Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein recently rated Carter as the #4 prospect in the White Sox system citing his tremendous strength, power to all fields, ability to draw walks and the fact he has no particular weakness against left or right-handed pitchers as his primary strengths. His poor defense, lack of speed and high strikeout frequency are his obvious weaknesses. Goldstein also notes Carter should begin the 2008 season at High-A ball.
Carter doesn't figure to have an immediate impact with the D'Backs, but Conor Jackson needs to pick things up if he wants to have any sort of long-term career with Arizona.
For Kenny Williams, he can certainly breathe a little easier now. In my opinion, the White Sox needed to pursue both a centerfielder and a leftfielder when the winter meetings began. One down, possibly another to go.
Quentin figures to step right into the White Sox vacant left field position, a place where players such as Scott Podsednik (-4.9 VORP), Rob Mackowiak (6.1 VORP) and Andy Gonzalez (-18.6 VORP) have recently called their stomping grounds.
The 25 year old didn't by any means put up All-Star caliber numbers last season; injuries and such limited him to a .214/.298/.339 line in 229 AB's. However, he went under the knife this past October to repair his non-throwing arm and boasts a career .312/.427/.526 career MiLB line.
Assuming Quentin is in tip-top shape when the season begins, he's easily going to outproduce the like of Podsednik, Mackowiak and Gonzalez and could be a nice little bargain for the White Sox as he'll certainly make less than $1M big ones next season.
As a Sox fan, I love this deal. Quentin will provide a little youth to an aging White Sox lineup and he's years away from testing free agent waters.
The only knock against Quentin is that while he'll likely be an above average corner outfielder next season (health permitting), he doesn't project as much of a superstar.
The Sox however, who received a .256/.322/.399 line from their leftfielders last season, will be ecstatic with any above average play at that position.
Just for kicks, Quentin's 2008 Bill James Handbook Projection looks like this: .263/.341/.455 with 13 home runs in 380 AB's.
I personally feel that projection is a little light on workload and batting average. For a guy that posted a MiLB batting average of .312, I expect a little better than the '08 Bill James Handbook.