The long-awaited trade of Marlon Byrd has finally occured. The Phillies sent Byrd and cash to the Cincinnati Reds for RHP Ben Lively. The trade caps weeks of anticipation by Phillies’ fans who have been waiting for the team to turn their few marketable assets into young prospects.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50
Lively was the Reds 4th round pick (#135) in 2013. He pitched for Pensacola, the Reds AA affiliate in the Southern League. He was ranked as the Reds #8 prospect by MLB.
Lively began the year as the Reds’ preseason #13 and received the 2014 Minor League Player of the Year Award for the Reds as voted by the Cincinnati chapter of the BBWAA.
When you pick for the boom, sometimes you get the bust – Clearwater announced on Twitter that Phillies 2008 First Round Draft Choice Anthony Hewitt has been released. Hewitt was old for his class, when at 19 years old he was taken with the 24th overall pick in out of Salisbury Prep (CT). He received a $1.38 million signing bonus at the time.
Over 2300+ PAs of professional ball, Hewitt triple slashed 223/264/370, with 82 doubles, 24 triples, 63 home runs and 94 stolen bases, and 763 Ks to just 91 BBs.
Matt’s profile of Hewitt’s career is here, last updated in the fall of 2012, before he had what I guess you would call a resurgence in 2013. Last year, the right-handed hitting Hewitt OPSed above .700 for the first time in his career, and added a couple points to his walk rate, while feasting on left-handed pitching, prompting some to wonder at the time if he’d make a short big league career for himself as a platoon/bench option if he could play decent defense and steal some more bases. 2014 has been a train wreck, however, as he OPSed .317 over two levels, having been demoted from AA Reading to A+ Clearwater a few weeks ago.
By many accounts, Hewitt was one of the hardest working guys on every team on which he appeared, and it’s a shame to see a guy like that never figure it out. Sometimes that’s just not enough to force a good ballplayer out of a good athlete.
Not much but the headline here. Marti Wolever announced that first round pick Aaron Nola, RHP from LSU, has signed. No word on his signing bonus as compared to slot. I imagine that will be reported sometime in the next couple hours. Also no word on where he will start. I guess Lakewood, but it could be Williamsport or even Clearwater.
Update – Reports indicate Nola signed for the full slot value for the #7 overall pick, $3,300,900. At the press conference announcing the pick, Ruben Amaro said Nola would likely start in Clearwater, but did not rule out the possibility of him starting even higher. Starting even an advanced college starter at AA is very unusual. Just for example, Stephen Strasburg started at AA the spring after he was drafted, and Gerrit Cole started at A+ his follow-up spring as well, while Michael Wacha made it to AA after 7 starts at lower levels the summer he was drafted.
We’ve been told from day one that Nola is supposed to be a fast riser, so an aggressive placement would fit that narrative pretty well, but all the way to AA right after the draft still seems pretty unlikely. Won’t be long until we find out, I suspect. There’s not much holding him back, save the conditioning to pitch every fifth day instead of every seventh, and possibly an innings limit that they’d like to slow play in case there’s playoff baseball in Reading this year and they’d like him to be able to participate.
In all, I’m happy with the pick. I would have preferred an upside arm, and only time will tell if the FO lives to regret drafting a low-ceiling, help-us-soon kind of guy into an organization that appears to need far more help than one man would ever be able to provide.
Mike Adams to the DL, which means Ken Giles is coming up. Giles has been a darling of fans so far because of his minor league numbers and triple digit fastball. However, you might want hold off before anointing him a dominant closer.
What you’ll See Now:
Giles will sit with the fastball mostly 96-98 but you will see 99s and 100s. He has had enough control to get it in the zone for the most part (walks were up in AAA), but he still lacks command of the pitch. When he misses he will miss up, and major leaguers will be able to time that pitch. He pairs that with a short slider around 90 mph. It is more of a quick cutting pitch that a wipeout pitch. There is potential for it to be a plus plus pitch in the long term, but right now it lacks consistency. He might mix a splitter in at times, but it is far behind his other pitches. Continue reading What to Expect from Ken Giles
So this week we saw a bunch of moves involving Phillies minor leaguers. I’ll try to sum them up here and list the broader highlights below the fold, but the biggest news is Cameron Perkins promotion to AAA and Ethan Martin back in MLB:
With big league implications – Aumont and Jimenez went up to the bigs and Aumont is now back at AAA, with Ethan Martin taking his MLB spot. To make room for Jimenez, they DFAed Horst, who cleared waivers and has accepted his assignment to AAA. Darin Ruf went down to AAA, and down to a wrist injury last night colliding with a wall. They’re calling it a sprain, and his ultimate status is unknown, but it did not look great.
Cam Perkins, Hector Neris and Tyler Knigge are up to AAA, Pete Lavin and Logan Moore up to AA, and Justin Parr came back to A+ from XST. Meanwhile, Anthony Hewitt, Andrew Knapp, Delvi Francisco, Alejandro Arteaga, Jon Prosinski, Chris Serritella and Malquin Canelo were all demoted. See the list below, from the transactions page on this site, which is maintained regularly, if you’ve ever got a hankering for roster moves. Continue reading ICYMI – Roster Maneuvering
With Cliff Lee‘s injury, the Phillies will call up RHP David Buchanan. Buchanan was first drafted by the Mets in the 6th round of the 2009 draft out of Junior College, Buchanan didn’t sign. The Phillies draft Buchanan in the 7th Round of the 2010 draft and signed him for $125,000.
Minor League Career:
Coming into the draft Buchanan showed a fastball that sat 92-93 that could touch 95, and a slider with good movement. Buchanan struggled with his control in college and he lacked a changeup to give him a third pitch.
Buchanan moved through A-ball in his first season, spent all of 2012 in Reading (missing half the season with a finger injury), and split 2013 between Reading and Lehigh Valley. Overall across 5 minor league seasons Buchanan has pitched 502 innings with a 3.98 ERA 2.85 BB/9 and 5.72 K/9. Continue reading What to Expect from David Buchanan
Not sure if anything else is needed. Crawford is ailing in Lakewood, but expected back tonight, when he is ready for Clearwater the Phillies will figure something out.
Roster musical chairs continue and Cesar Hernandez still doesn’t have a seat. Ken Giles moves on up to LHV where he will have to prove that the control is for real and learn to not pitch up in the zone as much (more AAA than AA hitters will crush or lay off those pitches). Kyle Simon gets another crack at AAA after finding some control in 6.1 AA innings. Colton Murray finally gets past Clearwater. Murray is missing less bats this year, so we will see how he holds up against better hitters. Reid Brignac is a former top prospect (Top 100 2006-2009, #17 in 2006), he is coming off a hot week in AAA and could provide more offense to the bench than Freddy. Freddy Galvis needs to relearn how to be productive both in the field and at the plate, there is talent, but he hasn’t really had consistent playing time in 2 and a half years. Shawn Camp will now be looking for a new job.
Andrew Knapp‘s hitting rehab appears to be over. He has been assigned to Clearwater and will likely take over as full time DH until he has been cleared to catch. Currently the Threshers roster has 4 catchers with Knapp, Gabriel Lino, Chad Carman (Temporary Inactive list), and Logan Moore. There will likely be another roster move coming at some point, but for now it seems like Justin Parr is the roster cut (assigned to XST) and could be not long for the organization.