I’m going to focus on the external options here, as we’ve already reviewed the Phillies minor league free agents. You can check all minor league free agents using BA’s tracker here. I just picked out a few guys I find interesting. None of these guys are likely to be big time MLB contributors in 2012 or any time, for that matter, but they might be good depth guys who can fill in if the injury bug hits. In other words, these guys might be better than the Dane Sardinha’s of the world.
C – Lucas May (Age 27) – He has only 39 MLB PAs, and he was awful during that time. But its 39 PA. His OPS numbers the last 3 years: .757, .831, and .858. He’s not a defensive ace, at least judging by his CS% (28% career, but 33% in 2011) but he’s not terrible.
1B – Koby Clemens (turns 25 in Aug) – Clemens struggled in 2011, putting up just a .756 OPS at AAA as a 24 year old. But the year before he put up a .241/.350/.476 line at AA. He struggles with contact (260 K the last 2 years), but he also has hit 16, 26 and 22 HR the last three years. Righthanded infield power is increasingly rare these days, he might be worth a look.
1B – Jeff Clement (Age 28) – Taken 3rd overall in the 2005 draft, he looks like one of the bigger top 5 overall busts in recent memory, but there might still be something there. He’s struggled with injuries, logging just 262 minor league ABs the last 2 seasons, along with just 144 pro ABs in that time. He always had the physical tools, he just never put it together.
2B – Yangervis Solarte (Age 24) – Signed out of Venezuela in 2005 (debuted in 2006), he’s made a slow climb, but put together his best season yet in 2011, hitting .329/.367/.466 at AA, 46 XBH. More impressively, he struck out just 38 times (with 24 BB) and doesn’t appear to be a total butcher at 2B, in that he committed only 1 error. He seems like an ideal guy to give a shot to.
3B – Matt Antonelli (Age 26) – Another first rounder (17th overall, 2006) who hasn’t lived up to the billing who also had some injury issues. He did hit .297/.393/.460 for the Nats AAA team last year. He also played SS, 3B, 2B, and OF. Looks like a nice utility guy to take a shot on.
3B – Brandon Wood (Age 26…27 on opening day) – I’ve always been a Brandon Wood apologist, arguing that he just needed playing time. The Pirates kind of gave him playing time in 20111, then they stopped, and he ended up with just 250 AB in 2011. He swings and misses a lot, but he can still drive the ball, and he can play SS, though you wouldn’t want him there every day. Again, a guy who can play both SS/3B is valuable, especially RH power. Now he’s free, so I’m still supporting bringing him in.
OF – Quintin Berry (Age 27) – Our old friend Quintin. Berry’s skill set remains unchanged, as he stole 40 bases in 2011 and posted a .397 OB%. He still has no power, his K total was a little on the high side (22%), but if we need a cheap 5th OF for defensive purposes/pinch running, he might be a good candidate.
LHP – Chuck Lofgren (Age 25…26 on Opening Day) – Lofgren was a quality prospect heading in to the 2008 season, having made the BA Top 100 the two previous years. Then things fell apart. But he still was effective against lefties in 2011, and it may be time to convert him to a full time reliever and just see if his stuff will tick up in one inning stints.
These are just a few guys I like at a quick glance. There are other interesting names, but since none of these guys is likely to make an impact anywhere, I won’t spend more time digging. If you see anyone else of note, please post it in the comments.