Discussion: Potential minor league free agents of note

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.

27 thoughts on “Discussion: Potential minor league free agents of note

  1. Nice list. May, Solarte, Antonelli, Wood, especially interest me. Catchers and infielders who can hit some are always worth looking at and plugging in at AAA. And who knows? Maybe you find a late bloomer, like a Chris Coste, or, dare I say it, even a premium hitter for a few years, like a Mike Easley. Even a Tomas Perez-type would have value.

  2. Cheese I was trying to forget that Perez. Thanks a lot pal.
    Most of the list would be a step up from some the the AAA guys we have had Getum all.

  3. im intrigued by solarte and Antonelli. Both sound like they put up relatively good numbers and neither are extremely old. For merely depth reasons if for nothing else they would be a great idea.

  4. Interesting list. However, believe it or not, the AAA pigs won’t have that many openings this year. They’ll have more prospects/quasi-prospects than I can remember in recent history with an infield of Overbeck/Garcia/Galvis/Rivera with Rizz as the DH. There will be openings in the OF possibly with Brown. Will Mitchell stay? Their staff is pretty much set with Hyatt, Cloyd, and maybe Naylor and Matheson. Do they bring back Bush? Their bullpen already has Aumont, DeFratus, Schwimer or Herndon, Diekman probably and maybe Savery. there are 40 man roster decisions that will have impact here as well as the major league roster but it could be ayounger team than they’ve had there recently.

  5. I would love the Phils to take a flier on a prospect with good upside that someone else has cut lose. The likes of Antonelli, Solarte, and Wood are intriguing as they could vie for a spot with Martinez, Valdez, or even the starting SS/3B spot if they exceed expectations or a spot is left open. I definitely would not count them on the roster until they could win a spot otherwise they would be AAA filler/ ML insurance.

    I’d still like Ruben to find a proven guy to play SS/3B (Rollins/Cuddyear/Headley/or such)

  6. Solarte would be the only one that interests me. I would like to know why he has missed so much time. What is his injury history? Was any of the missed time suspension related?

    Everyone else on the list seems like organizational filler, but at the right price we need some organizational filler.

  7. I saw Solarte play in person last season and he looked really good. He hit the ball well and looked great defensively.

  8. Seeing the numbers on some of these guys puts in perspective the love some people have for some of the older “prospects” in our system.

  9. Like Solarte to fill in 2nd base for the big club so long as he can field ok. Just in case Utley has to move to 1st base. Both he and Antonelli could help the utility inf-r needs ahead of MightyMite who really can’t hit except on mistakes. Solarte should certainly be picked up by somebody…why not us?…since his BA is good from 2011, as is Antonelli’s.

    How about if WE sign both of them? Please. Valdez is fine but somebody else is needed for the big club…like either or both of these guys.

  10. Antonelli is a fine player, and he is primarily a 2nd baseman, He’s very good defensively, and reinvented himself as a utility guy because of the backlog at 2nd base in Nats system, and he also felt that it would be an easier ticket to bigs. He had a bad injury which Padres docs apparently botched up, but he is fine now after getting surgery last year.

  11. On further thought is Berry would get a promotion it might be a sign to other prospects that getting on base and defense pays.

  12. The problem with Berry is that he’s a Rich Thompson clone. Thompson has a long AAA track record, Berry struggled there in a small sample. I don’t think Berry’s upside is enough to push Thompson off the job.

  13. BWood is an anomaly…..in ’06/’07 thought he was the next great upcoming young star fresh from outstanding MiLB numbers…Angels hoped they had a diamond…he was cubic zirconia.
    But what the heck….give him another chance.

  14. The only guy I considered from that list (BA) Felix Pie, OF
    Figure they could put him in AAA CF, next season, that’s it.
    The list on here: I like Yangervis Solarte. Adding him on might mean they whack either Overbeck or Rizzotti. Cause I figure they keep (assuming they keep Galvis at AAA, they can have Rivero at 3B and Harold Garcia should recover to take 2B, and they could alternate Y. Solarte at 2B and flip them in DH games, and they can move Yangervis Solarte around to all the non-battery positions by his records. Pete Orr will return as the IF alternate.
    The OF , I add Pie in CF, and you assume Domonic Brown in LF causes GM says so. and they still have D. Mitchell by my count so he plays RF, and Rich Thompson can back all 3 OF positions. That’s it.
    Catcher- I stick with ORG. Catchers: Gosewisch and Suomi, or maybe they add an MLB C and they can retain Kratz and drop Suomi down.
    As far as personnel below the AAA level, keep it to promotees from the organization.
    So for AAA you have the starters above, plus the bench of Orr, Y. Solarte or H. Garcia (depending on who is playing that day or DH’ing, R. Thompson, and Suomi or Gosewisch. That’s about a full bench, and the piching can be filled with promotees as well, . So, no room at the Inn for anybody else, That’s it.

  15. •The Phillies acquired righty Adam Worthington from the Diamondbacks to complete the September Mike Zagurski trade, tweets Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Worthington, 24, posted a 4.48 ERA, 10.0 K/9, 4.6 BB/9, and 0.6 HR/9 in 62 1/3 High-A relief innings this year.

    1. Looked him up. You omitted the most important stat- 5’9. Only looks like 2 years of service, so looks like he will not figure into any Rule 5 or adding to the roster anytime soon. Looks like he has gotten Strikeouts- candidate for AA as I see it.

  16. Oh great the Phillies resign Schneider to a major league contract before anyone could snap him up. I may wake up later and ask why. This is as stupid as it gets

  17. Schneider did a very good job handling Kendrick, Worley and others the last two years. This is not the worst signing especially if Schneider can hit near his career average of about .240. Is it the best, no it is not but money needs to saved in some areas and the other option in Doumit would cost too much.

    1. Solarte is strictly an outfielfer . But pretty good. Much better than gilles, who was only kept because they cannot admit mistakes. Trade for michael olt. Future star.

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