Although he has enough value for a starting pitcher, the Philadelphia Phillies most likely will not swap Domonic Brown. But is he worth more to the home team?
Matthew Pouliot of NBC Sports’ Hardball Talk reported the Phils were dangling him in December for a rotation arm, but nothing developed.
Please, scroll down for this edition of Nitecap Insight: Houston Calling.
This article represents the thinking of a baseball man in my opinion. Reading people is the answer to their decisions: past, present and future.
There will be a published storyline each week.
The amateur-draft selection is in reverse order of finish, which means the red pin stripes recently have not picked early for the most coveted talent.
When the Astros entered the picture, Ruben Amaro Jr. had already dealt upper-level prospects for Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay. In other words, Josh Zeid spent only four months at Double-A Reading. Before the trades, Anthony Gose, Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart were at Single-A Clearwater. Jonathan Villar and Domingo Santana went from Single-A Lakewood to the now junior-circuit club.
Previously, this three-part review covered the top achievable plateaus for hopefuls at Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In the other direction, southpaw Ethan Steward went 1-6 with a 6.00 ERA for 20 Clearwater starts, which followed his 2012 Lakewood numbers: 5-9 with a 3.89 ERA. Art Charles, the return for Michael Schwimer, averaged .251 with 11 homers and 72 RBI at Lakewood: a slight fourth-summer improvement. For his second low-level campaign, right-hander Mitch Gueller endured 14 starts: 3-8 with a 5.86 ERA for Single-A Williamsport.
For every rookie, five youngsters realize their limits before the majors. Charles has only climbed two rungs in four years. After eight rookie-ball appearances (two relief), Gueller finished ’12 at 1-5 with a 5.27 ERA for 27 1/3 innings. But he and Steward still have pen possibilities.
Minor League Progression:
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Understanding the numbers included many fortunate escapes, the head honcho moved Happ quickly. He is at the bottom of the rotation because he allows too many base runners to score. With Josh Johnson’s departure, Happ will slot fourth for Toronto this season. He is on baseball’s bubble and basically makes news for taking a comebacker off his noggin.
After the Blue Jays did not receive Gose in the Halladay transaction, they sent Brett Wallace to the Astros for him. That said, the fleet fourth outfielder fell short of their expectations. Toronto had hoped for a dynamic leadoff man who could turn a walk into a double, but his running game needs polishing.
Houston acquired seven prospects for Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence. In fact, the five players still there have a shot with the parent club. With many jobs available, the path is quite visible.
Villar is the final ex-Phillie they picked up for Oswalt, but the slick defensive shortstop has never hit above .277 professionally. However, he did swipe 18 bags in 26 attempts, while Jimmy Rollins comparatively stole 22 of 28. In other words, Villar is a utility man on a strong team.
According to Scott Strandberg of Fangraphs, Singleton’s risk factor has increased, but he could bounce back after a solid winter-ball showing. He opened ’13 with a 50-game suspension for a failed drug test: marijuana. Then, reporting extremely out of shape to Triple-A Oklahoma City, he dropped sharply from his 2012 statistics: .284, 21 home runs and 79 RBI for Double-A Corpus Christi. If he can replicate his 2012 production, he could handle first base for the Astros by July.
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Brad Johnson of Fangraphs opined that Cosart’s statistics are good, bad and deceiving. Because he has a limited arsenal, he only throws his excellent cutter when ahead in the count. He had a 1.95 ERA, a 94.5 mph fastball, 33 strikeouts and 35 walks. That stated, after the league catches up to him, he must improve even for a bullpen seat.
Zeid had a 5.59 ERA in ’12 at Corpus Christi for 47 relief efforts, but last summer he joined Oklahoma City. However, 2012 was his first full campaign as a reliever, and he consistently hit 97 mph. With personnel shortages, Houston gave him a chance at Oklahoma City, and he took advantage of it. He continued his success for the Astros after the Jose Veras swap in late July. When the competition figures him out, his stats could balloon.
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The final piece is Santana, who ranks ninth in Houston’s pipeline. By comparison, the second slot belongs to Singleton. Santana’s average dropped 50 points with 33 fewer RBI after the Double-A advancement. However, he’ll probably begin 2014 at Oklahoma City because of organizational needs.
While Amaro was acquiring Lee, Brown was learning at Reading after a promotion from Clearwater. He hit .279 during his 37-game opportunity and remained there: Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor went to Canada. When Oswalt arrived in Philly, the left fielder was getting his first taste of Triple-A ball. A year later, however, when Pence became the latest deadline fix, Brown was experiencing the show’s adversity.
For ’14, mixed expectations surround Brown, would you take .285, 30 homers and 100 RBI?
Domonic Brown: 2 = * Traded Prospects & 1 = Brown Only
Storyline: Controversy, Before and After, on the Philadelphia Phillies (1) * Prospects to Cleveland & Toronto
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez: Scouting Report
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