At the All-star break the Phillies currently stand at 42-53, 11 games back from the .500 mark. Sure the club got hot for a five game stretch but quickly flushed that shit down the toilet with their 2 game skid heading into the break.
The greatest era in Philadelphia Phillies baseball is OVER, and as much as it pains me to say the time to sell is now.
Ruben should be looking to deal whoever he can get the most value for. With that being said, I solely believe the Phillies have absolutely no intentions of trading SS Jimmy Rollins, 2B Chase Utley, or SP Cole Hamels.
We thank the 2008 team for what they gave our city; consequently, it’s time to do what is right for the Phillies in 2015 and beyond.
Here is a list of potential prospects who should be on the Phillies Radar:
- Kyle Crick- RHP- San Francisco Giants system- AA- 27th out of top 100 prospects. Per MLB.com: “Crick overcame a strained oblique that sidelined him for two months in 2013 for a breakout season. As a 20-year-old at Class A Advanced San Jose, he led all Giants Minor League starters with 12.45 strikeouts per nine innings and pitched in the Futures Game. Crick attacks hitters with his lively mid-90s fastball that reaches 98 mph. His breaking ball is a swing-and-miss pitch that looks like a hard, biting slider at its best. Crick’s changeup is still developing, but it gives him a chance for a fourth Major League-average offering. He is still learning to repeat his delivery, and his command suffers as a result. Still, Crick excelled in the Arizona Fall League, where he was the second-youngest starting pitcher in 2013. Crick earns comparisons to current Giants ace Matt Cain.”
If Utley or Hamels were to be dealt to SF, Crick would be the Phillies first choice.
- Gary Sanchez- catcher- New York Yankees system- AA – ranked 39th out of MLB top 100 prospects. With Tanaka on the shelf for a decent amount of time if not the remainder of the season, Sanchez could be in a package that would send Phillies lefty Cliff Lee to the Bronx.
- Austin Meadows – outfield- Pittsburgh Pirates system- Class A full- ranked 37th out of MLB top 100 prospects. Meadows is still young (only 19), yet the Pirates outfield is already set with a decent group of young guns. They are in desperate need of a closer. Could Papelbon bring you back a guy like Meadows? Maybe if the Phils send A.J. Burnett back to the burgh where he was beloved and eat some of the cash that Papelbon is owed they can get back Meadows and a C level prospect. Either way it’s worth making the call.
- Julio Urias- LHP- LA Dodgers system– This kid was signed out of Mexico at the age of 16, and has added velocity to his fastball since he signed over a year ago. According to MLB.com, his fastball now tops out in the mid-90s. At the age of 17 Urias is still very raw with the ability to grow and mature. With the Phillies farm system in dismay, this kid wouldn’t be a bad fit to polish and bring up through the ranks.
- Zach Lee- RHP- LA Dodgers system- AAA- Lee has been rising through the Dodger’s system rather quickly. He throws four pitches with great command and relies on a heavy sink fastball. He is projected as a “middle of the rotation pitcher.’
- Joc Pederson- OF- LA Dodgers system- Ranked 29th out of MLB top 100 prospects. The Dodgers system is stacked! They have tons of prospects who could probably produce right now. The problem is that they spent way too much money to go all in for a Championship and have blocked the likes of guys like Pederson. Joc has all the potential to be a five-tool player and has extremely raw power that would benefit from playing in a hitters’ park like CBP.
If the Phillies could some how package a deal to send Utley and Lee to LA and bring back the likes of Joc Pederson, Zach Lee, and Julio Urias I would personally drive two of my all-time favorite Phillies to the airport without hesitation. Check that, I will shoot west on the main line for a two week trip and personally drive them to Cali myself.
- Eduardo Rodriguez- LHP- Baltimore Orioles system- AA- ranked 54th out of 100 top MLB prospects. Rumors swirled in the off-season that Baltimore was one of the teams in on SP A.J. Burnett before he signed his deal with Philadelphia. Burnett wouldn’t be a bad move to send to Baltimore for a young kid like Rodriguez who figures out to be a 3rd or 4th starter in the bigs. Baltimore is also in the running for a closer as the July 31st trade deadline approaches. Papelbon would be a great fit but again, his money is a problem.
- Josh Bell- OF- Pittsburgh Pirates system- Advanced A- According to MLB.com,“Bell is a gifted hitter from both sides of the plate, with the ability to hit for power and average. His already impressive raw power is expected to get even better as he develops as a hitter and some of his doubles start going over the fence. He has a mature approach at the plate and a good understanding of the strike zone. Bell isn’t a speedster, but he covers ground well enough in the outfield and has a strong arm. He profiles as a prototypical right fielder.”As I previously stated, the Pirates outfield is already jam-packed. If the Phillies could work out a deal to receive both Meadows and Bell, that lousy outfield could become the strength of the team somewhere down the line.
- Mason Williams- OF- New York Yankees system- AA- ranked 58th out of the MLB top 100 prospects. Weirdly athletic and has very good speed. Williams is still just 22 years of age and has the ability to lead-off for a ball club. Whether NY is willing to trade him is another story.
- Reese McGuire- Catcher- Pittsburg Pirates system- Single A full- Per MLB.com, “McGuire is the all-around package. He has a smooth left-handed swing and has a knack for barreling up balls. His big frame portends solid power when he matures. His defense is advanced for a teenager. His athleticism makes him a good receiver and he has an above-average arm.” Unfortunately, the Phillies are in a tough spot when it comes to the catcher position. Ruiz is at the end of his career and his replacement Tommy Joseph, who the Phils got back in the Pence deal cant seem to stop banging his head around. Cameron Rupp seems like a serviceable player, but is he the answer? If they can’t get back a catching prospect like Sanchez or Alfaro, McGuire is the next best answer. And realistically, McGuire could turn out to be the better of the three down the road.
- Stephen Piscotty- OF- Saint Louis Cardinals system- AAA- I know what you’re thinking right off the bat, why Piscotty? How come Taveras isn’t mentioned? Believe me, Taveras would be the kid to grab if it was possible, but I don’t see STL parting ways with him. On the other hand, Piscotty is a player who will succeed in the show. According to MLB.com, “Piscotty has a mature approach at the plate and has the chance to be a .300 hitter in the Major Leagues. His swing is more geared toward hitting line drives than home runs, but he should be able to supply average power along with his high average. After playing primarily third base at Stanford, he was moved by the Cardinals to right field in 2013. He handled the transition well, improving as the season went on. He has a strong arm and covers ground capably. Piscotty has hit everywhere he’s gone, and his polish could have him in the Major Leagues soon.”
- Taijuan Walker- RHP- Seattle Mariners- Per http://www.scoutingbook.com, “Walker works mainly with a 94mph darting fastball that has great late movement, and when he mixes in a sometimes-effective straight change at 82mph, the fastball is nearly unhittable. His breaking pitch is a slurvy curve that isn’t yet ready for regular use, but he’ll have time to develop. Walker has higher upside (and higher risk) than either Hultzen or Paxton, but he’s also a lot younger, and will probably take longer to realize his full potential.”
Many people in the Philadelphia area have dreams of acquiring Walker in a deal that would send RF Marlon Byrd to Seattle. Seattle has been rumored to have a high interest in Byrd, however, the Phillies would need to send a lot more to bring back a prospect with Walker’s talent. Seattle 2b Dustin Ackley has been rumored to be involved in a deal that would help send Byrd to Seattle. Ackley is a decent ball player who just needs a change of scenery. But if Ackley is actually dealt for Byrd, what happens to Chase Utley? Would that deal solidify Utley’s career in Philadelphia?
Only time will tell.
One thing I do know is Antonio Bastardo could be on his way to KC if Ruben can figure out a deal. KC is looking for back-end bullpen help:
#royals, despite a top bullpen back-end, are said to be seeking relievers
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 15, 2014
You wont find any prospects who belong to an NL East organization on this list. Call a guy like me old school, but I still believe trading within your division is a mistake. Plus, I can’t fathom to see a player like Hamels pitching against the Phillies and mowing em’ down one after another. This team is already brutal as is.
The Phillies front office better get moving. The rumor mill is swirling and teams have already started to deal. Ship the bad blood (Papelbon) out and turn this organization back on the right path. Again, we thank the Phillies for 2008, but we will be welcoming the 2008 team back for their 10 year reunion by the time this team is relevant again, unless something happens FAST!
It’s time to get moving!
In Ruben we trust.
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)