The unloading by Phillies GM Ruben Amaro continues as Philadelphia is sending outfielder Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Nate Schierholtz, catcher Tommy Joseph, and right handed pitcher Seth Rosin. They already traded Shane Victorino earlier today to the Dodgers and Pence will also be on his way to the NL West.
It was a little over a year ago that the Astros traded Hunter Pence to the Phillies for Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, and Domingo Santana. The Astros really got a great return for Pence — much better than the return that the Phillies just got for Pence. Tommy Joseph is the most interesting piece in this deal. Joseph is a for sure top 5 prospect in the Giants system and possibly in the top 3. Joseph has spent all of 2012 at AA and has had a so-so year. He is hitting .260/.313/.391 with 8 homeruns. He has picked things up in the month of July though hitting .288/.370/.488. Joseph has good power from the catcher position with 20+ homerun potential. He has good arm strength behind the plate but there is still a lot of work to be done behind the plate. Reports suggest he has made strides so that he will be able to stick there long term but he will most likely be a league average defender at best. He is not a high ceiling prospect but he is solid and pretty polished and could be up by next year.
Schierholtz, now 28, has showed flashes of promise at the majors but he now profiles best as a 4th outfielder or platoon guy. He is hitting .257/.327/.429 in 196 plate appearances this year. He would contribute best while in the lineup against righties as he is hitting .291/.368/.493 against them compared to .146/.182/.220 against lefties. The final piece, Seth Rosin, has a big build at 6’6” 250lb. He has been worked as a starter and a reliever and he could wind up as either one. He has a fastball that ranges anywhere from 88-94 with a slider and a changeup that are reported to both need work.
Overall, I love this deal for the Giants. They add a great piece to their outfield without giving up any huge pieces. He’ll be a big upgrade for the Giants in right and their outfield is looking pretty good with him, Angel Pagan, and Melky Cabrera.
Jonathan C. Mitchell:
This is now two deadlines in a row that the Giants have acquired a right fielder to help bolster their offense. This time, though, they get control of the player for another season and do not have to give up their number one prospect.
Pence is having a slightly down year at the plate but some of that can be attributed to a BABIP 20 points lower than his career mark. The Giants rank 23rd in the Majors with a 90 wRC+ and their right fielders have posted a 96 wRC+ so even if Pence keeps up his 111 wRC+ pace he is an upgrade for this offense.
But, on defense, Pence has posted a -7.2 UZR and it is his second consecutive negative UZR season. Giants’ current right fielders have a +8.5 UZR. If Pence cannot improve his defense then the overall value of trading their current right-field platoon mates for Pence may only yield a small dividend.
Tommy Joseph is the best piece coming to Philly in this deal. He was my 3rd ranked prospect in my pre-season Giants prospect rankings and he has been playing in Double-A all year and just turned 22 two weeks ago. Joseph is still a work in progress behind the plate but he has a strong arm and has thrown out 48% of attempted base stealers this year. He also has above-average raw power that has not shown up as well this year but he has improved his walk rate from 5.2% to 7.5%. Thanks to his arm and power, Joseph has the chance to be an above-average catcher who could make an All-Star game or two during his career if he can keep a solid approach at the plate.
Seth Rosin just missed my top 16 Giants prospects and was literally the next name on the list. His fastball can reach the mid-90s and he has a frame suitable for eating innings but his ceiling is as a fifth starter and I have my doubts he can stay there but should be a good reliever if he cannot.
Nate Schierholtz is a platoon only bat that cannot hit left-handed pitching but has some pop and plays good defense in the outfield with a good arm. His 9.2% walk rate has been a very pleasant surprise for a player who had a 4.2% rate in his first 506 plate appearance across his first three seasons and that included three of his 21 walks being intentional.
The trade opens the door for former top prospect Domonic Brown to prove himself in the Majors over the next two months and I am excited to see if he can show some of that promise he once held. The Phillies got a good return and shed some payroll with this trade since they are now not on the hook for the nearly $14.5M that Pence will likely cost in arbitration next year.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | Angel Pagan, Domonic Brown, Hunter Pence, Melky Cabrera, Nate Schierholtz, Philadelphia Phillies, Ruben Amaro, San Francisco Giants, Seth Rosin, Tommy Joseph, Trades