Domonic Brown and 7 Philadelphia Phillies Trade-Bait Prospects
The Philadelphia Phillies set a franchise record last season with 102 wins—yet the season ended way too early for Phillies fans.
To make matters worse, the final out of the season left Ryan Howard hobbling down the first base line after tearing his Achilles tendon during the final swing. At the time, Howard appeared to be doubtful for Opening Day 2012. Jim Thome—the man who Howard replaced—is back, but it could only be a temporary solution.
In addition, Chase Utley’s whole season is in doubt and Placido Polanco’s health is always a question these days. In order to make a trade, the Phillies will have to use prospects to entice other clubs in giving up some of their top talent.
7. Justin De Fratus: RHP
De Fratus was selected by Phillies in the 11th Round of the 2007 amatuer draft
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De Fratus has the potential to be closer or a setup man. His overall numbers were impressive at a 6-3 record with 15 saves, 2.99 ERA, and 99 strikeouts in 77 innings. Those numbers earned him a call-up to the Phillies and made his big-league debut in September. He even won a game in his five appearances.
6. Phillippe Aumont: RHP
Phillippe Aumont was part of the Cliff Lee trade with Seattle back in December 2009
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Like De Fratus, Aumont is a reliever. The attempt to turn Aumont into a starter two years ago was failure. He went 3-11 with a 5.68 ERA in 122 innings. His stuff is still very raw. He can throw 95-97 MPH and has the breaking ball to finish off hitters. This gives him the potential to become a dominant closer in the future. In 2011, Aumont struck out 78 hitters in 54 games, with 37 in 24 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Between De Fratus and Aumont, they could be enticing to a club looking for a young reliever.
5. Julio Rodriguez: RHP
Is Rodriguez flying under the radar? Image via BaseballTrenches.com
Rodriguez may have been overlooked with the attention on Trevor May. The Puerto Rican was the best performing pitcher in Clearwater. He went 16-7 with a 2.76 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 156 innings pitched.
His velocity is not what gets him attention—it's his command over his breaking ball.
The command Rodriguez has is hard to find in a young pitcher. Since he is still relatively young, his physique could change. Hopefully he won’t make the jump too soon, but seeing him in Double-A for a full season is not out of the question. Some have said he should be ranked higher.
Any team looking to replenish their farm system with pitchers should definitely take a look at Rodriguez.
4. Sebastian Valle: C
Could Valle be the next Carlos Ruiz?
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Valle has great potential behind the plate. It's at the plate where he needs some coaching. There have been times where the Mexican native has shown he has the potential to be a big league catcher.
Plate discipline is his biggest issue according to PerfectGame.org. He walked only 13 times in 2011. Valle did have a disappointing 2010 season, hitting .284 with five homers and 40 RBI considering he hit for a .255 average with 16 homers and 74 RBI in 2009.
3. Freddy Galvis: IF
Could Galvis benefit from a full year in Triple-A?
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It is hard to imagine that Galvis will not see some time in the big leagues this year. Jimmy Rollins is the only infielder without a question mark heading into Opening Day. Placido Polanco is not getting any younger and has been injury-prone.
Galvis will need to improve his hitting if he wants to become an everyday player. His defense is his best attribute, which has kept him a valuable prospect according to Crashburn Alley.
Last year, Galvis spent time in Double-A and Triple-A. He was promoted from Reading to Lehigh Valley after hitting .273 with eight homers and 34 RBI. Despite hitting .298 (35 hits in 126 at-bats) without a homer and eight RBI, Galvis was not called-up to the Phillies after Lehigh Valley was knocked out of the postseason in September.
So far this spring, Galvis has 20 hits in 78 at-bats for a .256 average, a pair of home runs and 13 RBI in 26 games. Galvis will more than likely start and spend most of the season in Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
2. Trevor May: RHP
Not any debate: May is the Phils No. 1 pitching prospect. (Mark LoMoglio/MiLB.com)
May could easily become a mainstay in the Phillies' rotation in the future. He can learn a lot from a guy like Roy Halladay. He is the Phillies’ top pitching prospect due to his high strikeout numbers in Single-A ball.
According to scouting reports, despite some command issues, his stuff is intriguing. He has a 92-94 MPH fastball that he can put high or low in the zone. His breaking ball is in the mid-70s and can really dip if he can command it. He complements both with a low-to-mid-80s changeup.
However, if his fastball command issues stick around, the Phils may consider moving him if the infield injuries become more serious. The Phillies did not hesitate to trade top-pitching prospect Kyle Drabek for Roy Halladay. It would not be a surprise to see the Phillies make a similar move for a bigger name for the aging infield.
1. Domonic Brown: Of
Brown hit .245 with 5 HRs and 32 RBI in 56 games for the Phillies last year.
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Brown is technically no longer a prospect, but still sports all the markings of one.
He can change that this year.
With the departure of Raul Ibanez and Chase Utley’s health in question, the opportunity for Brown is there to move up in the batting order to be that second left-handed power hitter.
The road to the big leagues has not been a smooth one for the 24-year-old. The Phillies organization has been patient so far with Brown. Now that there is an opening in the outfield, Brown will have to step up at the plate. Last season, Brown battled injuries to start the year. He spent time in the big club but was sent back down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to work on his game.
It's an important year for him...But the road to the big leagues is never a smooth one. It's never a straight one. So even as talented as he is, there are a lot of things that have to happen for him to be a quality big league player. We still think he has the ability to do that.
John Mayberry Jr. would be very happy to take his place. Mayberry and Brown would have battled it out in spring training to see who got the spot in left field. Like last season however, Brown had injuries to deal with. The Phillies are likely to remain patient. Brown will have to put up some stellar numbers in Triple-A for the Phillies to consider not moving him.