Texas Rangers fans may be upset about losing Michael Young, but Lisalverto Bonilla could be the trade's silver lining in the near future.
Lindblom, Bonilla for Young as trade is done wp.me/p1rXwL-8WpT— TR Sullivan (@Sullivan_Ranger) December 8, 2012
Young played all 13 of his MLB seasons with Texas and is the team's all-time hits leader. Still, Bonilla, who was ranked as the Phillies' No. 15 prospect by MLB.com, is a solid prospect and should be with the Rangers for years to come.
With that in mind, here is a complete scouting report of Bonilla.
Birth Date: June 6, 1990 (Age: 22)
Birth Place: Samana, Dominican Republic
College: N/A (Signed as a non-drafted free-agent)
Height/Weight: 6'1", 164 lbs
About Bonilla's Minor League Experience
Since joining the Phillies organization in 2010, Bonilla has quickly been moving his way through the team's minor league system. The 22-year-old pitcher began his career as a starter, navigating his way through 24 up-and-down starts in lower-level Single-A ball before being converted to a reliever.
Once moved out of the rotation in late 2011, Bonilla found his calling. Last season saw the righty split his time between Single-A and Double-A, making a name for himself as a late-inning stopper. In 31 appearances, Bonilla went 3-2 with a 1.55 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and struck out 64 batters in 46.1 innings.
Bonilla Scouting Report
Depending on how the Rangers decide to use him, Bonilla is definitely an interesting prospect. Though he's been far better in relief at the minor league level, the youngster's skill-set may translate just as well to the rotation going forward.
Unlike most bullpen prospects, Bonilla doesn't have an overwhelming fastball that hovers around triple-digits. Instead, his fastball usually clocks in anywhere from 90-95 mph depending on the day. Luckily, it isn't a straight-forward pitch and has enough movement that it could still be consistently effective if he spots well and works on adding more movement to the pitch.
Where Bonilla is truly effective is with mixing speeds—particularly with his changeup. It keeps hitters off-balance, fooling them into thinking that his fastball is livelier than it actually is.
Bonilla also has a slider, but it's neither his favorite nor his most effective pitch. That being said, he can throw it for strikes, which is oftentimes enough on its own.
All told, Bonilla is an interesting prospect that can throw three different pitches for strikes. Whether he does that out of the rotation or bullpen remains to be seen.
Losing Young will be a tough pill to swallow for the Rangers. He's been a team stalwart for years, becoming a fan favorite in the process. Nevertheless, Young has an expiring contract after the 2013 season and Bonilla is a prospect on the rise that you usually don't see offered in salary-related trades.
He may not be up with the big club full-time next year, but Bonilla certainly has the potential to develop into a sensational closer or back-half of the rotation starter.