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Friday, July.12, 2013
‘2 And A Hook’ is an expression from Baseball: ‘Throw the guy 2 Fast balls and then a Hook’ (AKA Curve Ball, Wiggly one, Chair etc..)
By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran ) Follow @yankeeman1973
Guests On The Show
Im back & ready after being off during the 4th of July week to give you all another baseball packed podcast. On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports ( www.mlbreports.com ) & yours truly The Bench Warmers Show.
I star by paying respect to the great Yankee Stadium PA announcer Bob Sheppard on the 3 year anniversary to the day that he passed away…
I talk to the boss man Chuck Booth as he returns to do his segment! 16 Minutes in and a 31 Minute Segment Follow @chuckbooth3024
Chuck makes some notions about the New York Yankees and Brian Cashman needing to risk it all for this year – for the legacies of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Robinson Cano. Plus whether the club can trade Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes – and maybe acquire a bat. Read the rest of this entry
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Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I am doing this list based solely on whether the player is a viable candidate or not. I don’t care if the fans vote someone else in – although they have done a decent job.
This website’s stance on Yasiel Puig is known by know – if you are reading this for the 1st time. We feel the man belongs based on his numbers. He has numbers comparable to Bryce Harper – and his BA and OPS is far above and beyond.
Ordinarily, I would say no – but Troy Tulowitzki is hurt.
Friday July 29, 2011
MLB reports: The past week in Houston has seen Hunter Pence rumors flying fast and furious. Analysts pegged Pence to be headed to many destinations, ranging from Boston, Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. As early as this morning it appeared that there was maybe a 30% chance of the Astros getting a deal done. The Phillies were seen as the favorites, having offered a package of prospects to the Astros including Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart. With the Phillies offer being rejected, word had Philadelphia out of the Pence sweepstakes. With Domonic Brown apparently sought by the Astros, it was unclear if a fit existed between the teams to get a deal done. With the Braves apparently unwilling to trade any of their top pitching prospects, including Mike Minor and Julio Teheran, there appeared to be a good chance that Hunter Pence would stay in Houston as the face of the franchise. That all changed this evening and as the news continued to spread quickly, Hunter Pence as of this evening is officially a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. The cost? Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid and a player to be named later. The Phillies also get $1 million from the Astros to cover salary.
What the Phillies Receive:
Along with the $1 million as mentioned, the Phillies get Hunter Pence, one of the brightest young outfielders in the game. The 28-year old Pence was a 2nd round pick of the Astros in 2004. Pence made his MLB debut in 2007 and has been a consistent performer for the Astros ever since, with exactly 25 home runs per year from 2008-2010. The right-handed outfielder finished third in NL ROY voting in 2007 and was an All-Star in 2009 and this past season. Although his home run totals are down this year, Pence has displayed some of his strongest numbers this season. Along with his .309 AVG, Pence has a .828 OPS. The Phillies in need of a right-handed bat in their lineup jumped on Pence when given the chance.
The Phillies at 66-39 currently have the best record in baseball. With the Braves 5.0 GB, the Phillies could not afford to let a division crown slip through their fingers. With one of the deepest and best rotations in baseball history, Philadelphia is in win-now mode and anything less than a World Series championship will be considered a failure. With Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt starting for the team, the Phillies definitely look and feel like a strong contender. From there, the team has its offense paced by Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. With Hunter Pence on board, the Phillies all of a sudden have a more balanced offense and become that much more dangerous. The outfield with Pence has become a little crowded, with Shane Victorino, Raul Ibanez, Domonic Brown, Ben Francisco, Ross Gload and John Mayberry. But too much talent can be a good problem to have and the Phillies have made themselves into a stronger contender by acquiring Hunter Pence. In the Phillies lineup and ballpark, the sky is the limit as far as the numbers Pence can reach. He is also under team control for two more seasons as an added bonus for a team that is trying to maintain continuity in contending for years to come in the NL East.
What the Astros Receive:
I was calling Jonathan Singleton “Ryan Howard Jr.” during his time in the Phillies organization. Watching him play, Singleton has one of the sweetest strokes in the minors and has the potential to be a big time masher when finally getting the call to play in the bigs. The 19-year old Singleton was an 8th round pick of the Phillies back in the 2009 draft. That is what you call great scouting. Considered one of the best, if not the best prospect bat in the Phillies organization, Singleton was drafted as a first baseman but later moved to the outfield with Howard standing in his way. With the Astros playing Brett Wallace at first, its likely Singleton’s stay in the outfield is a permanent one. Playing in high A ball this season, Singleton was showing that his game was taking time to develop. Singleton at the time of the trade was hitting .282 with an outstanding .386 OPS. While the power numbers are down, with 11 home runs and .411 SLG, it is key to remember that Singleton is young and will take time to develop as a hitter. The Phillies were very happy with him in their system and the Astros had to work diligently to get the Phillies to part with him. The Astros farm system instantly shot up with the acquisition of Singleton. Combined with Wallace he should pace the Astros offense for years once he gets the call one day.
Jarred Cosart is a 21-year old pitcher who is also playing high A-ball in the Phillies organization. Another draft steal, Cosart was drafted all the way in the 38th round in 2008. Cosart so far in his career has pitched fairly well, with a lifetime 3.67 ERA and 1.159 WHIP. Standing 6’3″, the right-handed Cosart was highly considered as well in the Phillies organization. With the Astros sitting at 35-71, by far the worst record in baseball and new ownership coming in, the Astros had no choice but to continue to tear down their team and start over. With Hunter Pence far and away their most desired and sought after bargaining chip, the Astros had no choice but to move him and continue to stock their farm.
In addition to a player to be named later, the Astros also received today Josh Zeid, a 6’5″ right-handed pitcher who has started and worked out of the pen throughout his Phillies minor league career. A 10th round pick in the 2009 draft, Zeid is again a late round gem discovered by the Phillies’ incredible scouting staff. The 24-year old Zeid excelled in his first two seasons but hit a road bump this year in AA. With a 5.65 ERA and 1.414 WHIP, Zeid had a down year in 2011 and clearly has ways to go before coming to the majors. But for a pitching staff in need of pitching depth, Zeid becomes another arm in Houston.
If we go on the measure that the team with the best player wins the trade, we have to give this one to the Phillies. They received Hunter Pence, an All-Star outfielder in the prime of his career, under control for two more seasons. In return, the Phillies gave up three players that were all late round picks for the team and a player to be named later. Jonathan Singleton will be a star in my mind one day, no question. But he is still a very young player playing in the lower ranks of the minor leagues and has a long way to go before coming to the majors. That is the funny thing about prospects: their future can seem so bright, but between injuries, confidence and the ability they display by their play, it is quite often a gamble. The Astros do well in this trade if Singleton becomes a number or three or four hitter in the majors and turns into the home run hitter that he is projected to be. Cosart and Zeid are arms that may turn out to be great or average. The Astros may get two additions to their rotation one day, or perhaps just two more middle relief arms in their pen. As difficult as it is to project prospects, pitchers are the toughest of the bunch as they are more likely to face injuries and wear and tear on their arms compared to any other position players.
For a team in the basement of major league baseball, the Houston Astros needed to rebuild. But to trade the last star player on their team for one solid prospect and two uncertain arms was not necessarily the route I would have taken. But this trade was as much financially driven as it was about talent. The Astros are about to be sold and the new owner already ordered a massive payroll cut. With Brett Myers and Wandy Rodriguez still on the team, the Astros most tradeable player was Hunter Pence. Considering that the Blue Jays got Colby Rasmus for three middle relief arms essentially, the Astros went young and with more upside in this trade. Personally, I think very highly of Singleton having watched him play in the past. As one of the best young hitters in the minors, the Astros got themselves likely a future superstar. But the key word is likely. For what the Astros received back in potential, they gave up in certainty. Hunter Pence is a current star player that will fit immediately in the Phillies lineup with no cost off the team’s major league or AAA rosters. Until one or more of the prospects the Phillies receive produce at the major league level, which could be years away, the winner of this trade is the Philadelphia Phillies. Our preseason pick to win the World Series just got that much stronger. The rest of baseball has taken notice and competing teams will need to beef up their rosters over the next two days if they hope to have a shot of catching the Phillies in the postseason.
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