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Thursday, November 20, 2008


Chris Rock circa 1995?

BB: pretty damn close.

You're right JW, be wary of power numbers from the leagues that he played in.

Sounds like trading one teams mistake for another to me. I at least like that they got somebody that has a shred of upside to him.

Still a wasted first-round pick by the Phils.

I LOVE this deal. We gave up nothing and we got a guy in Mayberry, who hits 25 to 30 homeruns every year, knocks in around 100 runs, and once walked 122 times in a season. Oh wait . . . those are John Mayberry, Sr.'s stats I'm looking at.

Seriously, I think this is a pretty good trade. It's certainly nothing to get excited about but, as minor deals go, I see nothing objectionable here. They basically traded a guy with no chance of ever being anything more than a backup outfielder for a guy who could plausibly be better than that someday.

In a sense, Mayberry is another "toolsy," underachieving prospect, but at least the tools he possesses are related to hitting a baseball.

Awesome, now next year at this time, will Texas take Anthony Hewitt for whoever they picked in the first round this year?

"At least this gives Amaro his token Stanford alum in case Bruntlett doesn't return."

Actually, they could post an all-Stanford outfield alignment next year: Mayberry, Michael Taylor, and Bruntlett.

One of the infamous "junk for junk" trades you see all the time in baseball and much more frequently when Lee Thomas was the GM.

Maybe the Phils could have gotten more for a guy who has been consistently ranked in the Phils' Top 10 prospects list by Baseball Prospectus the last few years but if Mayberry turns out to be an effective 4th/5th OF for a few seasons with the Phils, they likely will have gotten the better end of the deal.

Golson's OBP: .333
Mayberry's OBP: .317

I like our newly acquired junk more than our newly departed junk...he put up great numbers against lefties at AA/AAA this year. And take his numbers with a grain of salt, but he looks like he has legitimate power. Obviously, every gamble looks promising in the off season, but I am mildly impressed with Rube for this trade.

baxter: Mayberry was also playing at a higher level of the minors. Besides, the issue isn't numbers, since neither one of these guys has numbers to get excited about. The issue is which one has a better chance of improving those numbers and being a decent major league player.

If a guy can't recognize the difference between a ball and a strike (i.e., Golson), it's hard to see how he's ever going to become a decent major league hitter. Mayberry at least has some semblance of strike zone recognition. If he could just boost his average by 20 points or so, he might actually be a good player.

I mean, damn; how'd he get Chris Rock to pose for his publicity stills? That's tools, baby!

Mayberry was also playing at a higher level of the minors...

and is two years older

Mayberry at least has some semblance of strike zone recognition...

Golson: 1 BB every 12.5 AB
Mayberry: 1 BB every 14.6 AB

Maybe this is a slap at Arbuckle? Ruby Red making a statement?

baxter - don't cherry pick like that. First of all, use at least a whole season. Mayberry's .316 OBP is the half season he spent at AAA. His lifetime minor league OBP is .330. Golson, meanwhile, posted that OBP you quoted at Reading last year, but his career minor OBP is .309. So the point you are making is kind of off base. So far, as minor leaguers, Mayberry has been better than Golson at getting on base.

nope -
Some bad math there. 167 BB in 1732 ABs is more than 1 every 14.6.

And Golson is 123 BB in 2101 ABs.

Hold on while I get out my calculator...

Mayberry 1 BB every 10.4 ABs
Golson 1 BB every 17.1 ABs.

This looks like a lateral move, but since I never liked Golson I'll give the Phillies a slight edge in this deal. However I don't think either player will be better than a 4th outfielder.

Mayberry is more useful than Golson.

Really good analysis here:

I'm still not holding my breath. But I think I'd rather see Mayberry filling time in left than T.J. Bohn.

Andy: Luckily "nope" used a fake screen name so he didn't embarrass himself. LOL!

Obviously, I LOVE this trade, but let's not go overboard. This is Reggie Taylor for Rob Deer. Obviously, Deer is the better side of the trade.

It's no secret that Chase Utley played with a bad hip through the last half of the 2008 season and that Pedro Feliz played with a herniated lumbar disc through the entire season. Removal of the herniated disc and physical therapy should bring Feliz back in time for the opening of the 2009 season and his performance should be much improved. Surgery and PT should also bring back a healthier and stronger Utley but probably not until May or June.

Phillie acquisitions with Utley out for the first few months of the season change the entire trade dynamic. The new trade possibilities range all the way from acquiring the best defensive second baseman in baseball, Orlando Hudson, to trading pitching and bench to St. Louis for outfielder Ryan Ludwick and outfielder/second baseman Skip Schumaker, to recalling Tad Iguchi.

I have seen Hudson play on a number of occasions and he is one exciting second baseman. He is a gold glover and switch hitter who is currently looking for a 5-year, $50 million contract. The Phils could sign Hudson and keep him until Utley returns. The return is projected for May or June, but the date of Utley's return is uncertain. If his return takes longer than originally expected, the Phils still have the premier defensive second baseman in the game. If Utley returns on time and is ready to play, the Phils could possibly play Hudson in the outfield or flip him to another team. There should be no shortage of takers.

Another option is trading pitching, bench and / or prospects to St. Louis for Ludwick, an all star outfielder, and Schumaker, an infielder/outfielder who hit over .300 last year. Such a trade would solve 2 pressing issues. Ludwick would be a more than satisfactory replacement for Pat Burrel. On Utley's return, Schumaker could platoon in the OF, come off the bench to play the IF and pinch hit.

The "going with what you know" option is Tad Iguchi who does all the little things that help teams win games. He plays very good defense, bunts well, hits behind the runner, drives in runs and fits in very well with the current Phillie team.

Bringing Jason Donald up from the minors to play second base may or may not be the answer. He could pull a Mickey Morandini on everyone and play better in the majors than he did in the minors or he may show an immediate need for more grooming in the minors which takes the Phils right back to square one.

The Utley situation also partially eases the need for the Phils to only go after a right-handed hitting outfielder. With Utley out of the lineup, signing Raul Ibanez, a left-handed hitter who hits left-handed pitching very well, become more feasible. Jim Edmonds has been mentioned but he brings nothing to the Phils they don't already have in Geoff Jenkins. Edmonds was a spectacular gold glove centerfielder for many years but he is now 38 and couldn't be expected to roam centerfield as he once did. Similarly, the Phils gain nothing by replacing Geoff Jenkins with Jeremy Hermida.

To be sure, the Phils have many options to fill an empty outfield position and second base. The Phils could go the trade route for Ludwick and Schumaker or hit the free agent market for combinations such as Gabe Kapler and Orlando Hudson, or Raul Ibanez and Tad Iguchi. The Phils could also match up the future Hall of Famer, Manny Ramirez, with youngster, Jason Donald, or Greg Dobbs who has also played second base.

Personally, I would sign two inexpensive players, Kapler and Iguchi, right now while they are still available, and continue to work on acquiring Manny Ramirez whose bat may no longer be a luxury but an absolute necessity for the 2009 Phils.

In fairness to Mayberry, his skill set is better than Deer because he can field, runs well for a big guy and has a strong throwing arm, good enough for RF at the major league level.

He was a first round pick out of Stanford (do I sense a connection?) so he's been old for his levels. He's shown consistent power at every level with just a slight dropoff in Triple A last year.

His problem, as several have noted, is strike zone judgment. He has only a vague sense of where the strike zone is. This is better than Golson, who has no clue where the zone is. Compare their lifetime K/BB ratios (which is the proper way to do it, not walk per PA). Mayberry's is 2.5/1. Golson's is a breathtaking 5/1. In other words, Golson's strike zone judgment is TWICE as bad as Mayberry's.

Golson is 23 and Mayberry soon turns 25, so it is possible that Golson could somehow discover the strike zone. Mayberry's potential upside is fairly visible at this point: A good fielding, good running version of Rob Deer. Deer hit .220 in his career. But he also had seasons with 32 and 33 HRs. Mayberry could pop 40 someday with a small improvement in plate discipline and zone recognition.

This trade has a 10% chance of turning out spectacularly well for the Phillies and a .05% chance of being a mistake.

Right, the Phils will offer a 5 year/$50 mil offer for a guy to start for two months.

Maybe if his name is Pedro Jenkins Eaton, they would.

Nice little deal for Mayberry. Fingers crossed.

With the current developments and need to find a second baseman in addition to a left fielder, signing bull pen help has suddenly become more important. The Phils are looking at a number of different relief pitchers but I think the way to go is to sign Juan Cruz. Signing Cruz makes a few current Phillie relievers more available for trade.

As far as starting pitching is concerned, I think chasing $100 million starting pitchers is ludicrous when a rotation of Hamels, Myers, Blanton, Happ, Carrasco and possibly Moyer is already one of the most formidable rotations in baseball as well as a young rotation with the potential for further growth and development.

It would be nice to think that Adam Eaton would be able to make some kind of contribution to the 2009 Phils team, but if the past is prologue, I don't think that such optimism is realistic. The Phils might be tempted to allow Eaton to work off his substantial salary as a innings-eating, mop-up specialist out of the bull pen, but resisting such temptations might be the most prudent course of action and the best way to maintain team chemistry. Eaton is not the first Phillie pitcher to be signed to a big contract and then to disappoint. The list is long. The Phils should just accept the Eaton acquisition for what it is and move onward and upward.

Many of us have been quick to find fault with Ruben Amaro, but we all owe him a debt of gratitude today. If ever there was a made-for-Beerleaguer trade, this it it.

Doc: There is no way the Phillies sign a guy like Hudson with Utley out a few months and possibly back by opening day. Also, there is no way that Hudson would sign with a team like that.

Clout: We have butted heads a while ago, but that was a real good analysis of the trade. On an added note although 6 ABs is a small sample size, Golson looked VERY unimpressive in those 6 ABs to the point that I lost hope for him. I do like the speed, but it looks like there is more upside to Mayberry. Odds are that no one remembers this trade and it is completely insignificant.

Anyone have the feeling that the Moyer signing hasn't happened yet because the Phillies are looking at using his money towards someone like Derrick Lowe? What about letting Moyer and Burrell walk, take the four draft picks, and then use the money you save on them on Lowe? I would stay away from AJ Burnett though, too injury prone. A rotation of Hamels, Myers, Lowe, Blanton and then Happ/Kendrick/Carrasco and the returning bullpen would be pretty sweet and keep us competitive even without any big offensive additions and the absence of Chase.

Also, if Moyer doesn't get any good options and then is willing to return on a hometown discount one year deal we could have a real solid starting 5 and then make Happ part of a package for a decent RH outfield (or if the Red Sox sign Texiera then Mike Lowell).

I'm looking forward to the week after Thanksgiving. The hot stove should be red hot then.

I would hardly call our rotation one of the most formidable in baseball. Competent would be a better description, I think, and given the Phillies offensive and bullpen capabilities, (last season, anyway) one that could get the job done.

I haven't seen any of Mayberry, so I can't comment on the relative value of this trade outside of the numbers, which have already been covered by others. The thing I mused about was his position (corner OF) and type (potential power hitter) and am more convinced than ever that the Phillies are going to start next season without making any head turning acquisitions in the off-season. They now have a number of this type player in their minor league system and it seems evident that they are committed to developing a player for the OF rather than trading for or signing one. It certainly fits their rather miserly FO style as well.

Of course now that I've said that I'm sure that Ramirez is getting a phone call from Amaro as I type. :)

clout: WOW, I think that I have finally agreed with you for once. This is a milestone. Good Mayberry/Golson analysis.

On Doc's wild idea... I'd just like to point out that when a guy signs a contract as a free agent, he pretty much has no trade value. If a team wanted him, they would've just signed him. People miss this when they ponder trading Jenkins.

*I could care less that Golson is gone. I don't see him really having a future in the bigs.

*When I first saw Mayberry, I too thought he looked like Chris Rock.

*Jerry Hairston Jr., rumored to be on the Phils radar as a righthanded hitting outfielder, has played a lot of 2nd base in the past and would make a lot of sense to try to sign now with the injury to Utley.

clout, nice analysis.

With that in mind, what I find intriguing about the trade is trying to think of WHY Texas would do it.

Is Mayberry damamged goods, somehow? Is there something we don't know about the guy?

The only thing that occured to me is that I had heard that Texas would really like to move Josh Hamilton to RF.

Did they trade for Golson thinking that they could fix his plate discipline (to wit, do their development people see something the Phils don't? - remember Gavin Floyd?) enough in order for him to man CF for them?

I guess what puzzles me is if it's soooooo obvious to us that Golson may be or is a lost cause, then why did the Rangers pull the trigger, unless they think the same thing about Mayberry?

Volcker Gives Baseball an Update on the Economy

You know if Selig is bringing in Volcker to talk to the owners that he thinks the economy is in pretty dire straits. There were no comments from what was divulged at the meeting but I bet you this has two effects:

1. Explains some of the initial hesitation we have seen in the FA market this year
2. That while the big FA names are likely to get their huge contracts, it is pretty likely that some vets are going to get squeezed pretty hard. Teams in small market or economically-troubled markets (e.g, Arizona) may be much more willing next year to go with a rookie who comes at a cheap price compared to a vet who may cost $2-$3M.

"I'd just like to point out that when a guy signs a contract as a free agent, he pretty much has no trade value. If a team wanted him, they would've just signed him."

Of course, that depends on the player involved. If CC Sabathia continues to pitch like he did last season, or Manny Ramirez hits like Manny Ramirez down the road, I'd wager you the house that they'd each have some trade value.

I'm glad BLers pointed out the Stanford connection with Mayberry. Without Beerleaguer to help me get through the day, I'd've thought that Junior made the trade because Mayberry also has "Junior" in his name. It could also be a Karmic payback to the KC Royals 1980 team to hire one of their star's son in return for KC's being on the losing end of the 1980 WS.

This is a decent deal. The Rangers are frustrated with Mayberry no doubt, the Phils with Golson. As most have said, at least Mayberry's numbers make it look like he has a clue about the strikezone. I'm sure as soon as we see him, we see the flaws that frustrate the Rangers, but it's the off-season so I'll keep my rose-colored glasses on for now.

"This is Reggie Taylor for Rob Deer. Obviously, Deer is the better side of the trade."
Reggie is a good comp for Golson but you do Deer a bit of a disservice. In the current Phils environment, if Howie Mandell came up to you and offered you career average Rob Deer (with an over 200 OPS platoon split) as your LF platoon mate for 2M for 1 year, do you say "Deal, or No Deal"?
I'd be real tempted to say "Deal". He hit LHP real good and was supposed to have been a pretty decent fielder.

I thought the Hairston suggestion was an interesting one until I looked at his last 5 years OPS+ 105/82/36!/42!/124. Nope, that's scary. I saw an ESPN crawler throwing out Nick Punto's name. You can probably find a minor league FA who makes 15% of his salary and can give you 95% of Punto's contribution (good year last year nonwithstanding).

When the Phillies trade a minor leaguer for a minor leaguer, beerleaguer is the place I come to find out what the deal is. Thanks people.

Basically what you are saying is that every FA only really had one interested bidder: the one that signed him. No other team wanted him or they would have signed him. Therefore no one would be interested later in acquiring that player in a trade. That's obviously wrong.

No matter who signs Teixeira, there will interested teams if he is made available in trade. Same with any other quality free agent or FA perceived to have a reasonable contract.
Overpay for a FA and you are likely stuck with him. See Adam Eaton and a long list of others..

Doesn't the Mayberry photo look like Chris Rock?

About the Utley hip injury, what exactly is injured? The word "hip" is used to describe a general area. A few years back, my mother "broke her hip", yet what she really broke was the top of her leg bone where it joins with the hip. The term "hip replacement" doesn't mean that they actually replace your hip, it merely means that they replace the opening in the hip bone where the top of your leg bone goes.

With all of this ambiguity about what is meant by the word "hip", what exactly is Chase's injury? Is it muscular? Is it a bone injury? Is it a hip-leg joint issue?

When Ronald Reagan had prostrate surgery as President, all the papers ran diagrams showing all the Presidential man parts for all to see. Will the Philly papers give us the Utley hip diagram? How about a Pat the Bait foot diagram? Maybe a Junior brain diagram? A Cholly gut diagram?

pretty much in agreement with everything said. Trade is like buying a $1 scratch off lottery ticket. Yeah its probably a waste of a dollar, but worth a shot once in awhile. Mayberry's upside is exactly what the Phils are looking for.

And yes, a dead on Chris Rock.

Edmundo: I agree. Deer was a major leaguer and Mayberry has yet to prove that he'll be one.

That said, I think Mayberry's upside is better than a Deer because he's a better fielder, has more speed and projects more power.

Also agree with you on Hairston.

Outside of NEPP, was there a single Beerleaguer who thought that Golson had much value or a good future?

He looks like Chris Rock

Andy's Friday Conspiracy Theories:

1) The Phils signed Iguchi at the end of last season primarily because they knew (or strongly suspected) Utley would be out for a while.

2) One of the reasons for Golson's departure is that they tried a package including him as bait for Holliday and it got laughed off the table - Ruben then realized that Golson held no real value.

3) Mayberry may be seen as future trade bait himself, with the hope that he'll do a little better, while Michael Taylor and Dom Brown develop as hoped; lots of teams are looking for OFs with power.

4) Post-Utley announcement, pre-arbitration, Howard is smiling right now.

Mayberry must be thrilled by this. A young power hitter in need of some guidence can't possibily do any better than spending spring training with the Phillies. I'm mildly excited by this, if only because Golson had no shot.

Cut that sh*t out, m***********s! Everyone of you b*****s knows I look more like Robert Downey, Jr.!

Andy: Since they then outrighted Iguchi, making him a FA, how does that help them?

clout- usually I skip your posts because they aren't worth my while to read, but I went back to read it after seeing the comments about it. You really can do a good analysis when you aren't acting like a jackass.

squatter: Thanks. Getting a compliment from a poster as insightful as you is, well......words elude me.

clout -
It lulls the other GMs into a false sense of security about our FOs incompetence.

Or I goofed again.

That's fine. I'll take my tools and go to work in Texas building a winner.

Sorry clout- you won't have ol' Greg G to kick around anymore.

One dynamic that intrigues me is how a trade like this got started.

Evidently the Phillies have been in love with Mayberry before the draft from what I read so one would think they started the dialogue.

Also - these type of minor league trades do not happen often but I like how it works for both teams needs if as AWH mentioned Texas would like to move Hamilton to RF.

At least if we have a minor league OF charity hoops game I like our chances.

The Boston Herald mentioned - "Yankees' acquisition of Nick Swisher "could be a prelude to another deal with a National League club.""

I wonder if the Phillies are involved. Swisher, I believe, would look pretty good in LF....switch hitter, five-hole capability, 27 yrs old, 112 career OPS+, good eye at the plate.

However, on the downside, he is pricey (3yrs $22MM left on his contract), and is coming off a down year (92 OPS+ in 2008), and doesn't hit for high average (.244 career).

Swisher is terrible. He's a great example of why Billy Beane is overrated. Beane thought Swisher had the perfect attitude for baseball, but he's already on his 3rd team because of a bad attitude. Not to mention Swisher had the worst batting average in baseball last year.

"Yankees' acquisition of Nick Swisher "could be a prelude to another deal with a National League club.""

Do the Yankees anticipate signing Texiara?

Even if they do I would keep Swisher nevertheless, given the CF situation.

Anyone see that C.J. Henry is a walk-on to play basketball at Memphis under Coach Calipari? Did this get mentioned earlier:

Greg Golson (the poster not the player) - Since when had being traded to another club precluded clout from supplying generous amounts of "honest assessment?"

JB - For that charity hoops game? Kind of a shame we gave up on Carl Henry; we woulda REALLY been dangerous on the court.

Forget Swisher. If we're really serious about an acquisition get Teixeira himself. He's played the position (couldn't be worse than Burrell on the field) and has a lot to recommend himself at the plate. 'Course he'll cost way way (way!) more than the Phils have available to spend.

In re: the IF injury situation
How about we sign Nick Punto to begin the year at 2b, and then, when Utley's back, dump the Gnome into someone else's garden?

baxter: Leave it to baxter to sing the praises of our first round pick, Greg Golson, and then call a guy with Burrell-like numbers a waste of a first round draft choice.

Singing the praises? I never said Greg Golson would be anything other than better pinch runner than So Taguchi. Sorry for not toeing the line.

Don't insult Pat Burrell by comparing him to Nick Swisher. Swisher's ops was .742 last year. He's like a poor man's(or rich, stupid man's) Geoff Jenkins.

JB: Mayberry was drafted by Seattle out of HS but passed up the offer to go to Stanford. The GM of Seattle at the time: Pat Gillick.

Is it sad that I heard about the Golson trade and my first thought was to go on beerleaguer and read Clout's reactions?

Hey Clout: trading Golson and Feliz going under the knife on the same day - sounds like heaven for you, huh, big guy?

Proving that clout and I do agree on some things: We both won't miss Greg Golson.

Who will?

Phillies name bench coach
The Phillies have named Pete Mackanin as their bench coach.

Mackanin, 57, spent this past year as a pro scout for the New York Yankees after managing the Cincinnati Reds for the final 3 months of the 2007 season. The Reds went 41-39 (.513) and had the second-best record in the National League Central Division during his tenure.

In 2005, Mackanin was interim manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates for the team’s final 26 games. Hee spent seven seasons on the major league coaching staffs of the Montreal Expos (third-base coach, 1997-2000) and the Pirates (bench coach, 2003-05).

Mackanin appeared in 18 games for the Phillies over the 1978 and 1979 seasons as a player during a 9-year big-league career that also included stops with Texas, Montreal and Minnesota.

With Mackanin’s hiring, Sam Perlozzo has been named the third-base coach.

Looking forward to the Mackanin hiring complaints.

diggity: I don't know why my views on Feliz keep getting distorted. Losing Feliz is a BAD thing. he's a solid fielder and hits LHP. My only problem is with idiots (like you) who think he should start vs. RHP.

baxter: I'm pretty sure it was you who had proposed that Golson replace Burrell next year. If I'm wrong, and it was someone else, then my apologies.

As for Burrell and Swisher . . . if you go by last year's numbers, then you're right: there is no comparison. But I find it incredibly hard to believe that a 28-year old player suddenly lost the ability to hit. A far more plausible explanation is that last year was just a horrendous season, much like Burrell's 2003 season.

If you go by career norms, the Swisher-Burrell comparison is pretty apt, except that Burrell has a little more power and Swisher plays better defense.

BedBeard: Unlike Jimy Williams in Boston, Mackanin never had a team quit on him.

Trivia item: In that 2002 draft where Gillick selected Mayberry in the first round, who was his 30th round pick?

Answer: TJ Bohn

You didn't give us a chance to guess! I was going to guess Rusty Kuntz Jr.

BAP: I think you're very close to a unification theory.

Maybe I predicted that the Phillies were planning to replace Burrell with Golson, but that doesn't mean I thought it was a good idea. Greg Golson=Marlon Byrd

Clout - I can see BAP on Baseball Cube and several other sites scribbling like a mad man.

baxter: Don't bring Marlon down like that. He actually gets a few hits at the ML level. They both stink though.

"Greg Golson=Marlon Byrd"

And Marlon Byrd is insulted. Byrd at least had a good year at Reading. :)

Greg Golson has a chance to be Marlon Byrd is more accurate.

Feliz' injury is being looked at as kind of a postscript to the news on Utley.I hope he comes back OK from his back procedure.
He is not a fan favorite like Chase but looks a lot better at third than Abe or Wes did before him.Dobbs is a great man to have as a PH or role player but not for your every day 3B.

baxter: "Greg Golson=Marlon Byrd"

Byrd went through a stretch with the Rangers this summer where he tore the cover off the ball for the Rangers. If Golson ever does that, the Phils may have made a bad deal. But I doubt it.

"But I find it incredibly hard to believe that a 28-year old player suddenly lost the ability to hit."

Two words: Ben Grieve.

Guys - pulled the below from the TX Rangers Blog - obviously a much different take on the trade than from our vantage point.

Breaking down the Mayberry-Golson trade
5:33 AM Fri, Nov 21, 2008 | Permalink | Yahoo! Buzz
Mike Hindman E-mail News tips
Last fall, the Phillies assigned their 2004 first rounder Greg Golson to the Arizona Fall League as he was coming off of a decent year at Advanced-A Clearwater followed by a horrible month and a half at Double-A Reading, where he drew just two walks and fanned 49 times in 153 at-bats.

A scout told Baseball America's Chris Kline the following about the toolsy but still raw center fielder:

"[Golson is] an 80 arm with 80 speed . . . those guys with those kind of tools . . . if he figures it out . . . wow. He could be a late bloomer. This is one of those guys that you don't ever want to give up on despite what the numbers say. You fall in love with him. It's hard not to. And this is a smart kid who just turned 22. If he leaves his brain in the clubhouse and just goes out there and reacts, he's one of the best prospects in the game. I know that can be a pretty big if with some guys, but you can't just throw this guy away."

For those of you unfamiliar with scouting parlance, an "80 arm with 80 speed" means that Golson's arm and speed are beyond exceptional. An 80 grade on any tool is the highest possible grade a scout can give a player. He's also credited with having "above-average power" and has demonstrated it in games. That's the good news. The guy has something to work with and at 23 he's still growing as a baseball player.

Now for the considerably bad news: I don't make a lot out of strikeouts, in and of themselves. There are a lot of excellent, productive hitters who strike out a lot. But a guy with a Double-A BB/K ratio of .26 and a BB/PA ratio of .072 -- in what was a good year for him -- is troubling.

Golson's walk ratios are similar to those posted by the following young, toolsy rookie MLB outfielders in 2008:

* Carlos Gomez (.18 / .021 for the Twins in 2008 & .31 / .054 in the minors);

* Delmon Young (.33 / .056 for the Twins in 2008 & .34 / .063 in the minors);

* Adam Jones (.21 / .045 for the Orioles in 2008 & .35 / .072 in the minors).

What's significant about that group? First of all, Golson's scouting reports are somewhat similar to those players. Toolsy outfielders with a speed / power combination and a lot of upside.

And then there's this that those guys have in common: Gomez was a key part of a trade in which the Mets landed Johan Santana. Young was traded for Matt Garza. Jones was traded by Seattle for Eric Bedard. Having an extra, toolsy outfielder with plus defensive skills and a little pop in his bat can come in handy for a GM looking to trade for pitching.

With Jacoby Ellsbury and Matt Garza still on the board when the Rangers turn came around in the first round of the 2005 draft, Mayberry was a pretty bad pick to begin with. A supposedly sophisticated college hitter who needed his swing rebuilt. Texas had been burned by a college hitter, Drew Meyer, who needed his swing "rebuilt" just three years earlier. Why they went down that same road again was a mystery to me.

Progress in the rebuilding of Mayberry's swing -- to the extent there has been any -- has been halting at best. I told someone earlier this year that the only good things I could say about Mayberry were that he had a good arm and could run into a fastball every now and again. His effort in right field (how do I say this?) often left a lot to be desired.

One of the things that comes up again and again in scouting assessments that attempt to explain Golson's struggles at the plate is that he "thinks too much," "tries too hard" and "presses." I don't find any criticism of his attitude or effort. Generally, Golson gets great marks for his makeup.

Finally, all things being roughly equal, you take the guy who can provide plus defense up the middle -- catcher, second base, shortstop, center field -- over a corner every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Perhaps someone in Philly will finally figure out how to fix Mayberry's bat and get him to be a little more enthusiastic about baseball than he seemed to be when I saw him play and if so, he certainly has the power to become a solid run producer in the major leagues. But all in all, I think that the Rangers came out ahead in this deal as it stands right now. If Golson improves his strike zone judgment at all -- and it seems that he started to do so this year --then he is clearly the more valuable player.

JMARR: Where were those four guys (Gomez, Young, Jones and Golson) playing when they were age 20? How do they compare at that age?

(i.e. Golson, playing against his own age competition was a strikeout king; the other three, playing older guys, struck out a lot, but also did quite well in other ways.)

No one in their right mind would ever have offered any of the other three for Golson.

Andy: Good post. You beat me to it. The Rangers dude that wrote that post was smoking Texas Red.

That Texas blogger doesn't know Golson, but he does know Mayberry, and his comments about him are troublesome.

Wow, a right handed batter with a bit of pop who strikes out too much and doesn't get on base enough? This is like getting Pedro Feliz only without the gold-glove defense.

Of course, however, Feliz turned out to be at least somewhat useful last year. I agree with other commenters that Golson probably wasn't going to develop and if I had my choice I'd take Mayberry over him. I suppose Golson could become a star, but an established team like the Phils doesn't need risky youngsters, they need players who are more likely to produce now, even if that player doesn't have the upside of a Golson.

Andy - you do realize I was just posting a bloggers comments not mine?

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EST. 2005

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