The Philadelphia Phillies continued dealing players on Tuesday afternoon by sending two-time All Star outfielder Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for outfielder Nate Schierholtz, minor league catcher/first baseman Tommy Joseph, and minor league righthanded pitcher Seth Rosin. The Phillies will also send some cash to the Giants as part of the deal.
Trading Places: Phillies Trade Hunter Pence To Giants
Tuesday July 31st, 2012
The 29 year-old Pence was the second Phillies outfielder to be traded on Tuesday, following the club's decision to send Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Pence is a .290 career hitter and has averaged 23 home runs per year since his rookie season back in 2007. He began his career with the Houston Astros before getting dealt to the Phillies shortly before last year's July trading deadline, and for Philly this year he has hit for a .271/.336/.447 triple-slash (average/on-base/slugging) line with 17 home runs and 59 RBI. He'll join Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan to give the Giants a pretty formidable group of outfield hitters for the remainder of the 2012 season.
In exchange for Pence, the Phillies received major league outfielder Nate Schierholtz and a pair of minor league prospects. Schierholtz is a 28 year-old lefthanded hitter who has played exclusively in right field in 2012 and has hit .257 with a .327 on-base mark and 5 home runs in 175 at-bats for the Giants this year. The reserve had something of a breakout year in 2011 when he hit .278 with 9 homers in a career-high 335 at-bats, but he seems destined to be a fourth outfielder who only bats against righties in the big leagues. With the departure of two starting outfielders, it's possible that the Phillies will give Schierholtz a lot of playing time between now and October, though they're also expected to recall outfield prospect Domonic Brown from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
The Phillies also received 21 year-old catcher and first baseman prospect Tommy Joseph, who entered 2012 as the Giants second-best prospect, according to Baseball America. With young incumbent Buster Posey already entrenched as the Giants' starting catcher and several other good catching prospects in their system, Joseph had a difficult path to a job as a big league backstop, but that journey will be clearer in Philadelphia. Originally drafted as a first baseman in the second round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft, Joseph has split time between first base and catcher as a minor leaguer but has shown solid defensive proficiency behind the plate and could have serious big league potential there. As a hitter, Joseph smacked 22 home runs with a .270/.317/.471 triple-slash for High-A San Jose last season, but this year he has regressed some with a .260/.313/.391 line and 8 home runs in 80 games for Double-A Richmond. Still, he remains a high-upside prospect and could be an impact player down the road.
Along with Joseph, the Phillies also received minor league righthanded pitcher Seth Rosin. Rosin was a fourth round pick by the Giants in the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft and has split time both starting and relieving in the low minors. This season, he's worked 34 games (56 1/3 innings) for High-A San Jose and posted a 4.31 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP with 68 strikeouts and 18 walks. A 3.47 strikeout-to-walk (K/BB) rate in his minor league career hints at some definite upside, but the 23 year-old still needs to work in the high minors before his big league potential is more apparent.
From a fantasy standpoint, the move to pitcher-friendly AT&T Park in San Francisco may cause some dip in Hunter Pence's offensive output, but joining a contending club with an improving offense may minimize those effects somewhat. Nate Schierholtz could prove himself with some more regular playing time with the Phillies, but he has had enough big league service time for fantasy owners to know that he's little more than a fringe player with fill-in value. The other pieces in this trade will need more minor league time before they show any fantasy impact.
Overall, the Phillies got a pretty fair return of three players in exchange for their starting rightfielder Pence, though Joseph's development as a hitter will be the determinant in whether or not this was a good trade for the club.
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