Philadelphia, REJOICE! Ruben Amaro, the magician, the legend, the greatest GM of all time, has done it again. Ed Wade , quite possibly the least intelligent man to ever be associated with Major League Baseball (that includes Chris Wheeler and Nyjer Morgan ) agreed to a trade that sent All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence, along with cash, to Philadelphia for prospects Jarred Cosart, Jon Singleton and Josh Zeid, along with a player to be named later. This deal kept Philadelphia prospects Dominic Brown and the Vanimal (Vance Worley) in Philly, and when closely examined, this deal looks better and better.
Singleton, a 19 year old playing for Class-A Clearwater, is hitting .284 with 47 RBIs in 310 ABs. He is ranked as the 30th best prospect by MLB.com coming into 2011 and 24th by Keith Law of ESPN.com as of July 14th. Although he is a huge prospect, it is highly unlikely that he has any place in the Phillies organization moving forward, with Ryan Howard signed through 2017 and other young prospects like 25 year old Matt Rizzottti (.297/.392/.518 in 313 ABs with Reading) and 18 year old Maikel Franco of Williamsport, who is hitting .267 in 86 ABs and seems to have much potential.
Cosart, like Singleton, is a highly touted prospect, ranked 17th by Keith Law as of July 17th and coming off a win in the Futures game after pitching a scoreless 8th inning (2 strikeouts). Praised as the 21 year old is, his stats in Clearwater tell a different story. He is 8-8 with a 4.19 ERA in 19 games (18 starts). His 75 strikeouts and .244 BAA in 101 innings are good numbers, but his ERA might indicate that he may not live up to such high expectations. Keeping Cosart, like Singleton, is unnecessary because of the huge amount of talent already at his position. With Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Worley (and to some extent Kendrick) already proven as solid starters at the highest level, there is no need for another starter, at least not for another five years or so. Fellow Clearwater pitcher Julio Rodriguez, 20, is also extremely impressive, going 13-6 with a 3.03 ERA in 20 starts. This all adds up to a lack of necessity for a guy like Cosart, all the more reason why his move to Houston is good for everybody.
The third player in this amazing deal is Josh Zeid, a pitcher for double-a Reading. He is nothing special, a 24 year old who did well in both Williamsport and Lakewood in 2009/10 (both seasons he had eight wins and an ERA around 2.93), but struggled this year for the R-Phillies, going 2-3 with a 5.65 ERA. Bottom line, he isn’t worth much.
And now, a focus on the new outfield gem of Philadelphia, Hunter Pence . His addition means that Raul Ibanez is gone after this year, and that Pence will most likely take Left Field next season. His .309 average and 62 RBIs will fit great in the five-hole. He will be a Phillie for at least the next three years, and if Ruben is smart (oh, we all know he is) Pence will be in town for a long, long time.