Reflecting on the Departed, Part 2

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, September 06, 2011 08:01 AM | Comments: 16
Blueclaws, Minor Leagues, Posts, Prospecting, Threshers, Trades

Recently, we reviewed the prospects that the Phillies dealt to acquire Roy Halladay.  As a sequel to that piece, this week we’ll take a glance at the minor leaguers that Philadelphia sent to Houston in exchange for Roy Oswalt.

Much like the deal for Halladay, the second of the team’s pair of Roys, Mr. Oswalt, cost the Phillies a three-piece of young talent.

At the time of the July, 2010 deal, Houston was reported to be in the market for a Major League ready contributor to fill Oswalt’s void on the roster. The Phillies obliged and sent 2009′s Sporting News Rookie of the Year, J.A. Happ, over to the National League Central’s current cellar dwellers.

After joining the Astros last season, the left-handed Happ did a respectable job, going 5-4 with a 3.75 ERA in 13 starts. This season, however, was considerably different. After posting a 7.66 ERA in 10 combined June/July starts, Happ was sent down to Triple A Oklahoma City, where he sported a 1.50 ERA through 3 starts and earned a return to the big leagues. Happ may have gotten himself back on track, as he has held opponents to a .226 average in 3 starts with the Astros since the stint in the minors, which is a massive change compared to his .326 batting average against in his previous 10 outings for the Astros.

The top prospect sent to Houston was speedy outfielder Anthony Gose, who was flipped in another deal almost immediately, coincidentally for the same player that Michael Taylor from the Halladay trade was swapped for. The Astros traded for Brett Wallace, allowing Gose, an offensive hero for the 2009 SAL title winning Phillies Class A Lakewood team, to rejoin his championship BlueClaws pal Travis d’Arnaud, who was also a piece in this previous year’s Halladay trade.

Gose, the Phillies’ 2nd round draft pick from 2008, and d’Arnaud lived approximately 10 minutes from one another in California and knew each other prior to turning pro.  The twosome is now together with New Hampshire, where they have led the team to the Eastern League’s Eastern division title.  The Fisher Cats will face the Phillies’ Double A affiliate, Reading, in the opening round of the EL playoffs beginning on Wednesday.

After leading the galaxy in stolen bases with Lakewood two years ago, when he swiped 76 bags, Gose had a down year in 2010, with just 45 successful steals while being caught 32 times. Gose, stated in an exclusive interview earlier this season that he began to think too highly of his own abilities and felt he could take any base at any time, after his superior showing in 2009. Gose was humbled and took the drop in base path production as a push to learn more about reading pitchers and picking his spots.

This year, the 21-year-old Gose is back on top, leading the Eastern League in steals with 70, having been caught just 15 times. With excellent range and instincts in the field, Gose’s feet aren’t his only weapons, as he mashed 16 homeruns with a .253/.349/.415 line through 137 regular season games.

Gose credits New Hampshire hitting coach Justin Mashore with helping him develop his ability to drive the ball, which resulted in a homer total that more than doubled his previous season high (7 in 2010).

Unfortunately for Houston, they traded the man who seems to be developing into the best ballplayer of the individuals the Phillies sent their way.  The 25-year-old Wallace hasn’t been a good return for the Astros, bobbing back and forth between the Majors and minors this year and posting just a .679 OPS through his first 155 games with Houston.

Shortstop Jonathan Villar was the third player included in the Oswalt deal. The switch-hitting Dominican Republic native was signed by the Phillies in 2008 at the age of 17. After two years in the Phillies system in which he batted a combined .268 with 44 steals in 104 games, Villar’s strong defense began to get him noticed. By 2010, he helped Lakewood clinch their first half division title, batting .272 with 38 steals in 100 games.

Since the deal took place, Villar, who is now 20-years-old, has continued to shine on defense and steal bases, but hasn’t looked exceptional at the plate. As a member of the Class A Lancaster Jethawks last year, Villar batted .225 in 32 games.

This season, after 47 games with Lancaster, the Astros promoted Villar to Double A Corpus Christi, where he has seen his average drop quite a bit (.259 with Lancaster in 2010, .231 with CC). On a more positive note, Villar’s OPS at the Double A level this year, .687, is quite close to the .690 mark that earned him an All-star nod two levels lower with Lakewood a year ago.

Much like Happ, Oswalt hasn’t been able to match the type of production he brought to his new club in the second half of last season (7-1 record, 1.74 ERA in 13 games with Phillies in 2010/7-8 record, 3.80 ERA in 18 games this year).  The Phils’ right-hander has spent time on the shelf with back problems this season, however.

The offensive players involved in this trade had positive 2011 campaigns, with Villar continuing to be a steady producer, as he has moved up the developmental ladder, and with Gose taking strides both literally and figuratively.

Overall, if the Phillies elect to not pick up their 2012 option on Oswalt and part ways with the veteran, and if Happ can’t consistently produce solid numbers going forward, the Blue Jays could become the biggest winner of the Phillies’ and Astros’ 2010 deadline blockbuster, despite what Villar does, as Gose seems to be on the verge of making a considerable splash in the big leagues in the near future.


Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.

Avatar of Jay Floyd

About Jay Floyd

Jay Floyd has written 681 articles on Phillies Nation.

Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation's minor league insider. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.

  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    Very interesting update about our former players and prospects. I wish them all well and success to all.

  • Posts: 0 Frank Riccard

    I think we’re going to be really drooling a year from now when we read about how the guys we sent out for Pence are doing, particularly Singleton. Not to say I don’t love Pence, or am unhappy w/ the deal, I just think the Astros finally got a really solid return for once.

    Side note: in all likelihood, the Phils will decline Roy O’s option for next year, pay him the buyout, and let him walk. Let’s say for instance though, that he decides not to retire. At what price and for how many years would it be reasonable to bring him back?

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    You never know they just might bring him back if he ask for crazy money then no way. Not with his achy back an other injuries. I wonder how he will do in a bullpen role. Eh i doubt that will happen just thinking. Every first baseman the Phils have/draft will be block for the next 5 years by Howard. It is time for them to start developing Chase, Polly ,Ruiz an Rollins replacements however.

    • Posts: 0 Frank Riccard

      Well, the Phils drafted Larry Greene this year, who, by my understanding projects to be a power hitting 1B, although his background is as an OF’er.

      Rollins’ replacement, Freddy Galvis is coming along, and we may even see him as early as next year sometime, especially if Rollins doesn’t come back.

      I’m pretty sure we’re relying on Chase to live forever.

      Erik Kratz is starting to get a little old (31), but should Chooch or Schneider go down w/ an injury again, I think he finally gets the call over Dane Sardinha, and maybe gets a chance to step up.

      I heard somewhere that John Mayberry Jr. has played and can play 3B. If he keeps hitting the way he has, and Dom Brown comes along at LF, it would be essential to find a more regular spot for him. JMJ being able to fill that role would just be so damn convenient.

      • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

        Sebastian Valle is the catcher of the future… gonna be a good one.

        Greene projects well – love the kid.

        Not sure who replaces Chase… thought Harold Garcia would be that guy but he tore his ACL in April and had to sit out this season so that’s a position that we’ll need to figure out.

  • Posts: 549 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    Hey, as the saying goes, you win some, you lose some in regards to prospects. I’m fine with GM Amaro’s deals that would greatly help the Phillies’ goal for a Championship THIS year. And that should matter most to the team AND the fans. Besides, unproven prospects are always a risky proposition in trades. History dictates that most will not fulfill those rosy predictions of success. And keep in mind, the Phillies’ farm system still have an adequate number of promising prospects especially in the lower levels of the minor leagues.

  • Posts: 0 Steve

    I think the bigger point that should be made here is that the phillies farm system even without those guys is still playing into the playoffs and that the guys we farmed through our system are great now not because we thought theyd be amazing and didnt trade them but mainly because our system has great coaches that groom talent.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    The Yankees trade prospects every year.
    When yuo have the second highest pay roll in the game. You need to try to win every year. So prospects become like chips in a poker game. They have no value till you cash them in.
    So you cash them in. The Phillies seem to do a great job with the scouting and player development. And that really helps alot. I still think they should have traded Brown when he had his highest value.

    When will tonight be canceled? Soon I would think.

    • Posts: 3014 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Yeah. Radar does not look good.

  • Posts: 0 Ryan H.

    nobody around here wants to give any credit to Roy Oswalt. this guy is an absolute beast on the mound and will show it in october

    • Posts: 3014 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      “Beast” ??? That term is reserved for Halladay, Lee and Hamels this season. Time’s running out for Little Roy to show that side of him.

  • Posts: 0 les H.

    is tonights game cancelled?? its really raining!

  • Posts: 0 Jill


  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Oswalt was great last year. This year hasnt done much.

    Your 4th starter gets 1 or 2 starts in the post season.

    You have built in off days and then the rain and snow outs. A 4th starter is pretty well not important and Worley could surely fit the role. You dont need 4 aces ever. And Oswalt isnt the 4th ace anymore Worley is.

    I guess they will not cancel the game so that people will come ou to ashburn alley etc etc.
    So will wait till the last moment and then cancel after making a few bucks.
    Considering how well the fans support this team by coming out. They shuold look out for them a little better. Now if they get the game in tonight I am out of line. But it doesnt look promising.


  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    2007 0 starts out of 3 games
    2008 3 starts out of 14 games
    2009 2 starts out of 15 ganes
    2010 1 start out of 9 games
    so in four years including 2 world series appeaances and a title you have 6 starts.

    6 out of 41 games.

    Does it matter if Moyer or Blanton or Worley or Oswalt started those games?
    Hard for me to get worked up about 6 of 41 games.
    Do they matter? Sure. Its a debate Worley or Oswalt this year. But its the least of the issues. And Oswalt or KK or Worley and I am OK with them 2 times this post season.

  • Posts: 317 Jay Floyd

    Avatar of Jay Floyd

    Good stuff from Andrew there.

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