While Phillie-land obsesses over Chase Utley's surgery, the Phils and Texas Rangers exchanged former first-round picks today. Scott Lauber reports:
Ordinarily, I'd do a separate entry about this, but I don't want to distract from the Utley conversation. So, here goes: In a swap of former first-round picks, the Phillies have dealt outfield prospect Greg Golson to the Rangers for outfield prospect John Mayberry. Mayberry, 24, split the 2008 season between double-A Frisco and triple-A Oklahoma and hit a combined .264 with 38 doubles, 20 home runs, 71 RBIs and 10 steals in 135 games. Golson, 23, batted .282 with 13 home runs, 60 RBIs and 23 steals at double-A Reading. According to Amaro, the Phillies preferred Mayberry's power to Golson's speed.
Very interesting first trade for GM Ruben Amaro Jr. Golson always represented something of a lottery ticket, in that his prodigious physical gifts might or might not one day translate to on-field production. The Texas native did make some progress as he climbed the minor-league ladder, doing some of his best work at Reading this season before a September call-up to the Phils, but his pitch recognition never really improved, his walk rate remained lousy, and he looked painfully overmatched in his few big-league at-bats.
I don't know much about Mayberry, other than that he's the son of a former big-leaguer. Here are his minor-league stats. One possibility is that he'll be the righty half of the left-field platoon that replaces Pat Burrell; in 2008 between AA and AAA, he put up a fairly rockin' .357/.398/.696 line in 115 at-bats against left-handed pitchers.