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Chase Utley is Gone: We Got Players Back?

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Clear the tears from your eyes and rage from your fists for a few minutes.

Darnell Sweeney will be walking out of a new dugout tonight, with new teammates.
Darnell Sweeney will be walking out of a new dugout tonight, with new teammates.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Utley is gone. It's a depressing thing to write and I'm not sure I've actually come to grips with it myself yet. Utley is my favorite Phillie of all-time. As a 30 year old, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise. I was still fairly young during the 1993 season and the organization's run of success from 2007 to 2011 was and probably will be my defining era of Phillie fandom. It was a special time for the city and organization. Utley was important to that success and no player obtained will ever be able to replace his value, presence and meaning to the city and myself.

Regardless of your thoughts of the seemingly endless unknowing context of the trade itself (at least yet), there were two players obtained from the Dodgers in return for the greatest Phillie in the last 25 years.

Darnell Sweeney, 2B/CF
24 years old (4 minor league seasons)
2015 - 472 AB, .271/.332/.409, 9 HR, 49 RBI, 32 SB (Oklahoma City Dodgers, AAA PCL)
Organizational Prospect Rankings - #8 BP (1/8/15), #12 FG (3/5/15), #9 Sickels (3/9/15), #14 TBLA (3/5/15), #13 MLB Pipeline

Darnell Sweeney was a 2012 13th Round pick out of UCFL. He has an average glove at 2B/CF and can play in LF and 3B. Any experiments with him at SS would not end well. He is a switch-hiter who broke out at the plate in AA Chattanooga, batting .288/.387/.463 in 490 at bats. That of course saw him getting nearly 80% of those at-bats from the left-side of the plate. He has been splitting his at-bats more evenly this season (309 LHB vs. 163 RHB) with almost even production across the board. He has decent speed, which definitely makes him even more valuable if he can get on-base. He saw his BB% decrease from 13.1 to 8.9 transitioning from AA to AAA, all while seeing an increase in strikeouts (20% to 24.5%). Most major outlets are projecting a decent utility player capable of playing 2B/CF, but likely won't see a higher ceiling unless he establishes that patience he displayed in AA. The fans will get their look at him almost immediately, as he has been added to the 25 man roster to replace Chase Utley. 

John Richy, SP
23 years old (2 minor league seasons)
2015 - 124.1 IP, 10-5 W/L, 4.20 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 143 H, 58 ER, 11 HR, 34 BB, 105 K, 4 HBP, 1 WP (Rancho Cucamonga, A+ CALL)
Organizational Prospect Rankings - #20 Sickels (3/9/15), #29 MLB Pipeline

John Richy is a 2014 3rd round pick out of UNLV. He is 6'4 righty and according to John Sickels, has a mix of 3 pitches. MLB Pipeline has him throwing around 86-94 on his fastball with good movement and a feel for his secondary pitches. He has been very hit-able this season and has issued far too many walks. His upside at this point is a back of the rotation starter #4/5. It isn't out of the question with the amount of pitching the farm has, that the Phillies don't look at him in a reliever role to see if any of his pitches ticks up.


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That's it folks. Try and keep it about the prospects obtained and the minor league farm system overall. Full Disclaimer: I would have kept Utley and you can see my full rantings via my twitter feed (which also contain cute pictures of my dog and cat!).