Tag Archives: J.A. Happ

Original Draft Series: #11 – Philadelphia Phillies


For those that missed the guidelines I am using for this series of posts, you can find them here.

Team #12: Philadelphia Phillies

General Managers(since 1994)

Lee Thomas (1994-1997): 258-325
Ed Wade (1998-2005): 643-652
Pat Gillick (2006-2008): 266-220
Ruben Amaro Jr (2009-Current): 93-69

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Last
1 2 3 3 4 5 1 3

All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Carlos Ruiz Int’l FA – 1998 12 440 gm, .256/.347/.390, 27 HR, 165 RBI, 10 SB Currently with Org.
1B Ryan Howard 2001 – 5th Rd 9 2005 NL ROY, 2006 NL MVP, 3 All-Star Appearances, 1 Silver Slugger
836 gm, .281/.373/.578, 245 HR, 721 RBI
Currently with Org.
2B

2000 – 1st Rd (15) 10 5 All Star Appearances, 4 Silver Sluggers
963 gm, .294/.380/.518, 172 HR, 622 RBI, 88 SB
Currently with Org.
3B Scott Rolen 1993 – 2nd Rd 9 1997 NL ROY, 1 All Star Appearance, 3 Gold Gloves
844 gm, .282/.373/.504, 150 HR, 559 RBI, 71 SB
Traded to STL – 7/29/02
SS Jimmy Rollins 1996 – 2nd Rd 14 2007 NL MVP, 3 All Star Appearances, 3 Gold Gloves, 1 Silver Slugger
1456 gm, .273/.329/.437, 150 HR, 646 RBI, 335 SB
Currently with Org.
LF Pat Burrell 1998 – 1st Rd (1) 10 1306 gm, .257/.367/.485, 251 HR, 827 RBI Left via Free Agency – 11/6/08
CF Michael Bourn 2003 – 4th Rd 4 122 gm, .268/.340/.362, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 19 SB Traded to HOU – 11/7/07
RF Marlon Byrd
1999 – 10th Rd 6 256 gm, .271/.332/.377, 13 HR, 79 RBI, 13 SB Traded to WAS – 5/14/05
DH Domonic Brown 2006 – 20th Rd 4 7 gm, .259/.241/.296, 6 RBI, 1 SB Currently with Org.
SP Cole Hamels 2002 – 1st Rd (17) 8 1 All Star Appearance
55-41, 3.65 ERA, 824 K, 233 BB, 875.2 IP
Currently with Org.
SP Randy Wolf
1997 – 2nd Rd 9 1 All Star Appearance
69-60, 4.21 ERA, 971 K, 437 BB, 1175 IP
Left via Free Agency – 11/1/06
SP J.A. Happ 2004 – 3rd Rd 6 14-5, 3.11 ERA, 159 K, 84 BB, 217 IP Traded to HOU – 7/29/10
SP Brett Myers
1999 – 1st Rd (12) 10 73-63, 4.40 ERA, 21 SV, 986 K, 413 BB, 1183.2 IP Left via Free Agency – 11/6/09
SP Gavin Floyd 2001 – 1st Rd (4) 5 7-5, 6.96 ERA, 75 K, 64 BB, 108.2 IP Traded to CHW – 12/6/06
RP Robinson Tejeda Int’l FA – 1998 7 4-3, 3.57 ERA, 72 K, 51 BB, 85.2 IP Traded to TEX – 4/1/06
RP Alfredo Simon Int’l FA – 1999 5 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to SF – 7/30/04
RP Kyle Kendrick 2003 – 7th Rd 7 31-18, 4.58 ERA, 196 K, 125 BB, 430.2 IP Currently with Org.
RP Ryan Madson 1998 – 9th Rd 12 41-27, 3.86 ERA, 19 SV, 449 K, 167 BB, 539 IP Currently with Org.
RP Taylor Buchholz 2000 – 6th Rd 3 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to HOU – 11/3/03
CL Brad Ziegler 2003 – 20th Rd 1 No Major League Appearances with Org. Released – 3/28/04
BN Carlos Silva
Int’l FA – 1996 7 8-1, 3.83 ERA, 89 K, 59 BB, 171.1 IP Traded to MIN- 12/3/03
BN Jason Donald 2006 – 3rd Rd 3 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to CLE – 7/29/09
BN Lou Marson 2004 – 4th Rd 5 8 gm, .286/.375/.476, 1 HR, 2 RBI Traded to CLE – 7/29/09
BN Nick Punto 1998 – 21st Rd 5 77 gm, .223/.273/.272, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 SB Traded to Min – 12/3/03
BN Jason Michaels 1998 – 4th Rd 7 383 gm, .291/.380/.442, 21 HR, 100 RBI, 6 SB Traded to CLE – 1/27/06

June Amateur Draft

Well, they’ve done very well in the first few rounds of the draft. Clearly, adding players like Pat Burrell, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, and Brett Myers in the first round is going to help. But the team has done well in the next 3 rounds as well, getting Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Scott Rolen, and Randy Wolf. This is one of the first teams that I can remember where I was able to put a solid major league regular into nearly every spot in the lineup and into the starting rotation, and it’s almost entirely from the draft. But they’ve also done well in later rounds, with Domonic Brown being the highest potential of anyone they’ve drafted after the 10th round so far. Even the players that they drafted that have not done a whole lot (Jason Donald, Lou Marson) were both used to acquire Cliff Lee in 2009.

International Free Agency

They have not been as active in international free agency as some teams, but with the success they’ve had in the draft, it’s not as glaring as a problem. The team has only had two success stories from the IFA markets in Carlos Silva and Carlos Ruiz. While it’s not a lot, there’s a lot of hope for Ruiz yet.

Overall Grade

B+. With 2 home grown MVPs, and quite a few players who would be welcome on any team in Chase Utley, Scott Rolen, and Cole Hamels, the team has done extremely well at not only scouting these players, but developing them and getting production for their own team out of them as well. The only weakness is the bullpen, but I’ve kind of come to the conclusion that the bullpen is something that any team can fill in with a little diligence. The fact that they have solid regulars at every lineup position, and 5 excellent starting pitchers leads me to give them this good grade.

Trade Review – Roy Oswalt to the Phillies


The saga has finally wound itself up, with SP Roy Oswalt accepting a trade on Thursday afternoon and waiving his no-trade clause. I am including the trade made between the Astros and Blue Jays in this writeup because I think it speaks to the true value of the trade.

Philadelphia Phillies acquired SP Roy Oswalt (and $11 M cash)
Houston Astros acquired SP J.A. Happ and minor leaguers OF Anthony Gose and SS Jonathan Villar

Houston Astros acquired 1B Brett Wallace
Toronto Blue Jays acquired OF Anthony Gose

The Phillies

Clearly, the Phillies get another ace to put up at the top half of their rotation, and with Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt making up their top 3 starters, they look very strong if they make it into the playoffs. This wasn’t exactly what everyone had imagined as the pair of aces if the Phillies were to acquire Halladay last offseason, but it is still very formidable. By getting the $11 M, they have essentially been paid the cost of Oswalt for 2011 (he is owed $23 M through next season), and make the idea of giving up good players a lot more bearable. For them, Happ, Gose and Villar are the price it takes to make another run at a World Championship. The Phillies also did very well here in my opinion in that they were able to hold onto some of their higher end prospects like Jarred Cosart, Trevor May, and Jonathan Singleton.

The Astros

The Astros had pretty much been put in no-man’s land, and did surprisingly well here considering that fact. Happ is going to be at worst a #3 starter in the Majors in my opinion, and has shown some success previously. Minor leaguer Jonathan Villar is a very raw shortstop prospect, who looks like a speed guy to this point. He has 38 steals so far this year in 100 games in Single-A. The plate discipline concerns me quite a bit: 26 walks to 103 strikeouts in those same 100 games, but he’s still a very young prospect (only 19 at the time of the trade), and there’s a lot of upside there.

By acquiring Brett Wallace from the Blue Jays, they got a player who is a lot more major league ready than Gose, and can slot in as the replacement for Lance Berkman following the season. Berkman is on a team option for 2011, which will almost certainly be bought out instead of exercised ($2 M buyout versus $15 M salary). I find it extremely telling that the kid has now been traded 3 times in the past calendar year, as he was a part of the Matt Holliday trade and also the Roy Halladay trade group as well. Wallace has hit very well in the PCL this season, posting a .301/.359/.509 line with 18 HR and 61 runs batted in.

The Blue Jays

Anthony Gose, just 19 years old, trends to be a definite speedster out there as well. He stole 76 bases last season in a full season and has 36 so far this season as well. Another player who could struggle with poor plate discipline (32 walks vs. 103 strikeouts), but still has hit .263/.325/.385 at High-A Clearwater. I like this move for the Blue Jays, as it appears that they will be unable to move free agent to be Lyle Overbay, and were able to make a move of Wallace to get a player who has a high ceiling but who is also unlikely to arrive for another couple of seasons.

Overall, this trade was made with the hope that another pennant will be had by the Phillies, and I was actually surprised at how close the Phillies have gotten to the Braves in the last week. The Astros, considering all the limitations and cash issues that were surrounding moving Oswalt, did pretty well to get the players that they did. The one thing that really does concern me quite a bit about the Phillies is that they have already committed $143 million to a total of 17 players who are under contract for 2011. It seems to me like they could either end up spending similar amounts to the Yankees or have to find some serious bargains to help fill the roster. The biggest bonus for the Astros appears to be only having to pay the $11 million of the $23 million owed to Oswalt.

WINNER: Phillies

Team Preview – Philadelphia Phillies


Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C Carlos Ruiz SP 1 Roy Halladay
1B Ryan Howard SP 2 Cole Hamels
2B Chase Utley SP 3 Joe Blanton
3B Placido Polanco SP 4 J.A. Happ
SS Jimmy Rollins SP 5 Jamie Moyer
LF Raul Ibanez Bullpen
CF Shane Victorino CL Brad Lidge
RF Jayson Werth RP Ryan Madson
Bench RP J.C. Romero
OF Greg Dobbs RP Danys Baez
C Brian Schneider RP Chad Durbin

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
SP Roy Halladay Trade (TOR) SP Cliff Lee Trade (SEA)
3B Placido Polanco Free Agency 3B Pedro Feliz Free Agency
RP Danys Baez Free Agency SP Brett Myers Free Agency

Top Prospects: Domonic Brown (OF), Philippe Aumont (P), Juan Ramirez (P), Tyson Gillies (OF)

2009 Review

The Phillies finished 2008 as the World Champions, and were looking to repeat coming into 2009. They did well for the most part early on, and made a huge splash at the trade deadline. After failing to acquire Roy Halladay, they turned their interest to reigning AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee, acquiring him for a large package of prospects instead. They won the division pretty easily, and cruised through both the Rockies (3-1), and the Dodgers (4-1) to advance to the World Series. Lee pitched extremely well during the playoffs, although he wasn’t able to carry them past the Yankees, as they lost 4-2 in the Series.

The Phillies were led on offense by 2B Chase Utley (.282, 31 HR, 93 RBI, 23 SB), 1B Ryan Howard (.279, 45 HR, 141 RBI), and OF Jayson Werth (36 HR, 99 RBI, 20 SB). Considering they also had solid performances from OFs Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez, this was a team that scored a lot of runs. On the pitching side, mid-season acquisition Cliff Lee pitched well (7-4, 3.39), and rookie J.A. Happ was a very solid performer as well (12-4, 2.93 ERA). The bullpen was in flux for most of the season, as closer Brad Lidge was unable to perform even a little bit consistently (0-8, 7.21 ERA, 1.81 WHIP, 7 BSV), and had to rely sometimes on Ryan Madson to help with the duties.

Team Outlook for 2010

The Phillies made the biggest trade of the offseason, finally acquiring SP Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays, and in the same trade moving Cliff Lee to the Mariners for prospects. I’m not sure that Halladay is that much of an upgrade over Lee, at least not to warrant the cost of the prospects that they moved to the Blue Jays. But signing him to a 3 year extension should help with that as well. The offense remains extremely stacked, and I actually think it could be better with Polanco in the 2 spot of the lineup (if that’s where he ends up). He’s still probably a better overall hitter than Feliz was. The rotation will look for a bounceback effort from Cole Hamels, and should be happy with having J.A. Happ in the rotation for the full season this year. Overall, they are a team that almost has a feel of an American League team with the amount of offense and pitching they have.

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

Lots to like on the Phillies. 2B Chase Utley and 1B Ryan Howard lead the way, but SS Jimmy Rollins, OF Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, and Raul Ibanez are all fanatasy gold as well. From the pitching side, SP Roy Halladay is probably going to finish the season as a top-3 starter at worst, and Cole Hamels should return to form as well. Someone to keep an eye on for deeper leagues is Joe Blanton, who doesn’t necessarily have a lot of upside anymore, but should provide solid numbers and ratios.

Prediction for 2010

The Phillies are the class of the NL East yet again, and it would take a lot in my opinion for them to be unseated as the champs of the division. Look for them to use what few prospects they have left at this point if they need a specific piece down the stretch, but I think they’re going to coast to the division title.

96-66, 1st in the NL East

Fantasy Preview – Starting Pitchers Part 2


Last Sunday, I ranked my top 25 starting pitchers, and will finish up my rankings of the next 50 today. Not as many stats this time, but still some notes regarding the pitchers.

26. Cole Hamels (PHI) – I wrote about Hamels over at Fake Teams, and think that he’s going to rebound quite nicely this season. I think he can post around 200 strikeouts along with a 3.50 ERA and a sub 1.25 WHIP. I think that he also could be the victim of some sleeper hype as a result of the poor season last year.

27. Chad Billingsley (LAD) – Billingsley should recover nicely from the perceived poor season he had. His ERA should rebound, and his WHIP and strikeouts were both solid last year. Pitching half your starts at Dodgers Stadium will always help also.

28. Brett Anderson (OAK) – Anderson has been getting a lot of hype this offseason, and with reason. From July onward: 98 strikeouts, 1.11 WHIP, 3.02 ERA in 101 IP. While I think that he could see some downturn due to the jump in innings from last season, I think he could very well post those types of numbers for a full season.

29. Jered Weaver (LAA) – Weaver will be asked to lead the Angels pitching staff now, and should be able to fill that role pretty well. He has posted a strikeout rate over 7 per 9 in each of the last 2 seasons, and could approach 200 strikeouts again this season.

30. John Lackey (BOS) – Lackey goes to a new ballpark, with a new team. I’m not sure that either of those facts are particularly relevant to his ability to pitch effectively as a fantasy starter. He seems likely to post similar numbers whether he remained in Anaheim or not. He should post an ERA around 3.75 with a strikeout rate around 7.5 per 9 innings. If he gets to 200 innings I could see 160+ strikeouts potentially.

31. A.J. Burnett (NYY) – Burnett is going to strike out a lot of batters, as he’s been right around 200 in each of the last 3 seasons. However, his walk rate actually increased last season, getting up to 4.22 per 9 innings. He’s likely to get more win opportunities than a pitcher on another team due to the excellent Yankees lineup. However, I think he’s just as likely to post an ERA of 4.50 or higher as he is to post one under 4.00. Caveat emptor on this one.

32. Ryan Dempster (CHC) – Dempster posted a second straight solid season in the rotation, and posted another 200 inning season as well. To me, Dempster is a solid starting pitcher, and very consistent as well. He’s going to strikeout at least 160, and should post a WHIP around 1.30. Not the flashiest pitcher you could get, nor does he possess any particular upside, but you need pitchers like this too.

33. Randy Wolf (MIL) – Wolf appears to have been really helped by Dodger Stadium, but I’m not inclined to believe it was that much. His ERA was almost a half run lower than his FIP, but the rest of his numbers could be a solid value for your fantasy team. I can see him posting a 1.25 WHIP and a sub-4 ERA to go along with 160 strikeouts. A very solid #3 starter.

34. Jorge de la Rosa (COL) – The strikeouts are wonderful. He’s likely to strikeout more than a batter per inning. The walk rate, not so much. I think that he could conceivably improve on the walk rate, but the ERA and WHIP are probably going to suffer slightly even still. I had originally thought he could be a top-30 pitcher, but unless he can show that he can lower that walk rate, he’s going to remain lower in the rankings.

35. Scott Baker (MIN) – Baker had a better season than his ERA tells us. His ERA seems like it should come around, based on his sub 1.20 WHIPs in each of the last 2 seasons. Strikes out a little more than 7 per 9 innings, and there’s a lot to like here from Baker. I think this could be the year that he vaults into the top 20 of starting pitching.

36. James Shields (TAM) – I think Shields could see some improvement in his ERA from last season. He should strike out over 150 and post a solid WHIP in over 200 innings pitched. Probably the definition of a lower-risk, lower-upside pitcher. He’s not likely to strikeout 200 hitters, but if he can do repeat hist 2009 season, he will be a solid #2 or #3 starting pitcher.

37. Roy Oswalt (HOU) – Oswalt used to be considered a top-tier starting pitcher. He looks like he may have been a little bit unlucky last season, but his strikeout rate is down which concerns me. The fact that he pitches for the Astros and their anemic offense does nothing to make me feel better. I think that if he returns to 200 IP, he can strikeout about 150-170 or so, with a sub-4 ERA and a sub 1.30 WHIP

38. Scott Kazmir (LAA) – Kazmir should post a high strikeout rate, but his WHIP is still a concern. I think he’s probably going to be above 1.30 in that category, and could very well end up causing him to have an ERA above 4. There’s a lot of upside here, but I think this is about where I’d be willing to draft him.

39. Rich Harden (TEX) – There’s a lot of upside here. A LOT. He struck out almost 11 per 9 innings last year when he was healthy. But this “health” thing remains Harden’s issue. I don’t think that the move to Arlington will affect him particularly. Look for another season of 140 or so excellent innings, and anything else from him would be a bonus in my opinion.

40. Gavin Floyd (CHW) – Floyd only posted 11 wins last season, but I think he can improve on that this season.  Of some concern to me is the fact that his strikeout rate jumped last season by a full strikeout per 9 innings. He’s likely to provide a 1.25 WHIP, and I can see him adding 150 strikeouts and an ERA around 4.00 to that WHIP.

41. Edwin Jackson (ARI) – Pitcher moving from the AL to the NL: generally a good thing. Jackson really put together a great season last year, his first truly solid season from start to finish. I think that he should be helped a lot by being around Brandon Webb and Dan Haren, along with pitching in the pitcher friendly NL West.

42. Jair Jurrjens (ATL) – Jurrjens is a pitcher who appears to have posted a very lucky ERA (2.60), but even looking at his FIP for last season (3.68), he still posted a very solid season if that had been his ERA instead. He’s going to give you a lot of innings, and a solid strikeout number as well.

43. Clay Buchholz (BOS) – Buchholz will hopefully get a full season of starts this year, as he could conceivably post a sub-4 ERA with 175+ strikeouts and a solid WHIP as well. You’ll have to watch how this shakes out during the spring, but there’s a lot of upside with Clay.

44. Carlos Zambrano (CHC) – Big Z is a tease. He struck out 152 in 169 innings last season. And walked 78 in that same workload. Take the strikeouts knowing that he’s probably going to hurt your WHIP.  He should improve slightly on his WHIP from last year, but should still be around 1.30. There’s some upside here, but I probably won’t be the one that will be taking the chance.

45. Joe Blanton (PHI) – The numbers aren’t sexy. The fact that he gets them are also not. But he’s going to give you a lot of innings, and solid ratios and strikeouts for those innings. Another one of those solid starters that your team will need to back up some of your upside plays.

46. J.A. Happ (PHI) – There’s been a lot of talk that Happ was extremely lucky last season, and his strikeout and walk rates both point to that as well. I think that he can be a very solid starting pitcher though, and there’s some upside here to me. He should post a sub-4 ERA and a sub 1.30 WHIP, along with a solid if not amazing strikeout rate.

47. Max Scherzer (DET) – I think that Scherzer isn’t going to be affected too adversely by his move to the American League, as he was a dominant strikeout pitcher last season. That said, the missed time is of some concern, and the fact that the D’Backs were willing to give him up so easily also worries me. But there’s a lot of upside with him as well.

48. Tim Hudson (ATL) – Hudson came back at the end of last season, and had 7 solid starts. I think that if he can get to 200 innings pitched, he will strikeout 140 and post solid ratios as well. But there’s that injury risk still floating over Hudson, and that’s why he’s not likely to be higher on my rankings.

49. Ben Sheets (OAK) – Coming back from a lost season, Sheets is definitely high-risk. But the upside involved with Sheets is a top-10 starting pitcher. If he pitches well and the A’s fall out of the race, he will most likely be moved to a contending team as well.

50. Wade Davis (TAM) -  Davis struck out more than a batter per inning last year in his brief time with the Rays, and I am very interested to see how he will do in a full season at the Majors. The AL East is probably going to eat a lot of starters up and spit them out, but I think that Davis is one who will hold his own.

At this point, you’re looking for either high-upside or pitchers who are extremely consistent. I have a lot of these pitchers right around the same value as each other, so the specific rankings aren’t necessarily as important. At this point you should be taking a look at what your starters are currently providing, and draft accordingly. My next 25 starters:

51. Jonathan Sanchez (SF)
52. Ted Lilly (CHC)
53. John Danks (CHW)
54. Erik Bedard (SEA)
55. Colby Lewis (TEX)
56. Brian Matusz (BAL)
57. Randy Wells (CHC)
58. Mat Latos (SD)
59. Jeff Niemann (TAM)
60. David Price (TAM)
61. Ervin Santana (LAA)
62. Scott Feldman (TEX)
63. Mark Buehrle (CHW)
64. John Maine (NYM)
65. Bronson Arroyo (CIN)
66. Rick Porcello (DET)
67. Hiroki Kuroda (LAD)
68. Aaron Harang (CIN)
69. Kevin Slowey (MIN)
70. Derek Lowe (ATL)
71. Clayton Richard (SD)
72. Joba Chamberlain (NYY)
73. Daisuke Matsuzaka (BOS)
74. Ricky Romero (TOR)
75. Johnny Cueto (CIN)

Tomorrow’s post: Fantasy Relief Pitcher Rankings

NL Rookie of the Year Review


Chris Coghlan was announced as the winner of the National League Rookie of the Year award for 2009 yesterday.

In my predictions, I noted that I thought Andrew McCutchen would win, but that it wouldn’t surprise me if Coghlan won instead. The voting for this award was much more spread out than its AL counterpart:

Votes (first place)

Coghlan – 105 (17)
J.A. Happ – 94 (10)
Tommy Hanson – 37 (2)
Andrew McCutchen – 25 (2)
Casey McGehee – 18 (1)
Randy Wells – 3
Garrett Jones – 2
Everth Cabrera, Dexter Fowler, Gerardo Parra, Colby Rasmus – 1 each

Chris Coghlan
Coghlan joined the Marlins on May 8th, and from there just hit and hit and hit. In 128 games, he hit .321/.390/.460, with 9 homers, 8 steals, and 84 runs scored. This while also learning a new position (LF) that he had never played before. While there were definite growing pains associated with learning this new position, Coghlan’s bat more than made up for it. He should only get better as he matures.

J.A. Happ
Happ really made a huge impact this season, making the roster in the bullpen out of spring training, and when injuries hit transitioning into a starting role. He finished the year with a 12-4 record, a 2.93 era, 3 complete games (2 shutouts), and a 1.24 whip. I doubt highly that the Phillies would have made the postseason if not for the contributions of Happ. Apparently I had completely forgotten about him when making my predictions, because he would definitely have been ahead of McCutchen had I remembered.

Tommy Hanson
Hanson did not make his debut until June 7th, but it was definitely worth the wait. He finished the season with an 11-4 record, a 2.89 era, a 1.18 whip, and 116 strikeouts in 127 2/3 innings. Hanson is the next great Braves starter, and I am really looking forward to what he can do in a full season. A player that I discounted somewhat because of not being up for the full season, but probably should have included as well.

Andrew McCutchen
McCutchen did not debut until early June either, but went on a tear once he was there. He finished with a .286/.365/.471 line with 12 homers, 54 rbi, 22 steals, and 74 runs. While the trade of Nate McLouth was extremely unpopular with Pirate fans, it allowed them to really showcase McCutchen, who didn’t disappoint. I think that he would have won this award hands down if he had been up for the full season. He’s going to be really interesting to watch, and hope that the Pirates can keep him long term.

Casey McGehee
McGehee was actually put on waivers at the end of last season by the Cubs, and they are going to regret letting him go. The Brewers used him as a sort of super-utility, trying to get his bat in the lineup while trying him at multiple positions. He played 2B, 3B, and even 1B for them last season, while hitting the cover off the ball to the tune of .301/.360/.499 with 16 homers and 66 rbi. Hopefully next season the Brewers will pick one position to let him play, and leave him there. But that could prove interesting with the return of Rickie Weeks, and the promotion of top prospect Mat Gamel.

Randy Wells
Wells did well this season, and really helped to solidify the Cubs rotation. He compiled a 12-10 record, with a 3.05 era, 1.28 whip, and 104 strikeouts in 165 1/3 innings. Originally drafted as a rule 5 player by the Blue Jays, he was returned to the Cubs during the 2008 season. While the season for the Cubs was lost, Wells was a bright spot on an otherwise poor starting rotation.

Garrett Jones
Jones was never really considered a top flight prospect, especially since he was 27 when he was called up for his first real length of time in the majors. But he hit. .293/.372/.567 with 21 homers in just 82 games. While it remains to be seen what he can do with a full season, he should be very interesting to watch, especially since he is likely to get consistent playing time in 2010.

Overall, another group where not every top prospect made an impact. At the beginning of the season, Rasmus, Hanson, Fowler, and Cameron Maybin were all mentioned as top candidates, and only Hanson really had a showing worthy of the award.